Tuesday, 6 September 2011


Blog 5, reflected: what’s the bloody point of this Blog again? As is a Blogs want, I continued to reflect on MY relationship with feminism, what Riot Grrrls http://onewarart.org/riot_grrrl_manifesto.htmmay call third-wave feminism but is still really about ALL types of feminism: female empowerment giving female writers and performers “a voice”, sharing information, such as the logistics of finding the space to make music and the savvy to make a living out of music. Riot Grrrls were all about the DIY ethic and this should have exploded with the onset of technology: where are they? Who are they? Ring me!  

 Language is a powerful thing. Academics like Juliet Kristeva http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Julia_Kristevaor Luci Irigaray http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Luce_Irigarayhave worked hard to make an intellectual argument that can shift the thinking away from polar opposites, which makes female “the other”, that which is lacking, instead coming to an “otherness”, a Viva la difference! For writers in contemporary culture now then, I think it is their responsibility to embrace and experiment with language – avoiding vocabulary rooted in male references; creating a new format ; avoiding elaborating on clothes, hair, make up of an artist. If the image seems so relevant, then describe the character they are trying to create – the clothes and hair are only part of it. However, the subject material and topics should be rooted in good old feminism and the reason for talking to them in the first place…musical talent.

Live music is a ritual. I could bore you forever with my theatre training about the relationship between performer and audience, use of space and sound. The point is, when you write a review you have a chance to get across the hope, urgency, ideas and sound of a band – not just a furrowed brow, eloquent explanation. You can make people want to try that experience out for themselves; you can make bands read your review and think “that’s it!” bringing the trust to the publisher and the team. These factors, along with the hirdy girdy pace of the live gig circuit, more music than your brain can take, the endless talking with other writers, press officers and performers: What do I think? Why do I think that? What do you think? Why do you think that? What about? It makes me feel alive. Absolutely, nothing else has ever proved so powerful – the consequences being good for all around me, including those for whom I am responsible for.

Revolution is a strong word but let’s just say that the opportunity to embrace female artists and writers is now upon us, because I've decided, of course. Maybe it's because the Riot Grrls have all grown up and are in charge, and making some good and brave decisions?

Some feminists want equality, some love the difference, some want utopia but whatever they want, they seem to be working together; enjoying the creative results, which are sharp enough to warrant mainstream attention. A browse at an on line magazine like www.thegirlsare offers a mind-boggling number of talented women-centred bands and female artists and include Big Names like Lady Gaga, Jessie J, Lana Del Ray as well as the class of the indie underbelly. Comment pieces relating to the representation of women in music, such as at festivals and behind the camera, as directors, have begun to appear in the broadsheets, as people sit up and take notice of people like Laura Kidd, She Makes War or Mimi Cave, who directed tUnE-yArDs "Bizness".


Feminism has stopped pushing itself in to comfort corners and is embracing all culture and cultures; acknowledging women-centred is the thing and balance still essential. I would have loved this blog to be gentle reflections in the form of grown up interviews about vital female musicians and their stories but, then I saw Rita Lynch live, still bitchin', then I discovered Th' Hysterical Injury and the video of "Three", which frustrated the "male gaze" (French feminist film theory). In the end, there's too much out there that's brilliant, boundary crossing and new; it's impossible not to want to join in.

the girls are official image

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