September 30, 2010

Let's Hear It For the Boys...Hearing It For the Girls

In an age when music is more abundant--and thus, more divisive--than ever, a person can listen to truly anything that fits their personalities. The choices are endless. And yet, if you are the proud owner of a vagina, you may still feel underrepresented in the music world. Especially if you're not all that fond of current pop music. (Which you are, so stop lying on all of those surveys.)

There's not that many french-tipped fingernails holding the microphone nowadays. Who can you count on to tell the world how you feel? Not everyone can read your diary! And Taylor Swift is only allowed to sing about one topic for the remainder of the century. (Love, and how it's good and/or bad.) You're just not being heard out there!

But ladies, stop bedazzling the ass of your jeans for a second and think of how rough it must be for those on the other side of the gender tracks. You're not being heard because a huge part of the population can't hear you. No, I'm not talking about deaf-mutes. Or those who lost their ears in tragic goggle-related accidents. I'm talking about men.

Tell me this: when is it acceptable for a straight, heterosexual, masculine, non-cross-dressing, penis-having, labia-less man to listen to a female-fronted rock band? Or any variety of ovary-bearing musician? If you answered anything other than "very rarely," you're very wrong.

We with the extra appendage, the hanging sack full of guilt and social anxiety, the heavy burden of manliness, we are judged for enjoying things considered too feminine. And what could be more feminine than a female singing songs about feelings?

Meanwhile, you with the innie in your skinny, a closed door to your closed minds (and equally closed legs), you are the ones judging.

Men: why must we cross our fingers when we put our iPods on shuffle, praying the next song to come on isn't "Hit Me With Your Best Shot" (even though we're totally ready to deal with anything the world throws at us)? Why shouldn't we just hear what we want to hear, gender issues aside?

I've picked my brain (and my dong-waving iTunes catalog) to come up with the following list of acceptable chick music. I'm calling it...

It's now officially cool to listen to the sounds of estrogen when...

#1. When she's manlier than you.  
Joan Jett. She's the bad ass rocker chick that Juliette Lewis wants to you to think she is. Her raspy, "just smoked a pack of Marlboro Reds before chugging whiskey-coated rocks voice" would be enough to justify having her on your iPod, but she's also a leather-clad hottie.

GET YOUR MAN ON to Cherry Bomb.
Sisters In Arms: Pat Benatar, Patti Smith.

#2. When she's got (legitimate) attitude. 
Gwen Steffani with No Doubt. There hasn't been a boobed-punker with this much attitude since Patti Smith. Even the lighter songs ("Don't Speak," "Simple Kind of Life,") will make you remember you have a heart buried somewhere around your weiner. Society still won't condone you singing karaoke to "Just a Girl" though, regardless of how much you've been practicing your high-kicks.

GET YOUR MAN ON to Spiderwebs.
Sisters In Arms: P!nk, The Donnas.

#3. When she's a bit odd. 
Regina Spektor. She caters to all the hipster boners out there. For some reason, guys are allowed to dig the quirky music of weird girls with no excuses necessary. I'm not complaining, of course. I'd love it if Regina's mouth was open 24/7.
...singing...singing music...not...
 ...She's a very capable musician. Is what I'm saying.

GET YOUR MAN ON to Folding Chair.
Sisters In Arms: Lily Allen, Kate-Miller-Heidke, Kristeen Young.

#4. When she clearly runs the show.  
Yeah Yeah Yeahs. Girls who truly LEAD bands are just plain fucking cool. And Karen O definitely knows how to take control.
...with her music. When know...when...singing...
...I'm starting to feel like this article isn't furthering the cause much. It might be doing the exact opposite by this point. Oh man.

GET YOUR MAN ON to Dull Life.
Sisters In Arms: Bat For Lashes, Fly Leaf.


  1. Actually you don't have to be straight or hetero (aren't they the same thing?) to agree with this. Most female singers, in rock at least, aren't all that interesting to listen to. In R&B and some other genres, the ladies rock, but R&R not so much - I especially agree with you on Regina S as an exception...

  2. That's right. Some of them are very uninteresting.

    And the only other type of music where it's cool for men to listen to women singers is the often-neglected "porn noise/muffled moan" genre.