Music Is My Lover
She went on to say that she, herself, had never been given shit on the messageboard for being a woman - and then a couple of men expressed surprise that she was, indeed, a woman at all. They'd never had any clue.
Now there, indeed, is the whole crux of the problem.
There it is, isn't it? It may be dressed up in feminist language, but this "proper music fan / groupie" dichotomy - it's just the old Madonna/Whore complex dressed up in new terms, isn't it?
It's the easiest stick for male music fans to beat females with. The groupie stick.
Yes, you will be allowed on male ground, but only if you disguise all aspects of your femalehood. You can discuss music, but only clinically. If you bring your body, sexuality, emotions, romance, love into it - oh no, you're a groupie. In short, if you bring any aspect of your femaleness into the discussion, that's it, you lose any power and your authority and your right to have a critical opinion.
It's loading the dice against you from the very start. What is rock music and pop music about, but sex and love and romance and emotions? You're excluded from the discussion before it even starts.
But, of course, these rules don't apply to men. Read even the most sensitive of indie boys, talking about a female artist - even one they admire - Bat For Lashes or Little Boots or whoever the current indie pinup is. What's the discussion about? Her attractiveness, her sexuality, how the listener as a man responds to her as an object of attraction, as a woman.
Where did I learn the attitudes that I take in my writing about music? I was discussed *in* the music press for years before I ever joined it. I've been in a band since I was 17, I grew up reading male voices discussing my music - except wait, no. They didn't discuss the music first. They'd discuss my appearance, my attractiveness, my sexual appeal (or lack of it) and after several paragraphs of trying to decide whether they'd fuck me or not, then they might, maybe, get around to mentioning the music that I made.
Fair's fair, right? This is the way that artists are discussed, right? Is it really any wonder that I started writing about music the way that I did?
Well, here's a secret. I'd have been a groupie, if only I hadn't been so ugly. I love music, I love it more than life itself. It's my emotion, it's my heartbreak, it's my joy, it's my "I want to get up and dance" it's my "I want to lie down and die." I eat, sleep, breathe, drink music - I would fuck it, tongue kiss it, suck its cock, finger its pussy if I could, I love music so much. My experience of music is above all emotional, intensely sensual, yes, even sexual.
Music is emotion made flesh - or sound, as the case may be. Is it any wonder that women want to fuck the people who produce it, who write it, who make it? To me, it's a wonder that men don't. Oh wait, actually they do - oh, but they bury their sensual love under layers of weird repressive fandom rituals, dress it up and call it "music criticism." Does this extend to DJs in a music culture where the gatekeeper of music is raised above the creator? Sure it does. The desire to fuck a DJ, a "glorified jukebox" to borrow a term, is like desiring to fuck music itself. "You're not in love with Erol Alkan," my dear friend D tells me over dinner, listening to me listing obscure gems of a BTWS set like extolling a lover's charms. "You're in love with his record collection."
"What's wrong with that?" I shrug back. "It's a fantastic record collection."
But no, you're forced to choose. You can be a Serious Music Fan, or you can be a Groupie Slut Piece Of Meat. Because sex and music have no place together for a Nice Woman. (Despite the fact that the adulation of women is sold to men as one of the reasons to become a musician in the first place. This only reflects glory on the male, not on the women who respond to it.)
Want to be a woman in a male dominated field? You can either dress it up and play the sex card (so long as it's not in too threatening a way) or else you have to strip yourself of your sexuality, your sensuality, your gender.
It was Miss AMP who pointed it out to me, standing backstage at the Truck Festival 2006, watching the other bands play. We watched The Schla La Las, bouncing around in their matching cute dresses, then we watched The Organ, playing serious music in their serious jeans and their shapeless T-shirts. "Is that what you have to do, to be taken seriously?" Ampy wondered. Neuter yourself. Take out all the sex and the girly bits - even if it's sex and romance and pure girly glee that drive you to love - or even *make* music to start with?
No. I can't do it. I won't do it. I'm not a female eunuch. I will not neuter myself to make my fandom acceptable to anyone.