03 September, 2009

Love Music, Hate Sexism

Apologies first of all, fair readers, that this post is not directly linked to the Fail. Oh, I know it's a great read, but my head was turned by baser reading material this week; yes, that's right, I almost bought a magazine about a genuinely interesting topic, instead of which skin cream will bag me a bachelor but give me cancer if I don't cook for him.

Almost, but not quite. You see, I do like bands. But I also like being a girl.

I remember quite vividly the first time it occurred to me that these two things could be incompatible. I was fourteen, we'd just got the internet, and a whole new world of fandom was opening before me. And then there it was; a scan of Kerrang magazine, Davey Havok and Dexter Holland sharing the cover with the headline, "ROCK IN THE DOCK: is rock music sexist?" I never did track down the article, but I even neverer forgot its title.

Those words have come back to me a lot over the years, most times I've read about Courtney Love or Brody Dalle, and every time I've flicked past yet another male-targeted advert in a music magazine. (Yes, I sometimes read the NME; no, that does not mean I aspire to style my manly hair into so improbable a quiff that women will dance on tables in its honour thus allowing me to look up their skirts, Shockwaves haircare). But this week really took the balls-up biscuit. Shipped out to Marylebone because Euston thought it might perhaps possibly be on fire and with a four-hour train journey ahead of me, I trudged into WHSmiths for something to read. Oh look, a new Q! But oh wait, it's shrink-wrapped to FHM.

Er, what the fuck? I stared at it for a moment, processed the fact that one of my favourite magazines had just turned to shit before my very eyes, and walked out of the shop.

I don't care how much it comes down to publishers' alliances, I don't care what snivelling little marketing strategy is behind it, I don't care if some girl whose face has started popping up in the London Lite has taken her "hippy chic" clothes off, but I am fucking livid that a magazine I really respected precisely because it was so much more interesting, well-written, and generally grown-up than its peers has done that for which every successful band risks crucifixion in the music media; sold out.

Well, I'm not buying it. I'm not sure what I'll buy instead (the NME's too flimsy, no-one at Artrocker can spell... maybe Clash will fill the gap) but Q can stick it; I'm sure FHM can tell them where.


  1. It sucks, doesn't it?? I love rock and as a teen loved scary metal. Like football and darts, which I also love, I feel it is populated by people who think it is the domain of just men. To this day, I have had THREE incidents just this week where blokes have said "wow, you know your football!" as if surprised. Same with music. What the hell are we wimmins allowed to know about? Shoes? Shopping? Argh, fuck that... Great post xx

  2. I quit buying Kerrang after a few issues when I was a teen, I wasn't even a proper feminist yet, but I noticed that whenever a woman musician was featured, for the next few weeks they'd print letters calling her a bitch or a cunt.

  3. looove your blog. keep at it!

  4. aww thanks guys. suffragette, tis a collective endeavour, everyone's great :o) lol (though also have own, dunno what you meant exactly? anyway, femilove!)

  5. Of course, there's 'bloke rock' and there's 'chick rock' (or there was when I was a teen) and you're not supposed to cross over. Stick to the girlie stuff and there's no problem. It's like punk never happened...

  6. Q turned to shit a Several of years ago, when they stopped making jokes about everybody and switched to putting U2, Coldplay and Oasis on heavy rotation.

    Note to self: cancel subscription.


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