Women in Rock (Criticism): The Live Chat

08/26/2010 11:52 AM |

Maura Johnston, Tricia Rose, Maureen Mahon, Amanda Petrusich, Laina Dawes and Ann Powers are currently chatting about the role of gender (and race and lots of other things) in the world of music journalism. Follow along! (And then feel like a total dick for being a white dude, should you, like me, be a white dude.)

One Comment

  • here’s something I don’t quite agree with, do women have to glam it up to make it in music? Off the top of my head there are plenty of women players who don’t glam it up and yet are local favorites. anyway this is the part I’m talking about:

    11:52 Lainad: I really have an issue with how some metal / hardcore guys can essentally get away with being unwashed slobs in a photo but knowing that the most talented woman musician would never be able to get away with that. Never.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:52 Lainad
    11:53 Ann Powers: Carrie Underwood on the other hand, had to put on the hot pants at a certain point. Or felt she had to.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:53 Ann Powers
    11:53 Amanda Petrusich: Exactly, Ann. It seems like there are very few roads around that for women artists.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:53 Amanda Petrusich
    11:53 Maura Johnston: I agree, Cortney. But I think that’s in part because this is a culture where everyone’s a paparazzo… the visual has overtaken so much else (look at the frequent disconnect between “popular” female musicians in the gossip press and on the radio)

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:53 Maura Johnston
    11:53 Frannie (NPR Music): Does your appearance affect your work at all? Do you ever dress a certain way to get a certain result?

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:53 Frannie (NPR Music)
    11:53 Ann Powers: Years ago, the first time I saw Sonic Youth, I was astounded at how dirty Kim Gordon looked. I mean, like she hadn’t washed her hair in weeks. It was extremely liberating. Yet she too glammed up

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:53 Ann Powers
    11:53 Prof. Maureen Mahon: Women always have to think about their sexuality and the image they project on stage. Even if the choice is to downplay it, they have to spend time considering it. And women in music and everywhere else are judged a lot on looks.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:53 Prof. Maureen Mahon
    11:53 Prof. Tricia Rose: This is not to say that women who rely on sexuality to remain viable are bad or are not smart and amazing- they are both. I love Dolly– and many others, I am just describing this as a limit and a point of containment, because it is. Many people use the tools that have been designed to contain them to find pockets of freedom. And, the promotion of self via a highly public sexuality should be a choice – not a requirement.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:53 Prof. Tricia Rose
    11:54 Ann Powers: Tricia, yes very true. In jazz, for example, a player like Esperanza Spalding may be a virtuoso, but she’s getting attention at least in part because she is a fox. That’s unfair to her.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:54 Ann Powers
    11:55 Lainad: I have witnessed a handful of women metal journalists who are really playing the “groupie” role to gain access. this really upset me, but I am about 15 years older than these women and I am hoping that they will grow out of it.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:55 Lainad
    11:55 Amanda Petrusich: There’s a really weird sense of betrayal when women artists suddenly “glam up” — I

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:55 Amanda Petrusich
    11:55 Lara Pellegrinelli: And there are still many writers in the jazz community who are dismissive of Esperanza.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:55 Lara Pellegrinelli
    11:55 Amanda Petrusich: I’m thinking of Joanna Newsom.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:55 Amanda Petrusich
    11:55 Ann Powers: Oh, Joanna……sigh

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:55 Ann Powers
    11:55 Lara Pellegrinelli: There are writers who have intimated that she has too much self-confidence and hasn’t paid her dues.

    Thursday August 26, 2010 11:55 Lara Pellegrinelli
    11:56 Ann Powers: I couldn’t believe when she was criticizing Gaga for being too much about surfaces, and just the week before I’d seen her perform in a gown with huge cutouts showing off her gorgeous skin and curves