404: Ladiesssss....

This is something I've noticed about women in rock (and people's reactions to them).  In any band where there's both men and women, the topic of gender never (or VERRRRY rarely) comes up.  The same is true for bands that have a female vocalist fronting an otherwise all-male band.  Men WILL often comment about how sexy or attractive they find the singer to be, but that is not exclusive to men, nor is it sexist in and of itself.  It is usually said in the context of "Wow, he/she is an awesome musician, AND they're attractive?  I think in love."  People seem well aware that a person's skill as a musician is not determined by their gender, and that a person's looks are not the most important thing about them.  And once both of those things are accepted, gender in rock becomes a non-issue, as it should be.  That's how it is in most cases, but when there's an all-female band, gender suddenly becomes important.  Not only does everyone label them as an "all-female band," instead of just calling them "a band," but gender also becomes the most discussed topic by fans, critics, and reporters.  Sometimes it's bad, like the fourth panel there.  Other times it's righteously indignant, like "Anyone who says that girls can't rock has obviously never heard THIS band!"  And sometimes it's patronizingly proud, like "I'm glad to see such an amazing band getting the attention they deserve." (<Because you didn't think that they would.)  But no matter what context it's in, it's still not very helpful, becomes it means that gender has become an issue.  It means that rock is no longer accepted as something normal for both genders to participate in; suddenly women become the exception, the anomaly.  Even by the fans who are most proud of them, the band is still treated as something unusual.  Yes, it's true that women are the minority in the rock world.  But to treat any group's minority as something unsual within that group is not a helpful reaction to be having.  It's done in a positive and inclusive mindset, yes, but for now it's also perpetuating the idea that women are the natural outsiders in the world of rock and roll.  We want the end result to be a world where all-female bands aren't an unusual thing, and so if you guys ever become fans of any, praise them, love them, root for them, be proud of them, but don't think of them as an exception.  Think of them as a band, not as an all-female band.

To help you guys practice with that, (and to keep in line with today's theme), here's a kickass American band called Cherri Bomb.  The girls in this band got together in 2008 when they were only 11 or 12 years old, which means they've been kicking ass and taking names since before they were even in highschool.  (Well, techinically they were homeschooled, so that will still be true even when they're 30, but YOU GET MY POINT.)  The band's debut EP and album are both fantastic blends of classic 80's guitar riffs, catchy pop rock choruses, and beautiful harmonies.  Here are four videos for you guys to watch, and let me say this ahead of time: I already know which of the girls will end up being your favorite.  Let's start off with their biggest single, "The Pretender," as an introduction, before moving onto the fucking riff-tastic song "Shake The Ground."  Next up is one of my favorites of theirs, because the chorus gives me chills.  Here's "Too Many Faces," and then let's end things with some classic 80's rock, with the song "Let It Go."  I'd like to give a big thanks to both Matt from England and Monica from Spain (whom I still need to email back at some point. Whoops.) for recommending these guys to me.  As for the band, they very recently fired their lead singer, Julia Pierce, who said she plans on continuing her career separately.  We don't know who the girls are going to get to replace her yet, but we DO know one thing for certain: no matter who they get, half of the fans will say she sucks and the other half will say they enjoy both singers equally.

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