Hey Ladies! Get Your Music On.

Turn it up! Grrrl style!

Check out this great new resource for those of you wondering what it is like to be a musician who happens to be female. It starts today with the online features, and on air segments on NPR. NPR asked hundreds of working women from all genres what it is like, and includes the results and other notable pages. I’ve spent about an hour so far just exploring and I am really impressed. The responses are amazing, and telling of what it is like to be a woman in still quite (que James Brown….no wait, Xtina’s version) a man’s world.


Hey Ladies: Being A Woman Musician Today

I am so excited and I look forward to hearing the on air segments, as well as, further exploring all of the online features. You can contribute your thoughts as well here: heyladies@npr.org.

The only thing I don’t like about the series is the “woman musician” part in the title. You don’t put “man” in front of musician do you? Nope. I know we are focusing on women, which is the point, which is awesome. But we need to say musicians who are also women, not “woman musicians.” Why? The default meaning for musician should not be gendered. I know that it is, and we need to take active steps in breaking that idea (thus this commentary.)

Musicians can be anyone! When we put “woman musician” and never do the same for “male musician,” you default musician’s meaning as male, and you maintain androcentrism with the notion that woman are not normally musicians. Therefore, women remain the marked gender that is not standard issue.  So when they are musicians, they are seen as somehow abnormal, unusual, and the exception, not rule, because you are altering the word with a gendered signifier. And that’s not true, nor cool.

Women have always been musicians, they just haven’t always gotten credit or recognition for their craft.  And I hope for those of you who are unconvinced check out this series and understand the awe and inspiring power that women have in their musical voices, hands, minds, and hearts.


Posted on July 20, 2010, in Pick Guards - Music Analysis and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on Hey Ladies! Get Your Music On..

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