Hello! I am a woman, and I’m in a punk band. Yes — we exist! In fact, my punk band is comprised of all women. I know, it’s a “spectacle” these days.
It’s difficult being a woman in any male-dominated field, whether we’re talking about medical, construction, or business jobs (and the list goes on…), but I specifically wanted to focus on the realm of music and what it’s like to be a woman who rocks.
When we’re on stage pouring our hearts and souls out into our music, we’re doing it for ourselves. Not to be ogled at by male audiences. The amount of times men have objectified us on (and off!) stage is incredibly disheartening. We get DM’s on Instagram from men who just want to get in our pants because they think it’s “sexy” that we’re in a band. Little do they realize, we’re in this band to empower ourselves and each other — nothing more, nothing less.
We’re not pandering to the male gaze. We have idols like Joan Jett and Kathleen Hanna and Kim Deal — each of which are feminist rockstars (and activists!) who have stood up for women in rock that have been told to keep our mouths shut. We’re done being quiet.
We’re also not performing so that you can come up to us after our show and say: “You’re pretty good musicians…for girls.” This one specifically makes my blood boil! Each of us has spent years learning our crafts — whether it’s electric guitar/bass, drums or vocals. Countless hours have gone into playing and excelling in our instruments. How about simply saying, “You are good musicians.” We’ll appreciate that much more.
As for booking shows in the male-dominated music scene, it’s tough. So many lineups include all cis-male bands, and while that’s considered the “norm,” one of our missions is to change that. We want more female-fronted bands to play shows, and to not simply be the openers. We’re sick of being asked to “open” or “play first” because we know that’s the time slot in which the least people are in the audience.
All I’m here to say is this: please take my band seriously. Just because we’re an all-femme punk band, doesn’t mean we don’t have talent, drive, or motivation to kick ass! Show women in rock some love and respect!
Know any vinas you want to start a band or artistic project with? Check out Hey! VINA to find your next all-girl band, or at least to find someone to discuss music with.