I have nothing against male guitarists, you know, I like Steve Vai and Eric Clapton (plus they are really hot) but they are the exception and I think you just have to accept that. Men are best suited to singing really, and maybe a few masculine instruments like bassoon and gong.
THAT IS THE WORLD FEMALE GUITARISTS LIVE IN. FTS.
Women too often aren’t allowed just be a guitarist, it’s like they’re making a political statement by existing. When all they wanna do is play guitar, which is a patently normal-as-f*ck thing to do. That’s when you know the prejudice is real: When all you want to do is drive a car or sit on a bus and complete strangers are like “Woah, I’m not sure about this!”
There is no such thing as a “female guitarist”, it’s just “guitarist”.
I just woke up and my friend Russ tagged me in this brilliant facebook rant on Jon Gomm’s facebook page. Jon gets it! It’s hard out here for a grrrl. Compounding the problem is an industry of men run by men for the success and promotion of men, who often like to pretend that the problems we face as women and as guitarist women in particular don’t even exist! How many times have we all heard that so-and-so is “good for a girl”? How many times has somone been surprised when a woman shreds on her guitar? How many times have I personally been into a music equipment shop BY MYSELF and been asked by the sales assistant if the amp I am asking about is “for you?” Presumably I look like I’m there to buy for the imaginary male guitarist in my life or something. So hard is it for some of them to grasp that I’m a CUSTOMER, their first thought is I must be shopping for *someone else* aka somone male. Jon Gomm gets it. This is the ray of sunlight I need right now. A very famous Male Guitarist (we never call them that do we? It’s absurd to mention gender in this situation right?) has woken up to the fact that women are oppressed in the music industry, particularly in the Old Boys Club of guitar-based music. I’ll go one further… women are oppressed in the genre of music that women or one woman in particular Sister Rosetta Tharpe INVENTED, that MEN STOLE from us.
“There is no such thing as a ‘female guitarist’, it’s just ‘guitarist’.”
When a man wakes up to womens reality it’s always a good day. And when that man wakes up other men and other people in general to the situation and uses their platform to share this knowledge with their audience it’s an even better day. Today on International Women’s Day 2018, I think of all the men who recognize all the women’s contributions and value us as equals. I thank the Jon Gomms, because male feminists are powerful allies in a Patriarchal society and we need their help and collaboration if we are to get to where we rightly deserve to be. Men don’t get anywhere alone, why should we? Once enough men start speaking up for women and once enough women are heard, International Women’s Day will be everyday, just like International Mens Day is right now- it will be International Everyone’s Day every day. And we will be stronger, united.
Hannah Golightly founded GrrrlsWithGuitars in 2016. She is a riot grrrl musician, singer, guitarist and drummer from the UK. She has been a music critic and rock writer for over eight years and has previously written for collapseboard.com for six years, godisinthetvzine.co.uk, mother's pride zine and vulturehound.com. She has a passion for guitars and amps and owns a lot of them! She is passionate about promoting and helping grrrls and women play guitar and form bands. She loves female rock musicians' music and he favourite band is Skating Polly. She believes that a grrrl with a guitar can change the world!
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