Good read: The trials of being a woman in rock today.

[Much has been written over the years about the issues woman face in the world of rock. Now the Washington Post has this story that wonders if we’re asking the right questions. -AC]

“For her 13th birthday in 2001, Sadie Dupuis received a Fender Stratocaster to take to summer camp — something she knew most girls didn’t get to experience.

“’Every 13-year-old boy, when I was a kid, was handed an electric guitar. Girls weren’t really pushed in that direction unless they guided themselves toward it or had really cool parents,’ she said. ‘For a lot of kids, their gender [got] in the way of them having access to certain genres of music.’

Lindsey Jordan was almost one of those kids. In 2007, when she was 8, her older sister showed her a bill from the Warped Tour. It seemed to her at the time that the entire lineup was male — did you have to be a boy to be in a band, she wondered? Then her sister brought her to a show by Paramore, whose lead singer/keyboardist was a woman. ‘I saw Hayley Williams and her outfit and she’s killing it, and she’s so punk, and I was like: That’s the coolest thing I’ve ever seen,’ Jordan told The Washington Post last year.

“Dupuis now fronts the highly acclaimed rock band Speedy Ortiz, while Jordan, recording as Snail Mail, is one of the hottest new artists in guitar-based music. They are two of several female musicians often cited as proof that the gender disparity in rock music is shrinking. And if you scour any critic’s best-of list these days, you’ll find it all but dominated by women — Mitski, Sharon Van Etten, Robyn, Snail Mail and Boygenius, the supergroup made up of Julien Baker, Lucy Dacus and Phoebe Bridgers.

“Yet by almost any measure, women still enjoy far less success in the industry, and female artists say they contend with unspoken quotas that keep them off playlists and festival bills as well as a culture that persists in viewing them as women first and musicians second.”

This is an important read. Keep going.

Alan Cross

is an internationally known broadcaster, interviewer, writer, consultant, blogger and speaker. In his 40+ years in the music business, Alan has interviewed the biggest names in rock, from David Bowie and U2 to Pearl Jam and the Foo Fighters. He’s also known as a musicologist and documentarian through programs like The Ongoing History of New Music.

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