What Are You So Angry About

August 8, 2004 at 1:57 pm 10 comments

From the Girlgroup list:

I don’t have a problem with claiming anger for myself (just read some of my posts), but sometimes, the phrase “angry women” comes off as condescending by the mainstream media (or in other unlikely places).

It sort of reminds me of when I started doing Sugar Town in Philadelphia. It’s a party that I do monthy/bi-monthly for female dominated rock bands and DJ’s, local and touring. I started it because, now and then, there is an appallingly low amount of women in rock bands compared to the amount of men in town. At best, I’d say it’s 80/20. At lot of female musicians in town were like, “Thank God for Sugar Town.” And in the beginning, the crowd was mostly men, who were very enthusiastic and supportive, and not just creeps there to gawk or troll for dates. The press has always been supportive (mostly due to the fact that I am still a member of it).

Anyway, when we started in 2001 (and after), I still had people asking me what I was so angry about, why did we need a Sugar Town, don’t women have enough opportunities anyway, isn’t it hard for EVERYONE to be in a band (which I agree with esp. in Phila where people support more DJ’s than live acts), and it’s the girl’s fault if she doesn’t take the initiative to be in a band. Some of the people saying these things were both men and women with usually pretty liberal points of view.

When Ladyfest Philly started up, I did everything I could to help them out, but was too busy to really be a fulltime member (My ST partners Maria and MJ Fine were fulltime members). While a lot of them were very supportive of us, some of them were ambivalent about Sugar Town: we’re not political enough, we’re in a bar, we’re not all-ages. (Okay, the last part of that is a problem). The hipster women in town won’t support us because they think we’re “too political.” Do you know what kind of girls I’m talking about? The ones who love to say they’re not feminists. Don’t you just wanna smack them? One of them was a girl in a really cool band that located here from another city, and her band would fit on a zillion bills we’ve had. I’d accept her likening Sugar Town to a pink ghetto–a view I’ve read about from L7 and Babes in Toyland in regards to the concept of Women In Rock. To be fair, her band might not need Sugar Town. They have a moderate amount of success on their own. But basically, she just picks bills with Cool Scenester Approval, and hey big surprise, she’s usually the only female on the bill. (I love women who hate other women. What heartbreakers they are).

The funniest question I ever got? From my first high school boyfriend, who I talk to every three years, with good reason: “Do a lot of lesbians come there?” As if I check everyone’s sexual preferences at the door! I actually wish more of them would come, or more of anyone who aren’t friends with Plain Parade or the bands. Once, I even offered a discount to anyone who went on the Dyke March because the organizer’s band was playing. That failed miserably. (We were up against a Drag King Afterparty, you can’t compete with that). Once we did Tribe 8 on a Wednesday night and all these badass girls came out of the woodwork, and it was this mosh pit of all lesbian punk rock girls, and I was so glad to see them there. Unfortunately, I haven’t been able to get those girls to come back (or girls like them). They just come up to me on the street and say, “When are you gonna book Tribe 8 again?”

But I digress. The point of this longwinded e-mail is to watch who’s using the word angry and why.

The cool thing I forgot to mention is all the women who work behind the scenes in the Philadelphia music scene.


Entry filed under: Music, Philadelphia, Uncategorized.

1988 and Wendy’s Naked Naked!

10 Comments Add your own

  • 1. maria  |  August 8, 2004 at 3:09 pm

    but im not a feminist! i find the term rather limiting.

  • 2. sara  |  August 8, 2004 at 3:13 pm

    It depends on how you define feminism. There’s lots of different feminists. On a very basic level, if you don’t want to be judged by your gender, then that makes you a feminist. Right?

  • 3. maria  |  August 9, 2004 at 9:15 am

    true, but not wanting to be judged on my gender, color of skin, etc — arent those desires that are bit more universal than feminism? doesnt that just make me human?

  • 4. hopper  |  August 9, 2004 at 12:24 pm

    The important thing here is to remember that you’re doing something really amazing and something larger than just yourself. When you approach something as a resource for others, whatever the agenda is, feminism or not, it’s a lot more credible and worth the effort than just being in your own band and playing the every man/woman for him/her-self. Screw those who don’t want to be part of your party. If they can’t make a contribution to something without the need for self-gain, then that makes them really sad human beings not worth a spot on your stage in the first place.

  • 5. sara  |  August 9, 2004 at 6:59 pm

    Hopper, thanks for the love.

    Maria, mostly what I hear about feminism is that it’s really human concerns. So why the fear? And I’m not picking on YOU personally, I hear this a lot from younger women. Besides, you’re already living a feminist existence, aren’t you? There’s a lot of women who aren’t, and don’t have the choice.

  • 6. Jimmi  |  August 10, 2004 at 1:11 am

    She lost all her innocence
    Gave it to an abscess
    She lost all her innocence
    She said, “I am not a feminist”

  • 7. Jimmi  |  August 10, 2004 at 1:13 am

    But seriously, what is there to be so damn happy about? Why is everyone pushing sunshine up my ass when I wanna be a dark little rain cloud? I would answer, “What am I angry about? What do you got?!” Bring it on, sunshine.

  • 8. hal  |  August 10, 2004 at 3:48 pm

    I finally get what Courtney Love is doing. Using her celebrity status to publicize her sympathy-negating acts from ALL quarters of society, she’s breaking outta the pink ghetto. Her gender doesn’t matter, even the quality of her records doesn’t matter, she’s just irrelevant to everyone. Genius, and even generous.

    Uh, yes, Hooper had good advice there. I just have casual Courtney anger.

    As the bumper sticker says, “Feminism is the radical idea that women are people.” C’mon Maria, you can do it!

  • 9. hal  |  August 10, 2004 at 3:52 pm

    Bah, I edit-mangled my thesis about Ms. Love.

  • 10. maria  |  August 10, 2004 at 8:14 pm

    [i know you’re not singling me out]

    im not afraid of being a called a feminist, but i also dont need a bumper sticker/ideaology/etcetc to tell me that everyone is equal.


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