January 27, 2023

The Other Women

This week I had a very fortuitous encounter, an encounter that made me think a lot more about a topic that’s been playing on my mind for quite some time. I met two very interesting women, not only interesting but very strong, individual and potent within their art. As a first meeting it was quite thought provoking; kismet or some similar celestial alignment brought the three of us to be in that space at that time.

I’ve always wondered, like most sapient beings, what my place is in this world and strive to find a place for myself as I vehemently believe there is a place for everyone whether it exists or you have to make it, it is there to be found. I’ve wondered not only of my place as a human being but my place as a woman, specifically my place as a woman in the music industry. I’ve laboured over the topic of saturation in the music industry, saturation of sounds, bad sounds, negative images and the hype machine that perpetuates it all.

There are a lot of guitar-toting songstresses out there who have substance, skill with their instruments and a lot of moxy but there are also a lot who don’t really have anything to say or unique to offer but they’re gifted in other ways, have a different map and measure of success and find their way to where they’re going. More power to them, but again reinforcing my romantic ideals of music, I just don’t rate that nonsense and cannot see the point in using your stage to spout unoriginal, inane dirge.

This also is a reflection of my fairly negative opinion of women and their ways. I don’t have a lot of lady friends, I know a few women, it would be strange if I didn’t, but I find the world of women uncomfortable to participate in and observe. It’s either incredibly coded, underhand or just plain moronic with most activities coming across as the latter. Don’t get me wrong I do enjoy women, there are a few whose individual qualities I admire and would like to emulate but that’s about 3-5% of the female population, the rest baffle me. The women who’ve made me proud to own this particular configuration of chromosomes are almost exclusively musicians with the exception of immediate family members. That list is shrouded in myth, mysticism and the latent desire to be outstanding, unique, set apart from men. However, being a child of the nineties and the whole  horrible, commercial “Girl Power” craze I cant help but scoff at modern definitions of feminism whether it be girl power or the fairly baffling “SlutWalk” movement. Not that I’m misunderstanding the politics behind the SlutWalk, it just seems to me like they may be walking in the wrong direction… time will tell. Feminism and female empowerment shouldn’t be something you have to sell to people. But as the world becomes more ridiculous and common sense becomes less common it has become another commodity. Most endeavours in that direction leave me with the same belittled feeling I have after watching a tampon commercial. The messages subliminal or obvious are made for a different kind of woman, probably a woman that doesn’t exist and if she did she certainly wouldn’t be a friend of mine but I’m sure she’d get along just fine anyway.

I guess it goes back to the idea of saturation, whether my voice will be heard above the rest, whether its strong enough or my words are potent enough to break through the white noise and reach vital, waiting ears. I remain positive and believe it is and always will be otherwise what is the point in continuing to write or create? (It’s not like I have a plan B either so it has to be). Everything I intentionally listen to that is created by a woman has to be enriching, I spend a lot of time seeking out inspiration from women who were once like me, who I may one day be like. I unintentionally listen to a lot of crap created by women and its not terrible enough to be disheartening its just horrible, turgid nonsense and they should know better.

I hope this message doesn’t smack of a negative opinion of women or heaven forbid misogyny. I don’t hate women, I dislike a lot of women and portrayals of women but there are rare exceptions.

That’s why the encounter that inspired this jeremiad was so interesting, regardless of whether I see those two ladies again or not its still oh so vital to know they exist and are questioning, creating and evolving into even greater examples of the female species as I endeavour to do on my journey.

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