As I stand here, having been giving this a go for about 3 years now, I can honestly say it’s harder being a woman than being Black when it comes to doing what I do. I feel like though it still might suck being a Black man making rock music in this city sometimes, much of the “wtf” moments I’ve had have come from dealing with men who have no clue how to deal with a woman as an equal. They just expect you to not be good or to not know what the fuck you’re doing or to just generally put up with their shit. There was a sound guy at a very popular Brooklyn venue that was known for simply HATING women. Every female musician that played there said he was an absolute demon when it came to them, going as far as making some of the more sensitive ones burst into tears because he was so awful. So if it’s not the sound guy being a dick or the booker being a dick or the guy at the bar being a dick, it’s the people in your band being dicks. Which happens to everyone but not for the same reasons that it would happen to a woman. And anything racial you experience will be amplified as well because they feel that they can get away with more because you’re a woman and you’re more likely to just take it rather than shank them in the kidneys (they’ve obviously got the wrong woman).
And then there’s the audience. I’ve been fascinated by a couple of male musicians in particular who have incredibly sexually charged images but flip the fuck out when they are objectified sexually. The first is D’Angelo. Everyone remembers his nekkid ass video and song. It was a great nekkid ass video and song, no mistake, but afterwards he says that the people coming to his shows changed from people who wanted to hear his music to people who just wanted him to take off his shirt. And it made him so uncomfortable that he had to basically question his desire to keep making and performing music. What? So you make a nekkid ass video, people appreciate your nekkid ass, and you resent it so greatly that you flip out and stop making music for like a million years? I may be oversimplifying the situation; I have no clue what is going on in his life, but the fact that he reacted so strongly and with such disdain to something that every woman on the planet deals with whether you are a waitress in a dive or Secretary of State just makes me laugh and proves that a man could never cut it as a woman. At least they waited for you to even take off your clothes before they objectify you. I’ve been catcalled in a fucking Stay-Puff Marshmallow man looking winter coat out in snowstorms. I mean, nothing is showing except my EYES. But the simple possibility that I MIGHT be female underneath 30 layers of wool gives some men the divine right to be lascivious assholes about it.
Then there’s Patrick Wolf who got catcalled at a gig and flipped the fuck out over it. I mean frankly if someone yelled “Show us your cock” at a dude at a gig I’d laugh. What sort of objectification and sexual oppression have you dealt with in your life as a man that would make you so bitter about being found sexually attracticve by a stranger? I think some men flip out over these situations because in these situations, they are not the ones in control. They are not controlling the way they are perceived. They are objects. And men are raised to think that control over everything at all times is not only possible, but it’s a birthright afforded to them in conjunction with a penis. And men are also raised to expect sexual control above all. They are predators, we are prey. They are the aggressors, we are sexually passive. So when those roles are reversed, they start crying.
It would be great if I could choose when I want to be sexualized and when I want to be appreciated for my mind or my art. It would be great if the fact that many people don’t give a shit about what comes out of my mouth and would rather I just shut up and “take it off” were so shocking that I could actually become enraged about it. But that is not the case. That just goes along with being female. I WANT men to be sexualized more in the media. It SHOULD be normalized. Men benefit from sexual attractiveness the same way women do. But for some reason, with men it’s played down because it’s “demeaning”. And with women, it’s pretty much expected for you to exploit your sexuality for gain. And if you don’t, it’s either because you’re a prude or a dyke.
I mean, if Marlon Brando looked like a foot, would he still be legendary? Yes he was a revolutionary actor, but you’re delusional if you don’t think his intensity and sexual power had anything to do with his screen appeal. A Streetcar Named Desire is one of my favorite movies. And his acting is only one of the reasons why. Goddayum…
Oh but asserting that such a male LEGEND in some way was helped to that status by his looks is blasphemous. But Audrey Hepburn is worshipped as a legendary actress and in my opinion wasn’t really any good at the profession she is known for. But she was cute and skinny and pretty. So that’s okay. I mean, Jesus, give me Lauren Bacall over her any day.
This is getting really long but I have TONS to say on this subject. Oh! And another fascinating phenomenon to dissect: Megan Fox. Oh my God. How young women HATE her. Like visceral, vitriolic, bile fuelled internet rants that you almost black out from the intensity of. I don’t understand. It’s like she’s the first young actress ever used for T&A in movies. But I’ve actually seen girls say that she alone is setting the women’s movement back a century. And that she’s a whore and a slut and should be burned at the stake. Frankly, it’s not that serious. You know why I like her? Because she’s self aware. She knows she’s hot and that it get’s her roles. So? Isn’t that her choice? No one is saying you have to do the same. I can’t think of a woman that is overtly sexual that isn’t vilified in some way. But I can think of many male actors and musicians who’ll fuck anything that moves and arent the best at what they do but aren’t called pathetic sluts who should burn in hell.
I don’t know I think the hate of her shows an unhealthy sickness that women have. And it’s all been learned from men. And perpetuated amongst ourselves. So to make that process a tad easier, I would like to relay to you, based solely upon my experiences in this world for the past quarter of a century or so,
THE RULES OF BEING A WOMAN:
1. Don’t even bother.
2. No really, don’t.
3. Seriously, I’m not kidding.
4. Ok. Well if you must…
5. Do things, but not well. It will make your efforts look “cute”. And men dig that. Therefore you will get laid.
6. When you get laid, pretend that you didn’t want to at first. Because then you won’t look like a whore. Whores have sex and like it. You’re not one of those, are you? Of course not. You’re so cute!
7. Confidence is for men. If you are confident, make sure you are hot. Because people will assume that is where you’re confidence stems from anyway. So if you are not hot, they will say “Who does she think she is? She’s not hot enough to be that full of herself”.
8. If you are hot, don’t be confident. Not only is confidence not for women, it especially not for HOT women. Hot women are to be used. And when not in use, put on display. Kind of like drapes or a nice sofa. If you happen to be a hot woman and you have the gall to display confidence or any level of self-possession, wear a helmet. And maybe a bullet proof vest.
9. Agree with everyone about everything. At all times. Opinions are for bitches. And you’re a nice girl, right?
10. If you do happen to get angry at any of the 5,000 years of bullshit that’s being shoveled upon you, swallow it. Or better yet, turn it into self-loathing! Yeah! Better that than becoming a feminist or something. What are you, a lesbian?
11. Shave every hair on your body. You look like a lesbian.
12. Don’t cut your hair. You’ll look like a lesbian.
13. Wow. You’re so funny and smart! But you’re not ugly. How can that b- oh, lesbian.
14. Don’t be assertive. That’s for bitches. And lesbians.
15. Men are really insecure. They know it, we know it. So the best thing you can do is coddle them. Depend on them. If they want to feel strong, pretend to be weaker. If they want to seem smart, pretend to be dumber. If your efforts to appear utterly ineffectual are not succesful and you do end up threatening their self image anyway, try harder. This mantra will help “I’m a woman, it’s all my fault. I’m a woman, it’s all my fault…”
16. If you follow all these rules, you might one day get married. Which is great, because then your entire existence won’t have been a fucking waste of oxygen.
17. Don’t get fat. Unless you’re a lesbian.
18. There is nothing wrong with being a lesbian. Wait, you are hot, right? And you’ll do it in front of guys, right? Yeah? Great! Score!
19. Women are competition. No matter what. See her? She thinks she’s prettier than you. And she wants your man. You’re not gonna let her get away with that, are you? Of course not, the ugly whore!
20. Enjoy being a woman. It’s a beautiful sisterhood! *purges on cupcakes, then induces vomiting and weeps. in the dark. while texting rumours about that whore who looked at my boyfriend*
I think that about sums it up. If I’ve missed any, feel free to add your own.
I don’t hate men and I don’t hate women. Ok, I kinda hate men but I also know that there are incredibly beautiful men out there who do see women as equal in capability and humanity. But just because there are some good ones doesn’t mean the bad ones get a free pass. There is just so much ugliness between men and women. So much that it’s described as a war. And any war has casualties and the state I see most young women in…it’s awful. And pretending that it’s ok or just a part of life won’t make it go away. Same with race. It’s all just bullshit. Fucking bullshit. Anyways I gotta go to work.