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The Woman Problem

Read an article tonight on emusic.com about The Warped Tour’s Woman Problem, and it got me thinking. Shortly after taking an Ambien, but hopefully this is done before that kicks in.

Just in case people aren’t aware of this white male’s musical tastes, Kristin Hersh (along with her associated acts Throwing Muses & 50 Foot Wave) have always ranked high in my personal list of favorites, since discovering the Muses in 1985 or thereabouts.

As long as I’ve owned an iPod, Kristin/Muses/50FootWave have never not been on it. I think the only other band that has gotten that same treatment is the Descendents (but not necessarily ALL). Even stalwarts like the Clash and Rancid have been relegated at one time or another, but never KH.

So why is it that women have to struggle so hard to succeed … in sports, in music, in business? And on those rare occasions when they do succeed, they always seem to get tagged with either a) “okay for a woman” or b) “total bitch walking all over everyone to get her way”.

Fuck that. Kristin Hersh rocks. And she does it on her own terms, when she got out of her recording deals, she didn’t give up; she kept going and she started giving music away (you can pay for it if you want to, and I certainly do), and it still is as incredible and as moving as when I first heard “Delicate Cutters” way back in 1985-86.

There’s nothing more punk than women saying “fuck you, I’m going to do this” and then not only doing just that, but succeeding at it as well.

I long for the day when a kid like Katie Clouse rides the Tour de France … not a women’s Tour de France, but THE Tour de France … the big one in July. This 12 year old girl seems to have what it’s going to take to succeed. She’s got drive and ambition, and yet she also knows it’s just a sport … it can help you achieve great things, but does not have to define your very existence.

The fact is that this kid has more talent than I have ever had; but because she is a girl there’s an even greater chance that she will not be able to make a living doing what she loves.

Women can do everything that men do … and oftentimes, they do it better. Someday others will see it. Supporting women musicians and music athletes is the best way for me, as a “privileged” white male, to do that … but it’s not and it shouldn’t be me or any man in control of their careers. It should be the women guitarists, women cyclists, women soccer players, women business owners … women themselves.

It’s shouldn’t be “someday we’ll have a woman President”, it should be “why the fuck haven’t we had one yet?” It’s time for men to stand up with women to say “hey, they’re every bit our equal … many of them are better.”

So support your riders, your musicians, your artists, your women. Let them show the world what they can do, and then be proud when they do it better than you, because that’s the way to to measure success.