You’ve probably thought to yourself before, “wow this is a really good girl band,” or maybe, “Yes! There’s a girl in the lineup!” I’m guilty too, but this is a problematic attitude to have. Reactions like this lead to interviewers and writers asking female musicians the dreaded question: “what’s it like being a woman in music?” It’s a question that is irrelevant and played out, and here’s why.
Women in music is not a new topic. Women have been in music for a long time, making incredible tunes I might add. There are tons of women in music. That being said, we should not be acting like this is a novelty. Women working in the music industry isn’t breaking news, yet it’s regarded as a rarity. It’s not fair to treat women in music like some kind of freak show. They’re everywhere, and they will continue to make great music without constantly reminding themselves they are women.
When you ask, “What’s it like being a woman in music?” you’re making it seem like women don’t belong in music. It comes off like a woman in music is forbidden or something. Women belong in music and deserve to be in music, so they should be treated as such. You don’t think twice about an all-male band; nobody is asking them how it feels to be men in music. Instead, they get asked about the songs they write. Why should women be subjected to explaining themselves and what they’re doing here? They’re musicians rocking out, and that’s completely normal.
It’s disrespectful to the artist to ask questions like this. Women don’t play instruments any differently, they don’t keep guitar picks in their bra, they don’t have to run around stage in heels, and quite frankly being a woman has nothing to do with how good of musicians they are. Women do not want to answer questions about being a woman, or other women in music for that matter. If you’re talking to a woman in music, ask her something relevant. Ask her about her music, her inspiration, or her background. Ask about what she has done to get to this point in her career, and I’m sure she’d love to tell you.