Thursday, July 29, 2010

Female music bloggers, I know you're out there

I do now.

For a few years I was a music blogger at a popular website created to promote women's blogs Part of my job description was to link to other music blogs penned women, except that there weren't many. Or so I thought.

I would dig through the directory of entertainment blogs only to find that most of them focused on television or movies, or when I would find a well-written music blog, it was long-abandoned. I always thought I just didn't "look hard enough." Maybe I just wasn't looking in the right place.

Since then, I've found dozens of music or pop culture blogs written by -- or mostly written by women -- through the feminist blogosphere (here are  some good ones ), which is perfect, since I'm always looking at ways pop culture and politics intersect. Here's where I start to contradict myself: on one hand, I don't think it's enough just to write show or record reviews and maybe entice your audience with a few freebies; I need content. But on the other, women are still underrepresented in the music blogosphere. So, to recap:

* There are a lot of women writing about music.
* There are a lot of women writing about music, but not in "traditional" (read: male-dominated) spaces.

Well, that should come as a shock to no one.

I had a little "a-ha" moment when I read this quote from the latest issue of Bitch. It has nothing to do with music or blogging, but in a way, it's applicable here. Publishers Weekly's top ten books of 2009 didn't include any authored by women, leading one to believe the bias was intentional. Unfortunately, it's never that simple:

"Are people in the publishing industry biased against female authors just because? Not likely. Is our culture, as a whole, systemically biased against feminine themes? Yes, indeed."

That bias cuts across all forms of media. Women writing about their experiences as fans, musicians and critics are squeezed out of the mainstream, music blogging world. Their stories are labeled as "women's issues" (sometimes literally, as in Rolling Stones' "Women In Rock" issue), and deemed not as worthy.

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