by Princess Stomper
“Mostly only art created by women has any validity. The male experience has been created and recreated so often” – Everett True, 1992
That is such bullshit. It’s like saying that only Tuvan throat singing/rock hybrids have any validity because you don’t get much of that, either. (And, fuck, it’s good stuff.) I don’t flip the sleeve over to check the gender before I’ll listen to the record, any more than I’d think too much about whether they were, say, Turkish. And, yes, a Turkish act does bring a certain flavour to the mix that you rarely get with non-Turkish acts. It’s informed and shaped by its Turkishness but not wholly defined by it because it’s more than that and to reduce it to that is to insult it.
Take Aylin Aslim, for example. I don’t know who she is, but I love her. I don’t have the slightest clue what she’s singing about (though Google translate tells me it’s called “ghoul”). There’s definitely a Turkishness to what she does, but I don’t set out to listen to Turkish folk. I just like this one – her – because she has such a don’t-give-a-fuck attitude and playful energy that makes her an absolute joy to listen to.
It’s an attitude prevailant among women who enjoy rock music but not so much among those who don’t. What is it that makes us different? Too much testosterone in the womb? *Notes elongated ring finger.* Well, yes, but it’s more complicated than that.
When I was 16 I was in a band with a much older American who used to know Courtney Love. I quit the band before we played any gigs because my bandmate wanted to call us Beef Curtains. Courtney once said that Hole was not a genital reference – the line of inspiration was “there’s a hole in my soul”. If even Courtney Love thinks it’s vulgar, you might want to rethink your strategy.
(While we’re on the subject, what is the obsession with body parts? I heard Hermione from Harry Potter referred to as “the one with the vagina”. Seriously? “Lindsay Lohan’s dress was so short I could see her vagina.” I’d be impressed if you could. The vagina is the inner bit; the vulva is the outer bit. If you’re going to be vile, at least be correct. And my most hated: “hot piece of ass”. What, you don’t even get to be a whole ass? If you were any less of a person, you’d vanish altogether.)
Of course, Babes In Toyland could be pretty vulgar at times, but that went with the primal fury of their sound. Kat was a terrifying presence on stage, and I think that’s what Lorraine wanted to capture with our band. It would have worked for her, but not for me. I’m just not a screamer.