Don’t Touch Me – Being a Woman in Music

I’ve taken a break from the blog recently as I haven’t felt the push to write much – sometimes it’s nicer to get out of your head and listen to something else, but this week I’ve been driven to write because a recent event sparked my need to express myself.

I find continually that at clubs, after gigs I play, and in bars that I am being touched. I like my own space, I don’t think it’s too much to ask to not have strangers hands on me. I don’t want it.

After gigs I come off stage and it is as if men (and I say men here, not to generalise, but because it has never been a woman) feel that now they’ve watched me bare all in front of a crowd they think I’ll be fine being leered over and touched. Now I’m not adverse to a hug, or a pat on the back, but every fucking gig at least one person will make me feel like an object, or make me feel sexualised, and it is degrading.

You may think that I ask for it, being in an all girl band, dressing ‘provocatively’, getting a bit naked, singing about sex etc etc but WE ARE AN ACT. It is for stage. Don’t get me wrong, I believe everything we speak about and stand for, but if you think I’m a bit ‘raunchy’ on stage, it doesn’t mean I want to be raunchy with you also. I’m enjoying the music, my sexuality, the attention, being in my own body and expressing it how I choose to.

And another thing – so so so many times after a show guys I’ve never met will come up to me trying to advise me on how to do something better, trying to tell me what I did wrong, coming into our green rooms to talk about the gigs they’ve done. I understand that women in the industry will do this too but again, like the touching, I’ve never experienced it. I’m appreciative if it is genuine advice, but quite frankly I don’t give a fuck and I don’t want to hear it as soon as I jump off stage. I am doing this for me, and the band, and no one else. Email our manager if you care so much. In all the time I’ve played music with guys I’ve never had people pull them off stage and try to advise them on how to play an instrument better, or on what song to play or not play.

I am doing this because I bloody love to play, and be on stage, and write music. I’m not doing it to get ‘the best audience’ or to attract a ‘bigger crowd’. If I wanted that I’d get a keyboard in and re-write a Taylor Swift album. Music is all about taste. It’s great that we’re getting awesome gigs, a decent following and lovely reviews, but it’s not the reason I’m doing it. Some people like us, some hate us, but as long as we love us, it doesn’t matter in the slightest.

It is HARD to be a women and be vocal and controversial, and loud, and ‘immodest’, despite the (at least) minimal knowledge of feminism most people have. It is hard, but it is also liberating, endorphin boosting and bloody good fun!

Keep going, and this goes for anyone within the creative industry. Be strong in the fact that you are doing what’s right for you. There are negatives to everything, but don’t let that stop you!



Photo by Debbie Ellis

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