Comradery vs. Competition – Rock Guitar in The Spirit of Linda Nochlin

Posted: April 9, 2018 in Uncategorized

  1. Jiahui (Karen) Chen says:

    The music is rad! It’s cool to see comradery between women in a male-dominated field. Unfortunately I think it’s a rarity in most male-dominated fields, especially in a workplace environment. I’ve read about the fairly common occurrence where women feel they need to out-compete other women more than other men. As a Computer Science student, it seems especially prevalent in male-dominated tech jobs.
    I think there’s a perception of a certain number of limited spots or opportunities for women and separate spots for men, and each gender’s spots are separate entities with separate competitions. This leads to a cutthroat attitude towards other women and also does nothing to improve gender diversity overall.
    Apparently a name for women holding gender biases against other women in the workplace is called the “sisterhood cieling”:

    • I hadn’t heard the phrase you mention before now. It’s always odd and distressing to me to see women defending the patriarchy. I understand it’s entirely their right to do so. But I can’t imagine what motivates them. Nochlin, whom we might have treated more thoroughly, does make an important point about this. She says quite clearly that women in positions of privilege have much to lose by taking a genuinely feminist stance. Further, she claims that persons of privilege will never surrender their privilege unless they are made to. I can see these thought reflected in much of today’s news. There is no shortage of wealthy and secure persons assuming progressive labels and causes, though their progressive stance doesn’t extend any farther than their words. It would be nice to see these persons forced – non-violently – to confront the results of their actions.

  2. Uyen Hoang says:

    This was incredibly refreshing to see such beautiful female support systems and friendships born in like Karen noted, a male-dominated field. Not only is the field of rock music a male-dominated industry, but it is one that is seen to reflect attributes of hegemonic masculinity. In my personal opinion, both factors should be seen even more reason to create a healthy friendship with the other women in the field. However, the toxic mindset of competition is something media and society portrays through social media, film, and music for women: “Who is hotter?” “Who is more desired?” In contrast, with the rise of activism in our community and intersectional sisterhood, I have noticed more of a supportive, inclusive, benevolent environment amongst women that I hope only continues to grow. These female artists are enforcing a positive embodiment of humility and friendship and simply just makes me happy.

    • Though it struck many persons as very odd at the time, back when I taught Gender Studies, one of my favorite courses was one I dedicated to the electric guitar. I wanted to demystify the male-coded symbol of coolness and power. My hope was that persons other than straight white males would find, though the materials we studied, that learning what an electric guitar actually is, and how it works, would simultaneously demote the object while promoting the user – no matter how they identified. More recently, friends of mine have started up a Salt Lake chapter of Rock ‘n’ Roll Band Camp for Girls. This was so successful that it expanded into Rock ‘n’ Roll Band Camp for Womyn. These have been exciting and empowering events for all participants. I’m lucky to be able to hang out in such healthy and happy circles.

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