Women and MusicMarch 19, 2009
There are other, more qualified music experts in my family, but as a music enthusiast (some might say snob), I volunteered to write about women in music. In my opinion, just about every woman who has made it in music has broken through major barriers to get there. As in other fields, women often have to go above and beyond to prove themselves and to avoid or overcome stereotypes about their appearance or their just being another “chick with a guitar.”
And there’s a fascination with the personal lives of female musicians that I don’t think exists with men: think about what you know about Britney Spears, Amy Winehouse, and Rihanna. Read any articles lately on what inspires them as artists or how they go about their craft?
Anyway, for this series, we were supposed to write about a woman who broke through barriers in this field. But I had a hard time just picking one. I dismissed many of the obvious choices (Ani DiFranco, Nina Simone, Ella Fitzgerald, Madonna) because I just don’t know that much about them, and I thought it would be disingenuous to write about them based on what I read on their Wikipedia pages.
Instead, I’ll just ask you to share some of your favorite women artists. And if you don’t have any, seek them out (not in the tabloids!). Let’s celebrate women musicians and give them some AAUW blog publicity. Share your favorite women musicians and links to their music in the comments. I’ll go first.
This post is part of a special Women’s History Month series.