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If you've never heard the call to show off your boobs, it's like you have never existed!| Photo: Ota Hofr
If you've never heard the call to show off your boobs, it's like you have never existed! | Photo: Ota Hofr
Nikola Kandoussi -

10 Myths and Stereotypes about Female Bands Aka Born to Be Wild and Sexy

Dear women, if you love making music, you might join or start your own ensemble one day and it might happen that the other people in that ensemble are exclusively female. This is very welcome but be prepared for a few myths and stereotypes that you will face sooner or later. To make sure you're not too surprised by these comments, I'm happy to walk you through some of them—because you can be sure that everything you've heard or are about to hear, I've heard too.

Dear men, the lines below are not only for fellow female musicians but you as well. Although the vast majority of you are great and supportive, one can always find macho jerks who, even in the 21st century, feel the need to constantly define themselves against female musicians and show them "where they belong"—which is not an overblown fabrication, but a simple reality. So, which spectacularly embarrassing statements should you, as an intelligent man and/or fellow musician, definitely not lower yourself to?

1. "Not bad for girls."

Yes, the flagship of all macho catchphrases, a legend among the bullshit that can be let out of your mouth and our long-standing band joke, albeit uttered with a bit of gnashing of teeth because we still don't understand how anyone can say that.

You may have just played a freakin' rocking show, you can feel like you've played every note right. You might think the audience responded positively which means that - full of joy from a great gig—you go to grab a beer or you mix with the crowd and there HE stands. He gives you a look and without you asking any questions, he catches you and says: "You're from that band, aren't you? Well, you're pretty good for girls." Then he laughs at it himself or expects you to agree and/or thank him.

At that point, of course, it depends on the level of "balls" you have. You can get past this and not mess up your aura/chakra/karma/day. You can use irony (our literature teacher used to say that irony is the weapon of intellectuals) and reply with sufficient dryness, "Thanks, you have a pretty original comment for a guy." Or you can be a cool businesswoman and drag the guy to the merch stand and make him buy a T-shirt since it was good for girls—at least you will make a few bucks out of his stupid rambling.

2. "And you're like, lesbians?"

God knows why some people feel that if you're a woman in an all-female band, you must be into women too. Logically, it doesn't make sense since most men in male bands aren't gay either, but who cares about logic when it's far more interesting to address the sexual orientation of female musicians?

The "revelation of the century" is that not every woman playing in an all-female band is a lesbian. At the same time, yes, there are lesbians, and every now and then a bisexual gets mixed in. And amazingly, there are even straight, bi, gay and otherwise oriented women who can successfully coexist as normal, sane adults in a musical ensemble. That is, the same way men are expected to behave.

3. "Well, you must argue a lot."

To some individuals, the term "female band" inspires the wrong association with "a bunch of hysterics." I usually reply that I don't know about the others, but we like beer and music more than we like arguments.

So no, we don't scratch our eyes out, our van doesn't shake with bursts of demonic screaming on the way to gigs and when we have PMS we complain to each other about what's bugging us and how sick we are and bring each other chocolate.

4. "Hey, do you have male groupies? Ha ha."

Male band = groupies pushing their way backstage, inside vans and hotel beds. What about a female band? Do they have groupies too?

The answer is: probably not. Sure there are fans who go to concerts and quite openly like some of the female band members, but we haven't had crowds of dishevelled men (or women) standing in front of our dressing room. Definitely not me, as most people are obviously scared of me, given my rather rough stage persona.

5. "Show me your tits!"

If you've never heard the call to show off your boobs, it's like you have never existed! In our band, it has become sort of a parody. Sometimes fans chant it on purpose because we've just turned it into a joke. But yes, it did happen, and it was meant seriously.

At a moment like this, it's good to follow the example of the legendary band Girlschool who back in 1980 were fearlessly telling similar screaming idiots to show their dicks first. For some reason, no one ever complied and the girls effectively silenced every show-your-boobist.

I tried it too, it works, I recommend it!

6. "I also have a band / I also play..."

It's great to meet another musician and chat about playing or gear, whether they're your fans or not. But it's less cool when a stranger comes up to you after a gig and starts giving you advice without you asking because he "plays too" and "has a band too."

So in case you didn't know, he understands music and means well whereas you have a bad sound, a bad guitar which you hold badly, a bad singing voice and you're actually completely stupid. And you should thank him for graciously explaining this to you.

This combines great with point 1, it looks like this: "Hey, you're good for girls, but you should..." (sing in your language/play more punk/play less punk/move more/have a different sound...)

The term mansplaining has been invented for such unsolicited condescending lecturing. And I recommend you to agree on signals in the band which you will discreetly use in similar situations to make your bandmate come and drag you away (because you need to pack your gear), preferably backstage where you can finally relieve yourself with: "Jesus, what an asshole!"

7. "Waaaaait, I will (hiccup) helpyouu!"

Speaking of moving gear, you're going to get guys at gigs who are gentlemen—if you don't have your roadies, they'll offer to lend a hand and they won't let you carry your amps because they would hate to stand idly by and watch a girl struggle with a heavy four-rack box and risk a hernia. At that point, it's up to you if you accept their help or if you haul your stuff like you've done a thousand times before.

If you appreciate the extra hands, it is necessary to distinguish between two types of helpers and decide whether to let a stranger take your precious equipment bought for the money from your cancelled life insurance:

YES. A man comes in, he is sober and asks politely if he can help you before he begins to carry your stuff and only when you agree, does he join in the process and follows your instructions, treating the pieces of the equipment with respect.

NO. A man comes in, he's as drunk as a skunk, wipes his spittle on his jeans and with the words "Waaaait, I'll help you (hiccup)" and no permission, he rips the case with your Marshall amplifier out of your hand and almost crushes your fingers. You want to kick him in the shin, but you can't because the amp would fall. Since you can't do it quietly due to the background noise and the condition of the person, you yell at the top of your lungs not to touch it and that you'll carry it yourself. The insulted dude stumbles back to the bar and then announces that you are a pretentious bitch and your playing sucked anyway.

8. "Rock divas"

No one will probably ever find out how these horrible and hated terms came to be. But one thing is for sure—if your female band plays rock, expect to be referred to as "rock divas" in articles and posters at least once in your career. Or even worse, "sexy rock chicks." Even though you don't care whether you are or are not sexy, or don't feel like it at all.

I'd like to live to see someone someday write, "Four good musicians who have great songs." But that won't inspire the potentially paying audience to imagine a bunch of amazons wiggling around in latex, their eyes blazing fire and sex, occasionally strumming some chords on the guitar.

Nobody cares that it's false advertising. But you can at least have a good laugh when you're at home in your sweatpants mowing the lawn, lying asexually on the couch watching a movie or in the office explaining to customers that the job will be done later than expected. You little rock diva.

Rockové dračice v ČR nechceme | Foto: archiv Agony

9. "You were good, no wait, seriously. I mean it, like really good!"

This is a rather cute point, but I decided to include it. Sometimes after a show, when you're socializing with fans, they want to compliment you and when you sincerely thank them, it's like you're saying you disagree with them. So they try even harder to convince you that they mean it and that you're really good. And you thank them again and you're totally serious too because you're really happy that they liked your concert. But again, it triggers more convincing and reassuring.

It's a kind of perpetuum mobile, but after the third round, if the conversation isn't going in another direction, apologise politely and go carry your gear (see point 7) or finally change your clothes—if you don't say it arrogantly, everyone will understand.

10. "Really beautiful girls..."

I've never seen a presenter introducing a male band at an event with the words: "And here we have four handsome guys who also play well!" Female bands, however, are quite commonly presented this way. Who cares that you have quite interesting achievements in your band history which could be worth telling to a curious audience if they don't know you—what matters is that you are really beautiful girls.

It's very similar to point 8 and you probably won't know what to say at that moment because while you're pleased that someone thinks you're pretty, you'd like to snatch the microphone from the presenter and introduce your band on your own.

Sure, we don't look like monsters and we don't want to look like monsters. But we're at a concert, not a fashion show, so let's talk about the music, not just the looks.


These are 10 myths and stereotypes you're bound to hear or experience at least once on your musical journey. And if you don't, please start that female band again and better!

Do you have a similar experience? Share it with us in the comments.

P.S.: Today's article is part zero of my Notes from a Frontwoman series, which I'll be writing for Insounder starting next month.

Tagy Notes from a Frontwoman gender

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Foto: Honza Švanda
Frontwoman of the all-female heavy rock band The Agony. Once a student of journalism at FSV UK, now a woman in IT Service Delivery. She loves good coffee, cold Pilsner, sarcastic lyrics, good riffs, enthusiastic female musicians and…