From The Supremes in the 60s to Debbie Harry in 70s. Following with Bananarama in the 80s along with Justine Frischmann of the 90s and girls such as Ellie Rowsell, Haim and Courtney Bartlett in the 00s. In retrospect of International Women’s Day 2017, alt takes a look at how girls have dominated rock music through the decades.
In a time where men dictated every aspect of society, the 60s was the liberation for women through improvements in women’s rights such as the Equal Pay Act and Married Women’s Property Act making them in some ways, on the same level of entitlement than men. Women like Cilla Black, Aretha Franklin and Marianne Faithful shaped the future of feminism from an increasingly intersectional perspective and the movement grew and grew from there on. Showing women across the country girls can do anything and still being relevant female icons in present day.
Moving on to the 1970s, it came with it one of the most important women in rock musical history. Debbie Harry bursted on the scene in the new waveband, Blondie in 1974. Installed with fearlessness,she proved women can take on the world of punk rock just as well as a men could ever could. Still day, bands such as Haim and Hinds look up to Debbie Harry as a true example of how a women should rock. Also coming from New York’s CBGB scene of the mid 70s, Tina Weymouth of the Talking Heads showed teenage girls across the world that girls can not only be the front women but also play instruments on the same level as men in which inspired many to start playing themselves.
The 80s wasn’t just famous for terrible hair and shoulder pads but also strong, independent females. Patti Smith rarely gets the credit she deserves as a major female icon of the 80s. Like Joan Jett and Chrissie Hynde, together, they cover the grounds of feminism personally and musically with their poetic take on the 80s.
The 90s was the decade of girl power with not only the Spice Girls showing their fierce side but along with fellow females such as Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth and Justine Frischman of Elastica. Together they seriously proved the power of the female paving the way of future girl bands in the 00s and the current day.
Now we come into the present day where coordinating denim jumpsuits don’t fit the bill anymore. However, we still live in a time where guys still tell girls how their guitar work, where journalists always question what it’s like to be a girl band and where they’re judged on whether they’re hot enough. But we also live in a time where some of the most successful and best bands are all female by doing it their way.
Who are your favorite female artists? What are your thoughts on feminism in the music industry? Let us know in the comments!