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Bands Who Bemoan Their ‘Teenage Girl’ Fans Are Missing the Point of Music

Discussion in 'Article Discussion' started by Melody Bot, Apr 15, 2016.

  1. Melody Bot

    Your friendly little forum bot. Staff Member

    This article has been imported from for discussion. All of the forum rules still apply.

    Alexandra Pollard, writing for The Guardian, looks at the myth that a band needs to have male fans to gain credibility in the music scene. I enjoyed the entire piece, but this really stuck out to me:

    As a reviews editor, I’ve lost count of the number of times writers have – while bemoaning a gig’s drawbacks – referred derisively to the amount of “teenage girls” in the crowd. It’s as if that phrase itself is a code that needs no further explanation, no elaboration as to why a young woman’s fully paid-up presence at the gig is, unquestionably, a bad thing. It isn’t. Their judgments are just as legitimate, their enthusiasm just as credible, even if their screams are a little louder. And if you think their taste is indiscriminate, you’d be wise to remember that for every One Direction, there’s a thousand other bands who tried and failed to gain even a fraction of their success.

    I remember making comments just like that in the past and it was ridiculous and stupid. We talk a little bit more about looking back on our past selves and why we think the term “guilty pleasure” is outdated in this week’s podcast.

    Petit nain des Îles likes this.
  2. Timmiluvs

    I play video games fast -- @Timmiluvs Prestigious

    This was an incredibly interesting piece to read. I remember all too well of being 16-17 and complaining that "I remember when <insert band name> played real shows to real fans instead of all these fangirls". Looking back I've always been ashamed of saying such stupid things, but also looking back I don't even realize why I said those things. It was just like taught to me by the scene that a crowd filled with girls was a bad thing or it meant that they only found the singer attractive or that it meant the band "sold out". All really stupid reasons to every think that about a band or a show, so this piece really hit home with how stupid I was years ago and how large the issue is that this culture of female fans are considered to not be "real fans" of music.
  3. HalfHearted


    This is literally the same exact feeling I had when reading this.
  4. Lucas27


    Unfortunately, I think I can do the same thing as a fan when I say things like, "Remember when these guys were playing for a small group of college kids instead of a bunch of screaming girls? Those were the days." I'm becoming more and more aware that a band's sphere of influence is infinitely more important than my discriminating against a group of fans that I just assume "don't get it". When I take that attitude, I'm basically putting myself on a pedestal next to fans whose hearts I don't even really know. They could be deeply affected and close with the band in ways I may never be. That's awesome for everyone.

    Terrific article overall. Aside from the content itself, I think it says a lot about the writer that she doesn't make it a trash piece on the singer of Mothxr and even quotes him at the end. Shows she really cares about this subject rather than the controversy surrounding it.
  5. RileyWitiw

    more like Supporter

    That drives me up the freaking wall. Sadly, it's a common sentiment in my local music scene.
  6. _unproductive


    When I was younger I remember being afraid to openly like a band that had mostly women fans because I was afraid it would make me look gay.

    Man I wish I wasn't so closeted back then cuz that was such a silly reason.
    Petit nain des Îles likes this.
  7. cybele

    set our hearts ablaze Supporter

    Even as a teenage girl (which feels like forever ago now) myself, I definitely remember struggling to publicly admit to liking certain bands because I didn't want to be lumped into that stereotypical idea. I was absolutely afraid of being seen as a dumb "fangirl" because I liked Pierce The Veil or Sleeping With Sirens.

    Now that I'm 23 (and an open fan of One Direction and Twenty One Pilots) I find that idea totally appalling. It's amazing to me how much misogyny is internalized and how harmful it can be towards young women who are just trying to find things that they enjoy in life.
    Cola. and Petit nain des Îles like this.
  8. Morkypep


    I recently went to see Marianas Trench, I was extremely excited because I love a whole bunch of their songs, but I really just didn't dig it. The whole persona he was trying to give off felt so fake and choreographed. The reason I didn't like it has nothing to do with the thousands upon thousands of young women around me screaming. It's that the performance was catered to what the producers of the show thought these young women would like. It just wasn't my thing, and I don't think there's anything wrong with pointing that out.
  9. mercury

    modern-day offspring fanatic Supporter

    This topic really resonates with me, and it ties into a whole lot of negative attitudes in the industry. I've definitely had times, especially when I was younger, that I was upset seeing a small band that I had been following for a while gain mainstream success - I remember pretty vividly being shocked (and not in a good way) when a football player in high school made a comment to me about one of Manchester Orchestra's albums leaking. Along with the gender-based & artist-focused points in the article, there's a lot of animosity from "original" fans directed at ones who are more recently discovering a band... and it bothers me a lot.

    It's hard for artists to make money as smaller acts, so it follows pretty logically that fans should be happy to see their favorites successful, but instead it's often received by certain fans like they're losing membership to an exclusive club. And that's sad. I don't think it happens as much as it used to (or maybe I just try not to shit on new fans like I used to, idk), which is nice, but it's a thing I think about a lot.
  10. Kiana

    Goddamn, man child Prestigious

    I think teenage girls are cool. idk why they get so much flak. By far the worst shows I've ever gone to have been ones where the crowd is primarily male and in their mid 20s. It's like a douchey drunken hollering grope fest
  11. Crisp X

    Don't stop looking at me Supporter

    Music fans who get overly possessive over artists, bands, things they like make me uncomfortable. Why do people have to turn everything into a competition ?
    cybele likes this.
  12. skogsraet

    Trusted Supporter

    I remember being 12 to 16 and watching live videos of my favorite bands (My Chemical Romance and Panic!, mostly) and seeing thousands of girls my age in attendance and wondering why boys didn't seem to like the same music. When I was younger I had a lot of internalized misogyny (to the point where I hated even the word "woman", I claimed at the time, for its connotations of housewifery and stereotyped excessive emotions -- it was BAD) so it really did bother me to see such an imbalanced audience. I really appreciate the author mentioning that the response to huge bands like Rolling Stones and the Beatles was primarily female, and it got me thinking that perhaps, like a previous commenter, a lot of guys were turned off by the music because they didn't want to be associated with the female fanbase and whatever social stigma would come from that expectation. I'm tempted to say that gender imbalanced crowds are less about the music and more about social stigma surrounding a band. When Panic! at the Disco were wearing makeup and extravagant costumes on stage 11 years ago, before seriois discussion of gender roles and binaries reentered the mainstream, it's not a huge leap for me to think that it would be uncomfortable for the average guy to admit to being a fan.
    jawbreaker likes this.
  13. Cola.

    I was such a looker in the old days Prestigious

    KayJay. likes this.