By Jessica Bailey
Columnist

It’s fucking Friday and I want to bitch about groupies. Or rather, I want to bitch about people in the biz who actually think that groupies exist, and who treat their fans like they are “band sluts,” to quote one Syracuse-based hardcore musician who frequently shoots his big, fat, misogynistic mouth off about this topic on Facebook. Yeah, ‘cuz it’s real “hardcore” to act like a dickhead.

First of all, who the fuck are you to tell anyone what they are? Second of all, why would you even treat your female fans with that little respect? And thirdly, what makes you think that everyone is trying to hop on your dick just because you’re in a band? They are the ones that are going to your shows, and listening to your music, and supporting what you do, so it’s a pretty big slap in the face to insult them for that.

Lesbian Vampires

We at 20 Watts felt the need for further exploration into the “lesbian vampire” suggestion.

It’s this kind of stigma that makes it so difficult to hold your own as a woman in the music industry. While there have been plenty of inspiring ladies who have paved the way and proven you can rock out with or without your cock out, overall it’s still a boy’s club.

“I notice big bands like All Time Low treating their female audience with disrespect. They literally point to underage girls and tell them they are going to have sex with them,” said guitarist and TRF major Ethan Rose, who has played in several bands in the Upstate New York pop punk scene. Rose advises that in order to respect their female fans bands should: “Appreciate their love for you and your music. Be a role model and connect with them on a personal friend-type level, without the intention of making a sexual advance.”

While I don’t actually consider myself to be a woman in the music industry, I have still found my way into the local music scene by advertising for local groups like the Clarendon Collective, and by making friends with guys and girls who just happen to be musicians. We joke that I’m the groupie, but only because I don’t fit that label in the slightest. Slowly, yet painfully, I’ve become aware that even if I know that’s not who I am, there are a great many people out there who want to simplify my existence like that.

It’s made me self-conscious that any time I’m seen talking to a male musician, the public perception is that I’m trying to get into the dude’s pants. While I was in New York City over the summer I approached a group of guys at a party who had the telltale signs of creativity: tattoos, piercings, fuck-it-all attitudes. I talked to one guy about his punk band and invited them to come play upstate because it seemed like their sound was going to be a great match for the scene here.

At the end of the conversation he awkwardly asserted that he “had a girlfriend,” to which I shrugged and responded, “Uh… Ok, well, I’m not trying to hit on you. I’m just trying to set you up with my friend who is a musician in case you ever want to tour together.” Networking with members of the opposite sex is often mistaken for flirting, and it’s a struggle, and it’s not fun, but it gives me even more respect for the girls that have battled the stereotypes and come out on top.

What’s worse is that it’s a double-edged sword. If you go to the show and display even the slightest interest in talking to the men there, you’re a slut, and if you don’t, then you’re a dyke. I recently went to the Coheed & Cambria show at the Westcott. The crowd there, as is typical of the genre, was male-dominated, and I was standing alone, as it was impossible to locate friends amongst the mass of jacked-up bodies.

I overheard the men around me talking. Why is she here by herself? Should I talk to her? Is she a lesbian? Yeah, she’s probably a lesbian! A vampire lesbian, haha! You know, because as a woman who wasn’t showing any interest in the dudes around me, I was somehow defective in their eyes. It couldn’t be possible that maybe they have been my favorite fucking band for years and I was there to be fucking carried away by the goddamn music.

Frankly I don’t care anymore if I get called a slut, or a groupie, or even a blood-sucking, tit-sucking, lesbian vampire, because when I hear that those kinds of shitty labels thrown out I see them for what they really are— a thinly-veiled and insecure attempt to put me “in my place” as a woman. Unfortunately for you assholes, my place is in the front row doing whatever the fuck I want to do, so sorry I’m not sorry.

 

Jessica continues not being sorry every week in her “Fucking Friday” column.

  • Annie Licata

    “And thirdly, what makes you think that everyone is trying to hop on your dick just because you’re in a band? ”

    LOVE IT

  • Preach, girl, PREACH!

  • Erika

    Ugh I grew up hanging out with guys in bands because they were my friends. If I got called a groupie one more time for listening to them play, I was going to scream! Love this!

  • Kat Smith

    ahahahaha I am just now seeing this picture of the lesbian vampire and the caption. dying.