Wednesday, July 6, 2016

Non-Women In Womanless Bands

By: Ben Johnson

This is what you look like when you talk.

There’s one of those Important Community Dialogues going on in the general vicinity of my Facebook feed these days, and as rational of a person as I like to believe I am about not voluntarily burning to a crisp, I have an inner moth with precious precious straight white cis man feelings that can’t help but be drawn to the flame. Moths are annoying and predictable that way.

This one is about whether there should be women in bands. The idea is that, yes, there should be women in bands. And another idea is that, also, bands who don’t have a woman in them should think about having a woman in them. These are good ideas. It’s a little puzzling why this set of ideas would be threatening to anybody. But oh boy is it ever threatening to some people.

Like all men (yes all men) I fuck up real bad every single time I try to enunciate an opinion on matters of feminism. I start out with what I believe are good intentions, and then I’m talking, and then I’m the one talking rather than listening, and that act alone proves I’m not actually all that awoken to the actual content of whatever repackaged ally-positioned gibberish I’m currently spewing, and thus I end up taking a patently rickety rhetorical position that any moth who wishes can easily point out, and then when that inevitably happens I look stupid and feel stupid, which actually is not a bad thing for me to look or feel as a result of opening my mouth about anything having to do with women or womanhood.

Because I do not, and never will, know what I am talking about on that subject.

ALL THAT SAID… you know what? No. No buts. Just those things said. I don’t know what the hell I’m talking about. All I know about is general personhood.

Anybody can tell me anything and I’ll just do my best, okay? I get to decide the difference between right and wrong for me, and I have to act on those decisions and deal with the consequences of them, just like everybody else. I’d maybe prefer not to be told what to do, but hey, I’m a grown up. Grown ups have to deal with things they’d prefer not to deal with, like for instance utility bills or being told, correctly, that they should shut up once in a while, that their voices are crowding out other voices, that they are, because we all are in a general and essential sense and maybe some more than others if you’re a fan of concepts such as equality, stupid and wrong and unhelpful and unnecessary. Some grown ups have to deal with a lot worse than just being occasionally exposed to uncomfortable truth.

Anyway: I know I shouldn’t say anything. But sometimes I say things. I’m not perfect. I try to at least remember that it’s better if I listen.

Why not listen, dudes in bands?

It’s the least you could do after forming a band and peppering the whole world with event notifications that say, in essence, “hey please listen to me.” And if you’re not in a band: good job. Mission accomplished. Maybe consider also not posting on Facebook. I forgive you, because look at me here, but jeez. Look at us. We fucked up. We always fuck up so, so bad.