Call for submissions


Discussions and analyses of music – whether on TV, in books or in the music press – have always been full of the stories of men. When female fans appear in these stories it is often through the eyes and from the perspectives of men – as muses, groupies or fangirls – meaning that women’s own experiences, ideas and arguments about the music they love are marginalised or glossed over. Women in music are frequently fetishised and objectified both in song lyrics and in real life, viewed purely in relation to men and through their impact on the male ego. But this hasn’t stopped generations of women from loving, being moved by and critically appreciating music – however that music may feel about them.

In this spirit, we are putting together an anthology of writing by women on their relationship with music. Under My Thumb: songs that hate women and the women that love them will be a study of misogyny in music through the eyes of women. It will bring together stories from music writers and fans about artists or songs they love despite their questionable or troubling gender politics, as well as looking at how these issues intersect with race, class and sexuality.

So, we need your stories! Is there a band or artist you’ve always loved despite their appallingly sexist lyrics? Do you have a favourite song whose gender politics you’ve recently become uncomfortable with? And what about songs by women – 60s girl groups, torch ballads – which also negotiate sex and love in a troubling or controversial way? Are there songs you identify with and wish you didn’t – or songs you wish you could identify with but, as a woman, don’t feel able to? As a music fan, how do you continue to listen to and love this music? 

Moving beyond the rigid and rudimentaryyour fave is problematic” approach to cultural criticism, our aim is to explore the joys of loving music and the tensions, contradictions and complexities it can involve. This book is intended to be as much celebration as critique. Think of it as a kind of feminist guilty pleasures. There are no restrictions on types of music here – we’re keen to get contributions across a range of genres, places and eras. 

Contributions can be in whatever form writers are comfortable with, and can be between 1000 and 3000 words. If you’re interested in contributing, please send us a brief pitch or synopsis which outlines your idea and which artists, bands and/or genres you want to focus on, at

The deadline for finished submissions is 1st September. The anthology will be published in 2017 by Repeater Books and there will be payment for contributors. Feel free to contact us with any questions in the meantime!