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: the songs that hate women and the women who 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.
Moving beyond the rigid and rudimentary “your fave is problematic” approach to cultural criticism, the collection will explore the joys of loving music and the tensions, contradictions and complexities it can involve. We intend it to be as much celebration as critique, a bit like a kind of feminist guilty pleasures.
The anthology will be published in 2017 by Repeater Books and there will be payment for all writers.