I Fight Dragons

The Girl in the Band.

I'm a lady. We'll, I can imagine by some people's standards I'm FAR from being a lady seeing how I drink beer, swear like a truck driver, and burp louder than the boys. But regardless of my poor manners, I am a woman. Female. Girl. Chick. Whatever. I've been one for 24.5 years. I'm also in a band full of guys. That, I guess, makes me the girl in the band. 


I've been wanting to write about this for a long time, and honestly I've been dreading it. Its so sensitive; talking about gender in the workplace. It makes me nervous. Not only is it a very touchy issue, but I certainly don't want anything I write to be misconstrued or frowned upon by other women. That would break my heart. 

I'm the girl in the band. The one and only girl. In my mind it makes perfect sense that I'm hanging out and creating music with 5 awesome friends of mine who I get along with and share a common creative goal with. Makes perfect sense. BUT somehow I'm still the girl in the band. The chick. 

Its a question I get a lot: "What's it like being the only girl?" "How was it touring with 5 boys?" "Were you going crazy without any women around?" I get it ALL THE TIME. I think a better question to ask would be, "What's is like using a powerglove to make music?" That, to me, is a much more interesting and relevant question.  But what is it like being the only girl? This is my blog to tell you. 

I have a lot of fun. When we chill I'm never the odd ball out nor am I ever uncomfortable. On tour I'm just as messy and clean as those boys. I don't play housewife with them and except for the rare occasion, I'm not mom. If anything. Brian is more mom than me. (Hi Mom!) We're all a team. We make each other coffee in the morning, grocery shop together, and take turns vacuuming.  

Its not until we leave our Band Bubble that I feel what its like to be the girl in the band. I'm often mistaken for the "Merch Girl" or treated as if I was someone's girlfriend or a groupie. Granted, on tour I was in charge of the merchandise, but what got to me was how often I was treated differently than the guys because of that...as if being the "Merch Girl" was something to look down on. A throw away. I can't tell you how many times I was stopped at the front door when the guys just walked on in. "Where is your pass?" "Its not on me, I'm about to play our set" "Oh, you're in the band" "Yah, with those 5 other guys that walked in before me and weren't stopped." It happened so much that I eventually got used to it. Not an ok thing to get used to. 

There were 12 people total on the mc chris tour, and I was the only girl. Again, I never felt uncomfortable or anything, but I began to see that it was a weird thing to have a girl on tour. It is such a male dominated business, and that becomes more and more clear to me every day. It is much much much more difficult for a woman to be respected for her music than a man is. Its astounding. I don't really understand why there aren't more women, or why chicks don't form more bands with dudes. <rant>Or how a "girl band" turns into something derogatory. "They MUST be angry feminists, or (God forbid!) lesbians," as if possessing any shade of either of those determines someone's humanity, talent or capability to make music that is beautiful, relevant, or marketable or all of the above. PLEASE.</rant>

Beyond the music business lies a public opinion of women, like we need to be protected or something.  I've shocked so many people by telling them that my fiance wasn't at all worried that I was touring with the guys in the same bus. "If that were my fiance, I wouldn't allow it. Absolutely not." I can't help but wonder, what do people think is going to happen? Honestly, its insulting. The truth is, I'd be more freaked out if I was traveling with 5 other girls! THAT is scary. The existence of catty girls is a whole other can of beans. It doesn't belong in a blog, it belongs in a science lab. "The Phenomenon of the Mean Girl." I digress...

So what is it like to be the girl in the band? 
I love it. I see it as an opportunity to be myself, and maybe be a role model for other women and young girls. I don't ever expect to be treated like a girl or like a guy...I just want to be treated like me. Like Laura. I just want to be myself. Not only do I get to rock out, but I get to be a hero, you know? I chose WonderWoman because she's her own hero. She's not like Supergirl or Batgirl. She's her own. I'm my own. I'm no damsel that needs saving.  I'm strong, sexy, feminine, unruly, gassy, curvy, outspoken, loud, quiet, shy, loving, caring, a little to feisty sometimes and so so so so much more. 

I am not just the girl in the band.

I'm Laura. 

My name is Laura, and I Fight Dragons.    


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3 Comments

Dani said:

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Amazing post!!!

I don't know much about the music business, but I follow a band of friends of mine, go to their shows and take pics for them. The band has 3 boys and 2 girls. One girl in the lead vocal, the other one is the drummer. I've seen a LOT of "Wow, the girl plays drums!!" over the years, but I never thought it could be such a big thing like what you told here.

I've always been WAY more comfortable being friends with guys than girls. And sometimes travel with friends of mine, all boys, so when you say "touring with boys" my first thought is that there's nothing wrong with it, and that it'd be crazy fun and awesome. But to think of traveling with an all girls band....... yeah, that would scary me too.

For what its worth, if I ever meet you in person, I wouldn't ask any of those questions, I'd ask: "How is it to be so awesome?".

Ian O'Dea said:

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I pretty much just think of you as AWESOME, and I've never understood how anybody could think you were anything but a member of the band :(

borg said:

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Oddly, this appears to have been posted twice. See the other post here. (It has four (different) comments from this one, and a different number of retweets.)

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