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A little twisted look at women and music

The history of Norwegian female rock and pop artists invites both longed-for humming and thought-provoking humming, but struggles as the course goes on.


[music history] If you want to ensure a bad mood on a gender mixed vocal, you should send out some ointments about the number of female musicians at this summer's music festivals, and then the quarrel is underway.

Because there is nothing cuter than discussing gender and music, and there is nothing smaller than reducing skilled musicians to either balls or breasts. And yet, all the time, paradoxically, both feminists and sexists do.

Long-awaited story

The book Piker, wine and song is in many ways a long-awaited tale of Norwegian female rock and pop artists for 50 years, from child star Anita Hegerland to punk vocalist Katja Benneche Osvold. Hundreds of individual artists and groups from the 50-year history of Norwegian popular music are present, both known and loved, and forgotten and displaced.

Marta Breen effortlessly moves around the entire fabric, drawing a historical thread throughout the narrative, while at the same time describing the development of the various genres and trends of the various genres and trends, all the time with the general development of society as a backdrop.

"I wrote this book to correct the skewed picture," Breen writes, and she has

certainly succeeds. She tells of the country's very first girl band, The Dandy Girls, who toured the world in the mid-1960s with great

success, without anyone in the old country taking notice of it, and who was also completely forgotten when NRK-

The series Norwegian Rock's history was shown in the fall of 2004.

She rips up a series of simple releases over the years where the main task of the female artist has been to look either innocent or sexy, and she brushes dust off important environments, milestones and meeting places, such as Club 7, Plata Reis kjerringa with the Daughters of the Official, Women's Culture Festival on Kalvøya in 1979,

the creation of Akks, RadiOrakel, the Stiff Nipples releases and the Zoom project.

Problematic discussion

Many female musicians themselves are extremely uncomfortable with gender being made a point when their music is to be assessed and analyzed. Breen responds to this – which is true – that "as long as the music industry is still very male-dominated, gender will continue to be an issue". When she looked in the chapter "The Little Big Difference" she says that "women are not men. Men are not women. So far, everyone agrees ", then I wonder what it is we are discussing, and I experience that the discussion here ends up in the same essentialist way of thinking that underlies the one who has legitimized the differential treatment of women and men over the years.

Gender as a category is interesting to a certain point, but only as long as you simultaneously look at the category itself with a look of suspicion, and here I think Breen's analysis fails. I simply miss the feminist view, that which looks at the power structures, but which also sees everything that can actually break down these stereotyping structures.

gender Klaus

This deficiency is reflected in the chapter "Three Bautas", about Anne Grete Preus, Mari Boine and Kari Bremnes, who strictly have nothing more in common than that all three can be classified as women, and that they all got their commercial breakthrough in the 1990s.

The differences between the three – transgender differences based on identity-creating factors such as ethnicity, class, sexuality, temperament, life experience and so on – are in themselves enough to show that the discussion of "the small, big differences" between the sexes is, to put it mildly, meaningless. When the category "woman" is nevertheless not challenged anywhere during this chapter, the result is a seizure of gender in the undersigned after reading.

The way of thinking about the "natural" differences between women and men also legitimizes the idea that women are always other women's best role models, that female musicians can and should always be compared to other female musicians, and – not least – the same applies to men's communities.

Masculinity becomes something that is only managed and practiced by men, women are encouraged to continue to find "own expressions", and so we end up with their own rooms, their own scenes and not least their own music stories for and about women.

Reviewed by Siri Lindstad

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