I have never been the subject of a boycott, at least not that I've been aware of. I just figured a general lack of interest in my shows and records counted as, at worst, a passive-aggressive way of the universe telling me "no one cares". Well, boycotts really are passive-aggressive activism, so I am somewhat pleased to finally be subjected to one. What do you call a boycott by one person?
This upcoming show I'm playing in LA became one such subject, in a private setting amongst friends so I don't need to name names (unless this person wants to reveal herself) or even characterize it specifically in those terms. If you can guess, it revolves around the "boy" in the "cott."
My friend decided semi-privately to no longer attend shows that consisted of all-male performers. It is well within her right to do so and I can understand her personal reasons for doing so, though I find it somewhat arbitrary in that one lady or one trans in the mix makes it "okay". But it's her rule, she gets to enforce it how she sees fit, gotta respect that. The only reason I felt somewhat shitty about it was that I did not organize this show, and I do notice when there is a gender imbalance on the stage when I'm playing and when I'm an audience member. For other reasons, I thought that this bill had been put together with people I all like and respect that seem to fit together, almost too well actually. If anyone is the odd duck out on this line up, it's my band, but aside from that, the private discussions that occurred out of this announcement fell victim to several tropes that I need to take in another direction since I'd like that discussion to remain somewhat private.
I am guessing if you read this blog you might take a negative view of anything perceived as "politically correct". I am on message boards where I considered bringing this subject up, but feel like any attempt to bring up gender, racial, or class issues is viewed as Polyanna-ish, which perhaps it is. This also seems to be the tack that Z Gun takes in the newest issue, which has a section reevaluating the canonical output of Riot Grrl bands by Ryan Wells. He makes the distinction early on to set aside the kneejerk male record geek reaction to the politics and focus solely on the music. He does a good job of describing and guiding through an admittedly broad field that covers Skinned Teen and Huggy Bear, but it seems like the context and varying political bents of these bands are pretty intrinsic to their presentation. I'm not beefing at all with Z Gun or Wells, but maybe the implied kneejerkiness of their audience, the idea that liking Riot Grrl bands requires a caveat or apologist stance.
At the same time, there is an accepted or excepted tolerance in Z Gun world for what is termed "Crimson Wave". The ur-document of this, and a fairly new one at that, might be the Die Stasi XXperiments LP. It's a really good comp actually, but I thought it was interesting to see how it could be the antidote to the all-dude noise jam that, in my boycotting friend's view, was an echo of the decline of hardcore in the '80s.
I have had other discussions with friends regarding kids we know in the whatever-you're-gonna-call-it circa now weird music scene, under 21, born around the inception of Riot Grrl, who do not understand how the music they like evolved or reacted to the overt political messages. What I'm NOT suggesting is that the XXperiments bands force some kind of feminist agenda onto their sonic templates, or that Z Gun have a wymyn's music column. Expecting that someone figuring their shit out when they are 18 is going to hold up artistically 15-20 years later is a tall order, which is what happens if you listen to Tattle Tale or Bratmobile in 2009 (it's also the case listening to most male punk bands fer crissake- yup, you hate your parents and just wanna skateboard). However, it's better than NO discussion, or at the risk of sounding like a Fogey, pretending we live in a post-gender America even as we are supposed to be in post-racial America - one post at a time, right?