femme mag

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The Orielles – Yassassin – Pixx – Onyda - Girli


Rosie Smith


Heaps of sweat, tears, and glitter have gone into the making of the

first issue of Femme. Femme started as a weekly radio show

dedicated to increasing gender equality within the music industry,

a place where women and non-binary artists are often overlooked,

sexualised etc ..

Femme zine is a creative space, showcasing not only the best in

female music talent around, but also some extremely talented photographers,

artists illustrators and much more. There’s still a lot

more to be done in the name of equality in the music industry, but

we’re hoping Femme will have a postitive impact on this pressing

issue.

We hope you enjoy reading Issue #1 as much as we enjoyed

making it.

D & G x

C

O

N

T

E

N

T

S

New music

The Orielles 3

Yassassin 7

Pixx 11

Femme introducing

Onyda 15

Cover story

Girli 21

Think piece

Stand up for the

lineup 29

Femme international

Revoltionary Swedish

punk bands 31

Art

Rosie Smith 36

Poppy Crew 38

Girls support girls

Girls Against 39

Bitch Craft 40


The

Words by Mel Svensen

Photography by Ema Crompton

Orielles


After meeting at a house party and bonding over a love of music, The Orielles

have seen male contemporaries overtake them over the years. Held back by

no means bytheir music – which is certainly on par with, if not better than,

said peers – but rather by an industry that continues to be widely dominated,

and working in favour of, men, The Orielles face a battle that is sadly far too

common. That being said, for one so common, it’s seemingly not picked up on

until you’re thrown in the middle of it. Indeed, as The Orielles admit: “we were

quite young and naïve and so the concept of being a woman in a band didn’t

seem unusual… we weren’t fully aware that there was so much sexism in the

music industry.” They also mention music should never be gender specific, so

it would be wrong to assume the industry that creates it is.

And they’re right: music isn’t gender specific. But the scenes and culture

surrounding it quite often are, and are a huge factor in dissuading girls from

joining bands. From the football chants of Courteeners gigs, to the constant

reports and rumours of unwarranted sexual advances (from both fans and

bands), the music scene often isn’t a safe space for girls. “I certainly hope

it doesn't deter young girls from picking up instruments and starting bands,

but due to it being such a male dominated industry I can see how it would,

especially with bands like Cabbage actively dissuading girls from even

attending gigs through their behaviour,” says Esme, the frontwoman of The

Orielles. This is understandably more than enough to put anyone off – why

would women want to be a part of a scene where they feel so threatened

and unwelcome? Despite this, Esme also hopes, with an apparent rise of girl

bands occurring, that it is doing the opposite: “it gives them an excuse to

begin playing as they have something to prove!”.

It’s this idea that women have to prove something, however, that is so

troubling. “Our drummer, Sid, often gets belittling comments about how good

her drumming is ‘for a girl’… and I always get the standard ‘why don’t you

smile more?’”. It’s unfortunately a discrimination that transcends to other

bands in the scene too, with The Orielles admitting they often feel unwelcome

in green rooms or after parties as “people seem to direct conversation about

songwriting towards Henry (the band’s bassist), expecting that he writes

all of the material”. These dismissals and discriminations are one of the

contributing factors making breaking the industry as a girl-band or a woman

so difficult; the idea that women are good ‘despite’ their gender, rather than

their musical ability, means women have to work ten times harder to prove

their talent.


“I always get the

standard ‘why don’t

you smile more?’”


Yet within all this, we face another issue. In tackling issues of being a woman in

music, it feels as though we’re feeding into the idea of women being an ‘other’, or

a novelty. This mentality is widely prevalent across the media, where Wikipedia has

a ‘Women in Music’ page, without a male counterpart. The suggestion that women

are somehow encroaching on, or ‘attempting’ to break into, an industry that is

naturally male is highly upsetting. Yet, until it becomes ‘normal’ to be a woman in

music, it seems we should highlight and celebrate while also normalise women in

the music industry. “We always get clichéd comparisons to female musicians due

to our female presence in the band, even if we sound nothing like the artist,” tell

The Orielles. “I think we can only combat this by getting people to normalise the

idea of being a woman in a band”. Though it seems the logical solution to this is to

not label women in music as just that, in doing so women seem to be ignored. Until

then, the only way is to stand up and shout that women and non-binary talent are

here, and they don’t expect to be treated any differently due to their gender.

However, throughout all of this, The Orielles seem hopeful, and the future definitely

looksbrighter for female musicians. “Girls just need to feel as encouraged as

possible to start playing music and not take shit from anyone in the industry, and

not give up when they experience sexism, but use it as a catalyst into making

something super special to say, ‘you know what, fuck you!’”. While gender

inequality in the music industry has been present for decades, projects like Girls

Against and FEMME are certainly doing all they can to break down barriers. While it

may take a little more effort, there’s no doubt that female dominant bands like The

Orielles are on their way up, despite their gender.


Y

A

S

S

A

S

S

I

N

Words by Dani Ran Photography by Poppy Marriott


London five-piece

Yassassin are

tired of being

SEEN as a novely

It’s an unusually sunny Tuesday

afternoon when I meet Yassassin,

AKA Anna, Joanna, Ruth, Raisa,

and Moa, ahead of their gig at

The Garage in North London. The

streets of Highbury & Islington

hung heavy in the aftermath of

500-odd Harry Styles stan-girls

following the singer’s debut solo

show at the same venue just a

couple days before. “Can you

believe it, we’re playing the same

venue as Harry Styles!” Ruth,

Yassassin’s drummer sarcastically

says to me. I could believe

it - pretty much a modern day Le

Tigre meets The B52’s, Yassassin

are arguably one of London’s

most exciting new bands, and

certainly deserve to be on any

stage, let alone one Harry Styles

has been on. What I couldn’t

believe, however, was how someone

like Styles, former One Direction

member and quite frankly

woeful musician (no shade, Haz),

was gaining headline shows and

worldwide notability – far more

than Yassassin have in their

18-months as a band - simply

for being a moderately attractive

male with a less than average

musical ability. Thus sparking the

question: why?

There’s certainly no shortage of

female-led, queer, and all female

bands in the UK at the moment,

but if you asked a member of

the general public to name any,

they’d probably struggle to think

of anyone other than Spice Girls

or Little Mix. Yassassin’s bassist

Raisa reckons it’s to do with press

coverage of the underdogs in music.

“Magazines aren’t looking for

any good indie music anymore,

[they’re] just going with bands

pushed to them from some record

label” she says. “There’s no risk,

it’s almost like clickbait. Just like

feminism, they want to please

the reader without any effort and

without knowing what they’re talking

about” she continues jokingly.

Raisa’s point is spot on. Women,


especially within the indie scene,

are highly disregarded across the

board as the big dogs are booking/promoting

people-pleasing

(male) acts more than ever. Yet,

Yassassin certainly don’t let this

dissuade them from writing and

playing music. “We view ourselves

equally to other bands. Like, we

don’t think of it as a novelty that

we’re an all-female band, we just

create the music we want” says

Anna, Yassassin’s front-woman.

Somehow, girl bands are still

widely seen as a novelty act, like

a bearded lady in a circus. Passers-by

gawk in disbelief at women

being any part of a band other

than a singer, backhandedly complimenting

female instrumentalists

for being “pretty good for a girl”

- PSA, it’s not a compliment. One

thing that all members of Yassassin

made clear was how fed-up

they were of being asked what it’s

like to be a woman in the music

industry. Of course, it does play a

huge part for Yassassin lyrically as

“all of [our] uniquely female experiences

go into our songwriting,

like being catcalled or sexualised”,

however, there is a huge differ-

ence between commenting on oppressive

gender experiences your-

self and being deprecated down

to solely your gender by others.

“Even though we’re women, we’re

musicians too,” says Anna.

It’s understandable how Yassassin

would want to avoid the

gender topic altogether when it

seems to be the only thing some

people focus on, however it does

still play a huge part in terms of

their influence on younger women.

The band made clear that

although they don’t have a set

target audience, what they really

hope to achieve is playing an

all-ages show. “We got so much

feedback when we supported

GIRLI at her all-ages show. Young

girls came up to us after our set

and told us we’d inspired them to

start a band. I guess that’s quite

an important thing to factor in, as

when I was young I didn’t really

have that role model or idol”.

And fantastic role models they

are, with lyrics surrounding the

subjects of sticking out from the

crowd and being yourself in the

ode to social standards ‘Social

Politics’ and defiance to conform

to society’s standards of beauty

in ‘Pretty Face’, hurling “If you like

my pretty face, I’ll wash it off”.

Admittedly, I wish I had role models

like Yassassin to look up to

when growing up – kick ass girls

with a brilliant message; be your-

self and fuck social standards.


“Even though we’re women,

we’re musicians too”


Pixx

Words by Grace Goslin

Photography by Rhi Barton

In a central London

Wetherspoons amidst the

throng of an unhappy couples’

break- up, perhaps there was

not a more apt time to speak

to Pixx about the success of

her debut album, its inspiration,

and the importance of girls

supporting girls in creative

industries.

‘The Age of Anxiety’ is an

ethereally electronic and

flawlessly crafted ode to our

increasingly social media

obsessed generation. Its

creator, 22-year-old Hannah

Rodgers, best known as Pixx.

The album’s title is taken from

a W.H Auden poem and feels

just as apt in 2017 as in 1947

when the poem was curated.

Anthemic choruses culminate

with soaring and equally

haunting vocals in an album

that is essentially a musical

reflection of Rodgers herself.

The album’s artwork itself

channels the future, but ‘The

Age of Anxiety’ is very much a

hopeful album for the uncertain

present.

Recorded “over the duration of

a year”, listening to ‘The Age of

Anxiety’ you get a sense that

you could either lounge, cup

of tea in hand, or alternatively

(almost always preferably)

dance around to the record,

carefree and enlightened. In

response to this refreshing

juxtaposition of ideas that her

album promotes, Pixx told us

“I think the reason it comes

across in that way is because

I’m quite extreme. The album

is very much representing me

as a person. I aimed for it to be

like that, because there are so

many sad albums, where I will

listen and think “oh my god,

this is so sad”, and then there

are albums which are way more

vibey! I feel like the mixture

is quite important. I kind of

wanted to represent what the

songs were standing for, in the

fact that a lot of them are about

battling with mental health. The

up’s and down’s are a portrayal

of that.”

Pixx’s captivating live shows,

which are “quite a lot heavier

than what you hear on the

record” channel these ‘vibes’

which punctuate her record.

Through creating a “different

listening experience”, Pixx

spoke of the difficulties

associated with performing a

studio album live: “It’s hard with

electronic music, lots of artists

have found, as I have found,

it’s hard to do it justice live and

also keep a good vibe. I didn’t

like the idea of it not being a

band, even though obviously

I write all the music, I want to

have a live band behind me for

my own fun and also for the

listeners to be able to vibe way

more. It’s different. I don’t think

that’s necessarily a bad thing,

something people can spend

however much time trying to


“Using

music as

an escape

is one of

the most

important

reasons

I think

music

exists”


ecreate something they’ve

done in the studio live, but I

don’t understand why there

can’t be different versions of

the songs. It just means it’s a

different listening experience,

as it should be because it’s

live!”

At present, there are large

amounts of political uncertainty

creating a largely uncomfortable

social climate which we are

all subjected to. Music as

a form of escapism is not a

new idea, but a necessary

one nonetheless. We asked

Pixx whether this sense of

escapism was intended in

‘The Age of Anxiety’. “Yeah,

definitely!”, she answered. “It’s

an interesting one actually,

because a lot of the time I

think my writing comes from

subconscious as well, like,

I’m not necessarily aware of

what I’m writing about, and I

can end up looking back and

realising that I am telling myself

something through music.

Using music as an escape

is one of the most important

reasons I think music exists.

People can use it for that, and

they can shut off. It doesn’t

have to be “I understand this”

or “I relate to this” or “I’m going

to pick this song apart” - it’s

about being able to listen to

an album and shut off and

let your mind go wherever it

needs to”. This idea of simply

listening to music is a needed

simplification in complicated

times. Overanalysing isn’t

necessary with ‘The Age of

Anxiety’. However, shutting

off is becoming increasingly

difficult.

With a generation damagingly

obsessed with social media

presence and creating an online

persona, our unhealthy reliance

on social media is something

that Pixx finds “weird”, and

rightly so! “Mostly the thing that

I’ve found weird over the past

couple of years is how much

social media has an impact

on my life and everyone’s

lives. And feeling like you can

never really escape because

you’re never really alone. I

find it quite disturbing, and I

think it can allow us to ignore

what is going on in the world

and things that are politically

incorrect, and ignore things

that we would otherwise have

to deal with straight up! Also,

it allows people to become

weaker if they have a front on

social media, like “I do this”

“I do that” and “I can say

what I want”, but in real life I

think it makes you more of a

coward. I find [it] particularly

difficult, some artists opt out

of having any kind of social

media – part of me wants to

do that, then part of me thinks

that would be denying what

is happening. I have to be a

part of it, otherwise I would be

living in the past.” This internal

confliction with social media

is one which is relatable in its

entirety.

In times that have the potential

to create such hostility, women

supporting women and

showcasing female talent is

crucially important. In response

to this need for creative support

among female and non-binary

creatives, Pixx told us “I think

it’s very important at the

moment that there are so many

young females, or non-binary

people coming around and

bringing awareness, and giving

people the confidence to be

outspoken about it. It’s difficult,

but I still have conversations

with old friends, where I’m

like “what the fuck!?” “what

page are you on”, you know.

Particularly with men, but also

quite often with women where

they cannot understand that

it’s ridiculous that we’re in 2017

and women still don’t have any

kind of equal chances to men,

and that’s just how it is, and

we are just meant to accept it.

I think it’s important that young

people are rising and drawing

attention to it, that’s exactly

what we need!”


FEMME

INTRODUCES..

ONYDA

Words by Grace Goslin

Photography by Poppy Marriott


Femme got to know upcoming musician Onyda, talking

labels, social conventions, gender, industry

pressures, musical inspiration and future goals.

20-year-old Stoke based Onyda, AKA Shae Maunders, creates

a wall of singer-songwriter smoothness which is both ethereal

and electric, an apt backdrop for instinct lead and honest lyrics.

Drawing upon multiple musical influences, Onyda’s music cannot

be categorised as simply one thing or another - rather an organic

combination of relatable narratives, fitting sampling and

hauntingly soulful vocals, making for the ultimate light-listening

experience. With just two Spotify singles swirling amongst new

music algorithms, Onyda’s lack of released content boasts anticipated

future releases, supported by the likes of BBC Introducing.

How would you

Describe your music?

Hmm, how would I describe

it? I don’t think it’s something

that I’m conscious

of, I would say it tends to

be electronic. I just love so

many different types of

music that I end up making

something that’s just to my

instincts, but I don’t actually

know what that is.

What does it mean to you

to be a woman in music?

Well, I think to be woman in

anything in the world that

we live in is something! It

means something to be noted.

We don’t even get paid

the same as men, so to be

a woman doing anything is,

in a way, is to be a woman

defying every man doing the

same thing.

How do you find being

referred to as a female

artist, would you rather

gender didn’t play

a role and you were

judged purely

musically?

It doesn’t bother me personally,

I think some people

wonder how I identify because

of my shaved head

and I always seem to dress

differently to other people,

but it’s not something I think

about. I don’t really care to


e honest. It’s bullshit that

people even have to come out

ect… people need to chill out!

Have you come across any

difficulties in the industry

so far as a result of

gender?

I haven’t personally, but my

time in the industry has been

limited so far. Obviously, even

though I’ve never experienced

any I do feel affected by what

is expected of a woman in the

music industry. There is a lot of

pressure to be a lot of things, as

we get older in the industry we

lose appeal, there’s a pressure

to be attractive…that’s how I

feel affected.

I think there’s a lot of

pressure to be femininely

beautiful to have worth in

the industry.

I think there is a lot of competition

in the industry between

women because of those pressures.

Not only in music though,

I think that’s society.

I really enjoyed the line in

‘Young and Stupid’ where

the words “nobody said I

couldn’t be trashy” were

included. I thought it was a

‘fuck you’ to what society

tells you to do, was that

the idea? And if so, how did

that line come about?

Yeah, actually! I have a friend

who posts loads of provocative

photos on Instagram, well she’s

the same in real life, what you

see on social media is what

she is like. The point being that

she doesn’t give a fuck! It’s the

whole thing about not needing

to wear clothes because we are

told we should. It’s about not

listening to set boundaries.

Who’s to say what ‘proper’

is anyway! What are your

favourite things to write

about?

Mainly my relationships with

people, whether that be a

friend, or boyfriend or family,

and just how people relate to

each other. Humans are the

most mind boggling people,

and I think they are both so stupid

and so amazing and beautiful

at the same time. I think we

are so fragile that there is a lot

going on. I always other think, I

feel like when I’m with a person

my brain is always ticking trying

to figure them out.


What are you goals for

the future?

Just to make as honest music

as possible, and to make

enough money to get by. I’m

kind of fucking sick of being

broke, (that’s another one liner

for a song aha)! Yeah, I just

want to make honest music.

It’s hard with the pressure to

pump out music and stay on

the hype and momentum in

the industry, it’s hard to have

room to breathe. I want to put

out the music out that I actually

want to make, and make

sure it’s alright.


Welcome

to...

Girli’s room

Words by Dani Ran

Photography by Ed Little

Illustration by Poppy Crew


GIRLI

THE

IS

THE ROLE

MODEL

WE WISH

WE HAD

GROWING

U

P


19-year-old Milly Toomy, more

commonly known by her stage

name GIRLI, is likely to be your

middle-aged Conservative father’s

worst nightmare. Fluorescent

magenta locks drape her unconventionally

painted face, stick-andpoke

tattoos cover her traditional

English rose complexion, and profanities

are generously sprinkled

throughout her patriarch-attacking

lyrics. To us young femmes,

GIRLI is the perfect revolutionary

role-model teaching us to stick

our middle finger up to the world,

as we attempt to exist in a time of

political uncertainty, mass gender

inequality, and a time where Donald-fucking-Trump

is essentially

the most important person in the

world.

In such a quite frankly uncomfortable

time, it’s important to have

role-models like GIRLI to say “you

know what, screw this. Be yourself,

and forget what anybody else

thinks”. Girli is fully aware of her

unorthodox appearance, firing

“Don’t you think you would look

nicer with brown hair / When you

have children they’ll sit in their high

chair / Look at their mummy and

see the disaster / Don’t you forget

that appearances matter” in her

most recent single ‘Not That Girl’.

Her avante-garde appearance and

don’t-give-a-toss attitude to style,

both musically and fashionably,

comes as somewhat of a refreshment

to us millennials, where

we’ve ultimately been brainwashed

to conform to gender

stereotypes and uniform style

since birth. “My parents always

talked about politics at home and

spoke their minds, which taught

me that it was good to have an

opinion and discuss issues”, Girli

admits. Unfortunately, debates and

discussions of important issues,

like gender inequality, are rare to

come-by without a bit of prodding

nowadays, so kudos to Papa and

Mama GIRLI.

The singer’s encouraging upbringing

has definitely had a positive

effect on her music. Her music,

which mirrors the style of PCmusic

and Harajuku bubble-gum

pop, certainly stands out from

the majority of music around

today. If you’re a young female

musician just starting out in the

industry, it’s likely that people will

assume you’re going to sing your

bog-standard standard Saturday

night X-Factor ballad. The assumption

is dreadful, but undeniably

something that has been ingrained

into all of us over the past 50-odd

years; women sing sad, slow, ladylike

songs. This expectation to live

up to society’s standards, especially

musically, is something that

Girli addresses in one of her earliest

singles ‘So You Think You Can

Fuck With Me Do Ya’. “Hey, you

thought I was gonna do a ballad? /

Fuck off” is what the singer howls

after a verse of singing perfectly


in tune, then continuing on to her

signature cyber-pop and rap hybrid

style. “I wanted to play with the

fact that so many people would

probably see me, a young woman

all dressed in pink, and assume

that I was going to sing them a

pretty ballad. So I gave them that

pretty ballad for 30 seconds, then

threw a load of abrasive shit in

their face that they weren’t expecting”,

Girli confesses.

Being a small fish in a pond so

large can be extremely difficult,

especially for a young woman.

Being thrown in said pond at just

15-years-old, Girli found herself

more than capable of swimming.

The music industry can be a frightening

place for people of all ages

and genders, let alone someone

so young. Instead of conforming

to what the industry could have

shaped her to be, Girli stuck to

her guns, and her confidence and

independence is something to be

admirable of. It’s no wonder her

music resonates with so many

young people who are just find

their feet and coming into their

own, as Girli eludes such a blithe

attitude towards fashion preferences

and social standards. When

asked whether she felt she had a

responsibility as a role-model to

the next generation of riot-grrls

(and boys), Girli replied “Yes, I do

definitely. I wanna make music that

would had inspired me when I was

a young girl. I want to make music

that’s relatable, and not so far off

people’s reality”. We’re currently

living in a surreal and hapless reality,

one that preaches short skirts or

ripped tights are synonymous with

the word “slut”, one that suggests

it’s better to be monotonous than

be labeled outlandish.

Call her what you like, but it won’t

phase Girli. She admits that fame

isn’t necessarily the motive, moreso

social and political commentary

that will reach the masses and

eventually change perceptions.

Until we reach that point however,

we’ll just keep having to point our

middle finger up to the patriarchy

in true Girli fashion.

“I WaNNA MAKE MUSIC THAT

WOULD HAD INSPIRED ME

WHEN I WAS A YOUNG GIRL”


S TA N D

UP

FOR

THE

LINE

UP

Words by Grace Goslin

I know for a fact that when in the throng

of the summer sun, tent finally pitched,

and crumpled warm fosters in hand, the

not so small matter of lineup injustice is

hardly at the top of a festival goer’s priority.

However, now mid festival season and

with all the post glastonbury enthusiasm

we can muster, it’s time to talk about line

up inequality.

Whilst commercial festivals such as

Coachella and Glastonbury have boasted

headliners such as, Beyonce, Sia, Adele

and Florence and the Machine in recent

years, female artists are still a minority on

a line up. According the Huffington Post

the percentage of singularly all female

artists (not including mixed acts) stood at

a mere 5-19% at the festivals they explored.

With Reading and Leeds Festival

often scrutinized for misrepresentation

of female and non binary artists, with the

lineup reportedly consisting of around

56% all male bands. Festival organisers

often speak out about the lack of female

talent on a line up and aren’t blind to the

injustice, often championing progressive

changes to reach equality. Then why, if

there is an awareness of casual sexism


in the music indiustry isn’t more being done to counteract its effects?

Emerging female talent is some of the most inspiring and

exciting. I think it can be agreed that Kate Tempest’s cut throat

politically charged spoken word piece reached Glastonbury and an

entire nation this year.

Not only do festival line-up’s prioritise male acts, but also when

women do headline festivals they are often undermined as standin’s.

Florence and the Machine’s 2016 Glastonbury headline slot

was issued as a controversial stand in slot for the absent Foo

Fighters. This isn’t the first time that female headliners have been

championed by simply filling in for male absentees,an offensive fact

that almost diminishes female artists talent and capabilities. It is

wrong that a headline status should only be gained by filling in the

gaps for male counterparts. In their own right, both artists deserved

headline slots independent of absent acts. In 2014 Lily Allen took

to the Latitude headline spot, filling in for Two Door CInema Club.

Both Florence and the Machine and Lily Allen have received brilliant

credit throughout their continued careers, and rightly so. It seems ill

fitting that capitalist and commercial success isn’t echoed on that

star studded line up that makes you dish out £250 pounds of your

hard earned cash.

Leaving the issue of headline acts, an argument made by many

who endorse the lack of female artists on a line up is the flippant

statement that “there isn’t enough emerging female talent”,or “female

artists just aren’t as big as male artists”, to which we say with

fluttering eyelashes a giggle and a polite curtsy - Bullshit!. This isn’t

to say that male acts shouldn’t headline, or undermine their talent in

the slightest, there is a huge amount of creativity found in male artists

in 2017 with more and more acts pushing musical, artistic and

creative limits often with a much needed political narrative. However,

the girls are out there doing it too, with just as much creativity,

artistry and political awareness.

. . .


Femme International presents.. Swedish punk bands

Words & design by Johanna de Verdier


A

R

T


ROSIE SMITH

@SMOSIERIFFY

Bristol based 3rd year photography student, Rosie Smith, creates

drawings and embroideries as a self confessed creative avoidance of

university work. Her quirky designs range from winking hearts to Toploader

‘Dancing in the Moonlight’ lyrics, creating the basis for an effortless

and entirely relatable


POPPY CREW

Poppy Crew is an Oxford Brookes illustration graduate telling it how it

is. Much of her work is centred around self-love and the desexualisation

of women, often showing women in their natural forms.


@POPPYCREW

Through her illustrations, Poppy encourages women to love their

flaws, which can be anything from stubbly pits to tummy rolls.


GIRLS SUPPOR

GIRLS AGAINST

John Peel Stage, Glastonbury, 2017. On a lazy Sunday afternoon Frank

Carter uses his precious time on stage to make a request of his fans, a

request that during his last song only girls in the crowd were allowed to

crowd surf, giving way for a sea of young female fans to glide across the

crowd and towards the stage. Similarly, Run the Jewels bound across the

Pyramid Stage and announce that anyone acting inappropriately towards

female fans will be personally beaten up by the band themselves. But

where has this wave of female acknowledgement at gigs come from? Enter

Girls Against…

In 2015 a group of teenage girls based all around the UK came together

with a common experience, that of sexual harassment at a gig. After

founder Hannah had to deal with unwanted interest from a member of the

opposite sex at a Peace gig, she formed a squad of girls with the intention

of raising awareness and breaking down the barriers of groping and harassment

within the gig circuit. Focusing their attention mainly on the bands

they themselves loved, they rallied big names such as Slaves, Jaws and

Swim Deep, who all supported their notion to make sexual harassment an

issue we could talk about.

Their name might suggest that they’re all about the ladies, however like all

good feminists they acknowledge that it isn’t just women who suffer. No

one deserves to be groped, regardless of their gender, especially not in

an environment that is meant to be a happy one. People wait years to see

their favourite bands, and to have that evening ruined by harassment is an

absolute travesty. It’s fair to say that bouncers and venue owners should be

taking responsibility in stopping this, however experiences collected by the

Girls Against crew have proved that bouncers often turn a blind eye to it.

Once again the girls are left doing it for themselves.

In the two years since their founding these girls have made a huge impact

on the way we approach harassment at gigs. Their merch has been worn

by a multitude of acts, their posters adorn the walls of venues in order to

reach out to people, and the girls themselves provide a listening ear to anyone

who’s experiences groping in a gig environment. Would bands playing

huge main stages at Glastonbury be reaching out to their fans to stop

groping without this movement opening up the conversation? Probably not.

Girls Against have started a war against groping.


RTING GIRLS

BITCH CRAFT

Words by

Maisy Farren

With its ever growing selection of bands and its venues running from

strength to strength, Brighton is the buzz place for the UK’s music scene

at the minute. Acting as a seaside get-away from the rush of London

life, Brighton will never cease to offer a gig or a half-decent club night. I

couldn’t think of a better stage for a new female collective, Bitch Craft.

Back in 2016, Polly Miles noticed the imbalance in the music industry whilst

running Acid Box Promotions, and after meeting girls DJing and performing

all over Brighton she formed the collective, in order to give more girls the

chance to show off their musical talents and work together in an equal and

friendly environment. Since then they have developed a regular club night

at Sticky Mikes Frog Bar. Each month they pay tribute to a female musical

icon, with the likes of Courtney Love, Beth Ditto and Stevie Nicks being

celebrated, and a selection of Brighton’s finest female musicians topping

the bill.

Not satisfied with just creating a safe, equal and fun environment for women

in music, they have also gone on to pair up with the Brighton’s Women

Centre, raising over £100 for them by selling an album: ‘Bitch Craft Vol.1’.

This charity’s aims mirror Bitch Craft’s ethos all too well, committing to

‘supporting and empowering vulnerable and disadvantaged women in the

community’, welcoming all women, regardless of their ethnicity, sexuality,

age or religion. Fitting the individuality of the collective, the girls got together

to hand make each album cover, creating heaps of unique purchases,

and donating 100% of sales to the charity.

Despite music being their main interest, Bitch Craft holds jobs for everyone,

with roles within the group being devoted purely to promotions, artwork

and even glitter application. Their success has hit the mainstream

with female indie-rock band Deap Valley DJing their club night, and inviting

Bitch Craft along to DJ after their Fluffer Pit Party show in London. Polly

reckons that the music industry is absolutely full of kick arse girls, and of

course they can do anything that men can do. If you can’t get down to one

of their club nights (last Friday of every month, FYI) then Polly encourages

you to get a collective going closer to home, by chatting to other girls and

supporting each others work, growing and working together. Till then catch

Bitch Craft at Sticky Mikes Frog Bar and in and around Brighton, kicking

ass as always.


instagram.com/femmecolllective

facebook.com/thefemmecollective

www.thefemmecollective.blogspot.co.uk

Wanna get involved? We’re looking for writers,

photographers, artists, musicians, poets, illustrators,

all sorts! Email us femmedaniandgrace@gmail.com.


Founders

Dani Ran Grace Goslin

Contributors

Dani Ran Grace Goslin Johanna de

Verdier Maisy Farren Mel Svensen

Photographers

Ed Little Ema Crompton

Poppy Marriott Rhi Barton

Artists

Poppy Crew Rosie Smith

Creative Direction

Imogen Wilson

Logo

Sophie Draper

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