Emma Cameron Good for A girl Blog Scandal

“We Want Scandal”

Starting this blog has been one of the more rewarding and exciting things I’ve done in my life.

Opening up the conversation about women in rock music (and I hope eventually once I become more “worldly” that I can expand my knowledge to other genres) has led me to some cool experiences and conversations already with a wide variety of women, men, and “the media.”

I didn’t think I would experience this so early in the piece, and I’m grateful for everyone who reads my ramblings. Love.

So, shortly after I launched this blog, I had a PR friend of mine contact me with a very exciting proposal they wanted to include me in.

They wanted to pitch an editorial piece on basically exactly what Good for a Girl is about – the absurd and often hilarious discrimination of women in rock music – to one of the most popular women’s magazines in Australia and of course I was excited.

They already had a slew of amazing women lined up and ready to share their tales, so I was like “hell yeah, mother fucker.”

I loathe typical women’s magazines, personally.

“how to get him to scream in the bed!” ..uh, stab him with a steak knife?

“how to get that bikini body”  …umm put a bikini on your body?

“How to get flawless skin” maybe stop encouraging women to cake on 3 tonnes of make up every damn day of their lives causing them skin issues and sadness?

But, the other women they had gotten on board are women I look up to in New Zealand/Australian rock music and I was honoured to have the opportunity to share my weird-ass voice alongside them to a market that all-too-often gets sold (and willingly buys in to) messages of “you’re not good enough.”

Well fuck, it turns out we weren’t good enough, either.

My mate got back in touch with me to tell me that the editor of this academically-regarded piece of fine monthly social commentary for women (sarcasm) turned down the pitch because she wanted “scandal.”

Emma Cameron Good For A Girl Sexism Meryl Streep The Devil Wears Prada

I pictured the editor to be somewhat like Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada

I can just picture her (yes, her!!!) in the boardroom. All her writers sitting around the round table, while she enthusiastically shouts at them,

“I want RAPES!

I want MURDERS!

I want ‘the sound guy told me to wear a shorter skirt so i STABBED HIM!’

These are, of course, very real and serious issues that are still ongoing in the music industry (and beyond).

But what myself and the other women lined-up to share their stories wanted to talk about is equally important – because it’s about the overall passive lack of respect for simply being a woman, which is exactly what sets a mass mindset that manifests in to these more extreme situations.

It’s more culturally ingrained and it continues the harmful narrative; women are less-than and should be treated as such.

You gotta break this shit down from base level. From the level where Colin Smellyshirt hates your tights, or from where male fans think it’s okay to rub your butt.

These magazines aren’t helping anybody – man or woman. Not only did they turn down the opportunity to shed light on the culture of subtle sexism and help contribute to the conversation to shift this culture; they also turned down an opportunity to spotlight some talented woman living in their country, working hard, achieving their dreams. Creating pathways to inspire teenaged girls and even older women the confidence that they can TOO do anything.

And doesn’t that whack-ass editor realise that they would’ve looked fucking cool doing that?

Well if you’re going to do something right, you should do it yourself.

So, I will tell these stories. Keep an eye out for interviews coming soon. I don’t know how I’m going to do it, but it’s going to happen.

And if you know of any women who would be keen to contribute their experiences – please let me know by contacting me.

 

Julia Deans Good For A Girl Emma Cameron

AGFAG: Julia Deans / Role Models for Young Girls

Julia Deans. Julia Fucking Deans.

I was too young to cotton on to Fur Patrol properly. To become a fan in all senses of the word.

Infact, I was 11 when their huge hit, Lydia, came out (which I loved, but didn’t have the age-appropriate tools or curiosity to obsess any further) and probably pushing 12 when their second track that I remember loving, Andrew, was released.

Fur Patrol Lydia NZMA 2001 Lydia Emma Cameron Good For A Girl

Fur Patrol accepting their Best Single award for ‘Lydia’ at the 2001 New Zealand Music Awards

So when I read that Fur Patrol were getting back together for what is essentially their last hoo-rah for the forseeable future, I knew I absolutely could not miss this opportunity at this time in my life, when I’d missed the WHOLE buzz in the early 2000s while I was too busy listening to fucking Simple Plan or some other horrific shit like that.

I personally know Julia a little bit through mutual friends and have met her a few times in the past year or so. I have had a passive respect for her from just knowing she was in Fur Patrol, and being aware of their general success and liking a couple of their songs in my awkward youth. So, there was an added layer of wanting to go see them play to support her as a (clueless) friend.

The show was on Friday 17th June, 2016 (as I write this; 4 nights ago).

What I anticipated was that I would enjoy watching a band play and recognise a couple hits and just generally have a nice time, hopefully get to say hi to Julia and have a few drinks then head home being like “that was an enjoyable experience, I think Fur Patrol are great.”

And that did happen. Quick review: the band are tight, the songwriting is incredible, the style development throughout their years of songs is inspiring. Julia is an incredible performer; her vocals are pitch perfect and so well controlled, and she moves SO WELL. She plays guitar like a boss and her on stage banter is funny and whip-snap fast.

Julia Deans Fur Patrol Andrew Good For A Girl Emma Cameron

Julia Deans in the “Andrew” music video – 2001. She is so fucking cool that she actually makes me consider cutting my fringe like that, even thought I KNOW I will look like a troll.

What I did not anticipate was how much of a profound effect actually seeing her perform on Friday night would have on me, and here is why.

As I watched Julia perform, I realised; I HAVE NEVER SEEN A WOMAN PLAYING GUITAR FRONTING A ROCK BAND WITH MY OWN EYES RIGHT IN FRONT OF ME IN MY ENTIRE LIFE.

The revelation almost brought me to tears. I found the inspiring and encouraging role model that I never knew that I clearly needed growing up and playing guitar/fronting a band.

Everywhere dudes look they can find role models; and all my life I guess I just subconsciously accepted that my role models were going to be the men and boys I was surrounded by both within my circle of musician-friends, and going to see other bands perform.

I now completely understand that girls need girl role models.

It sounds like a no-brainer, and it’s a feminist ideology I’ve always passively “pushed,” but didn’t even realise that I hadn’t had one myself all this time. And I now understand that that actually effected me growing up and trying to be a rock musician in a very heavy way.

Watching Julia perform had me going through all the thoughts and feels. Watching her made me feel empowered and validated.

That’s what I do!! She looks awesome doing it! That means I look (at least half) as awesome doing it! If I am amazed by her, maybe people can be amazed by me?

These are thoughts and affirmations I should’ve had access to since I started playing in bands from age 15! I can’t even imagine how much more confident I would be if I had had this revelation and encouragement from that age.

Holy shit!!

The quality and skill of this video I took is not only not good for a girl –
it’s fucking diabolical for anyone. It’s all I got – I am great.

My favourite part of the whole evening – which sounds fucked because the actual music and performance was incredible – was when Julia got her hair caught in a ring she was wearing on her index finger. That is such a thing that would happen to a woman in rock! Fuck! I am like her!

Seeing Julia play had an immediate effect of my confidence as a female musician.

After she played (sorry rest of Fur Patrol – you were great but you don’t have a vagina so you didn’t really effect me in profound ways BUT I had some real kicks out of a few of the bass riffs and beats) I had to boost off immediately as I was travelling out to a creative retreat with a bunch of local Christchurch musicians who form a collective called, Fledge.

These Fledge retreats are a bunch of musicians that get together and jam, non-stop, for days on end. I’ve only been to a couple since I met the crew in the last year or so, and I am usually paralyzed with fear to get up and jam. I have never done it. I usually listen and offer up ideas verbally (I like being bossy).

This weekend, I got up and I played guitar, I played drums, I played piano, I played bass, I sung. I was vulnerable and I was confident.

All because of seeing Julia Deans the night before.

/endJuliagush

I want to build more pathways for women in rock music.

More exposure. I don’t know when the next time will be that I get to see another prominent fucking woman wielding a guitar and fronting a rock band with my own damn eyes – and that is not right! I should be able to go see one as often as I go see a rock band with a dude in the front.

I’m going to go immerse myself in Fur Patrol’s back catalogue and attempt to make up for the years I missed out on.

The Morning Rumble: Periods are Metal. Period.

The other week I was listening to The Rock FM’s Morning Rumble on my drive to work, which is a show with great tunes and testosterone-driven hilarity and initiatives (seriously, how men come up with ideas like ‘CAR-B-Q’ – and then actually fucking execute them is beyond me).

On that morning they were joined in banter by their news reader, Jen, who was pulled in to a segment to help explain the seemingly bat-shit-crazy stuff women say or do to men, and she would bluntly non-explain why women did these things. She was as funny as she was unhelpful – she added to the men’s turmoil.

“Why does my wife nag me all the time?”

“Because we believe nagging helps.”

It was fucking hilarious.

I loved it – never reveal our true secrets, Jen.

Towards the end of the segment, Jen simply couldn’t explain one woman-like behaviour with anything else but “periods”.

“Euurrgggh!” cried Rog, Bryce and Tom in unison.

“Don’t say that word this early in the morning!”

“Just never say that word Jen!”

While their reactions cracked me up, It got me thinking; why are men so disgusted by periods? Especially men working in the rock music biz because:

Periods are metal as fuck.

We must contemplate the sheer badassery of women who bleed for around week straight once a month and not fucking die.

emma cameron good for a girl periods are metal kill bill blood bath

Although we can’t account for our victims.

If the devil himself sacrificed six-hundred-and-sixty-six demon goats, it wouldn’t be half as bloody as what a vagina expels each month.

The boys – hell, all of us – should be throwing horns when periods are mentioned; not recoiling in disgust like a bunch of pussies.

Actually, that’s an unfair simile… because pussies are tougher than Chuck Norris.

What else do you know that can take a solid pounding and not only live to tell the tale, but actually enjoy it?

A pussy wouldn’t recoil from the mention of a period. It’s clit would also throw horns and head bang at the mention.

Is the main issue the blood?

emma cameron good for a girl periods are metal the shining blood gif

NOT PREGNANT!

Blood has been a celebrated theme in almost every genre of metal since metal was born!

e.g:
– Slayer – Raining BLOOD (From the album Reign in BLOOD – it’s a blood fest)
– Cannibal Corpse – I Cum BLOOD (Bonus points for the blood coming out of a genital)
– Metallica – Pumping BLOOD (as if that’s not EXACTLY what our uterus is doing once a month)

For a lot of women, at least one period-day a month makes us feel like satan himself has set up firey house inside our abdomen, and has decided to redecorate by pulling down the walls with his jagged claws, and having a field day shoving them down the vagina-drain with a pitchfork.

emma cameron good for a girl periods are metal satan blood

Some women vomit until our throats are raw (think primal screams), some of us shit acid (feel free to use these lyrics) — we go through absolute hell, but all of us live to tell the tale.

Periods are beyond brutal, people.

So next time periods are mentioned on air, I challenge The Morning Rumble to simply react with; “hell yeah mother fucker, periods are metal as fuck” – then hit play on Blood and Thunder by Mastodon.

8 tips for maintaining your Lady-like Dignity on tour.

The life of an independent touring band can get pretty disgusting. In fact, even if you’re signed. 

Basically, unless you’ve got a private jet flying you from stadium to stadium and a team of carers ensuring your every need and demand is taken care of, everyday necessities and basic routines can become quite challenging.

The reality of piling your shit, self and band mates into a van, arriving at a venue, unloading, soundchecking, hopefully eating something, running merch and actually pouring your heart and soul into giving the best performance you can possibly muster is a deceptively brutal process.

All-male bands have traditionally been afforded the luxury of people expecting them to be somewhat dishevelled, unkempt – or just downright filthy. You’re probably familiar with the meme that it adds authenticity.

I’m sure you can  imagine the first thing big labels would do with freshly signed well-to-do pop rockers would be to “grunge them up a little, just work on their look a bit – you know?” 

emma cameron decades good for a girl marilyn monroe photo pose seven year itch

Image: Me on tour at all times.


But much like Hollywood, there is an unspoken expectation that the women of the trade maintain ultra femininity at all times. If showbiz is outrageous – rock n’ roll is fucking ape shit.

So with this in mind, how does Emma Cameron of New Zealand rock band, Decades, maintain my Lady-like Dignity on tour? Just take a look at these 8 easy tips!

1. Wet wipes.
Can’t get back to the accom in time to shower after soundcheck and feeling sweaty and disgusting from the 5 hours you just endured, trapped in a confined space, where the smell of Pringles and dude farts seems to have permanently lodged itself in your … forearms? Wet Wipes.

2. Space saving.
Need to reduce suitcase space to allow room for your cosmetics and beauty products? Simply re-wear sweaty outfits – each and every show. 

3. Bathroom battle-station.
Is your greenroom just the back of a bar with a few empty kegs and some mouldy couches? Do your make up in the venue’s not-even-cleaned-from-the-night-before-some-womans-vomit-on-the-vanity bathroom!

4.  Bedtime battle-station.
No time to clean your face before the precious 3 hours of beauty sleep you get before hitting the road again? Second day make-up!

emma cameron decades good for a girl bad make up

Image: Me in the morning. “Okay, I can work with this”

5. Pie & V Smoothie.
How do you turn a 5am petrol station breakfast-nightmare into a pretty, Instagram worthy, culinary piece of art? Just blend it all up with your portable Nutri-bullet.

6. Fast Fret Face Serum.
Can’t bare to sleep in your makeup again or re-apply in a public bathroom? Simply apply Fast Fret to your face, not only does it make your guitar strings faster but it turns out it also acts as an all-over, lightweight bronzing foundation.

7. Don’t move gear.
The one time you can cash in on The Patriarchy’s reign, is on tour during load in. Use this precious time to catch up on Instagram, bust some sweet Pilates moves and paint your lady nails.

8. Wear your undies inside out.
Ran out of clean undies? Don’t have a spare $8 or the time to get to Kmart? Or simply cannot be fucked? You know what to do.

Emma Cameron Decades Twitter Undies

Image: Me.