A couple songs from the end of White Lung's set, some bro from the center of a push pit shouted "Take your shirt off, Mish" and I just felt so fucking deflated. Like. I'm a male. I am in a more privileged position than most females, but I'm cognizant of it, and I know that we have a long way to go in regards to gender equality. But, like, doesn't everyone know that? Don't people know not to be a total fucking dick to the female singer of a band consciously singing about about multitudes of topics and themes that sometimes end up being about gender? But more importantly, why would anyone think that yelling "take your shirt off" is all right?
Dig. So characterizing a band as "feminist" is like characterizing a band as being "for equality" - it doesn't make a ton of sense to use as a descriptor of a band, especially in relation to sound. You also don't walk around hearing about "anti-racist" bands - you just assume that bands are anti-racist - you do, however, hear about racist bands, and that's a whole 'nother topic. But if I call White Lung a feminist band, I'm setting them further apart from other bands, thereby defeating the purpose of being equal, right? But equality doesn't necessitate blending in with a crowd, right? Can equality be also differentiating? I guess it has to. But characterizing the band as a "feminist band" limits the scope, doesn't it? After all, there's no one defining characteristic to Mish Way's lyrics.
Hearing that dude yell "Take your top off, Mish," though, just made me feel so unclean. We're just not doing as good of a job of not being total assholes as we should. So what am I, as a male, supposed to do? Sure, I'm writing this now and hopefully someone will think to agree with me and maybe keep my thoughts going, but that's not really enough.
And it was such a great set. I was so happy to be watching White Lung, especially with Hether Fortune, who I interviewed when I first started this blog, and fronts another absolutely fantastic band called Wax Idols, and Rachel, whose last name or moniker I don't know (How does Rachel Lightningdrum sound? Pretty badass, huh?), but is a radically killer drummer. These three women are totally inspiring and a wonder to watch on a stage.
White Lung didn't play an encore. I don't blame them. Frankly, I don't think we, as an audience, even deserved it. But I'll never forget the set and I hope that I (and others) can learn from it.
Their album Deep Fantasy is amazing by the way.
EDIT: Wow. Just heard from Hether that it was part of an inside joke with one of the dudes Mormon Crosses who opened for them, so that kind of negates everything I just said. Oh well. I'm not gonna delete this cause I still think this is worth thinking about. And let's face it, other people in the audience probably thought the same thing if I did.