The lack of gender representation in pop punk needs to change, and it starts with us.
There is a lot of discussion going on right now in the music community regarding gender diversity. It’s a hot topic because a lack of representation helps form prejudice, which leads to a lack of participation by women and LGBTQ+ individuals. It’s a vicious cycle, which I have drawn up in a neat little flowchart because I’m garbage at explaining it in a nice paragraph.
When you’re young and see someone ‘like you’ in a position of power, you feel validated. Race, gender and sexuality are all common identifiers; when these identifiers are shared with people you look up to, you’re able to picture yourself in their shoes.
It makes you feel included and encouraged, even if you don’t realise it at the time. It can inspire people to actively participate in the community by going to shows, starting bands, and working behind the scenes. By seeing other individuals you identify with, you feel welcome.
I often reflect on how representation had an impact on me. Hayley Williams of Paramore and Jenna McDougall of Tonight Alive were the two women I modelled my adolescent self after. Their music resonated with me, and I found inspiration for my own developing identity within their public personas.
In high school I dyed hair red to be like Hayley’s (exhibit A), bought similar items to her stage clothes, and when Jenna started wearing chokers you best believe I went and bought some. Their strength continues to inspire me, and I am thankful to have had such good role models growing up. Now, the next generation needs to see representation in pop punk too.
Where it starts
Supporting bands at a local level is super important. Without the support of the community, bands aren’t able to grow, which keeps them from getting to a position to positively influence others. Bigger bands who are absolutely killing it right now, including Marmozets, Against The Current, Creeper, WAAX, Milk Teeth, Courage My Love, Sharptooth and Doll Skin. But what about at a local level?
Two Australian pop punk bands paving the way for the next generation of ladies in music are Stand Atlantic and Stateside. They’ve been steadily taking over the scene with their catchy hooks and hectic live shows, working hard to make things happen. Both of these acts are examples of how important support at a local level is – without that support when they started out, they wouldn’t be where they are today.
How we can help
Without people buying their music, merch or coming to gigs, there’s no income to help bands grow. But if there’s interest in the band, they’ll get booked on more and more lineups. They’ll be able to keep making better music, and build up a fanbase which they can then speak to about social issues. They can be an example of what’s possible for women in music if you keep ploughing through all the bullshit that’s currently plaguing the scene.
The lack of representation in pop punk needs to change, and it starts with us.
Stand Altantic and Stateside are both on tour with Neck Deep around Australia this December!
Thursday, November 29th | Capitol, Perth, WA
Saturday, December 1st | The Metro, Sydney, NSW
Sunday, December 2nd | The Triffid, Brisbane, QLD
Tuesday, December 4th | 170 Russell, Melbourne, VIC