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Guest Editorial from Clare Bowditch

Guest Editorial from Clare Bowditch
November 29, 2007 | Author: Clare Bowditch

Clare’s Australian Musician editorial and explanation as to why we presented an all-female issue back in 2007

clareillustrationEdition 52, the Ms Musician Edition of Australian Musician, owes it’s inception to a special feature embedded in the 50th edition of this magazine; The 50 Most Significant Moments in Australian Pop/Rock! As inspiring as the article was, it left some readers a little puzzled; why, of the fifty most significant moments listed, did only a handful mention women in any capacity?

One night at an industry dinner, Sydney journalist Kathy McCabe quizzed our beloved Editor Greg Phillips, about the reasoning behind this imbalance. Could it have something to do with the fact that the selection panel consisted of eight males, and no females? And what would such a list have looked like had there been women involved in the selection process? In fact, what would Australian Musician look like if it were created by women, instead of men?  An intelligent man, Greg took these questions home, mulled them over, and eventually gave me a call; would I be interested in guest-editing an all-female edition of Australian Musician?

How rare is the opportunity to put to print some of the real, wonderful, untold stories of the women of the Australian music scene? How rarely do we stop to celebrate our musical matriarchs? How delightful the chance to counter-act some of the over-trivialised, over-sexualised, just plain boring drivel that we so often read about Australian musicians of the female persuasion? Naturally, I accepted with gusto, starting the ball rolling by asking around thirty of my girl-friends within the music world; what do you want to read about? The feedback was immediate and clear – what they wanted to see was something real, something told by women. They wanted something that spoke of our history, our unsung heroes, our women behind-the-scenes, our oft-ignored seminal female rockers, our instruments and how we play them. Nobody ever tells stories of our lives on the road,  shared with men in cars, shared with babies in vans, and stories of our women under the radar; a spotlight on some of our most truthful, talented female musicians, the ones that commercial radio choose to ignore.

In the end what you have here is really a little bit of a collectors item, or at the very least, a rarity worth collecting. Sure, other publications do occasionally throw up a half-hearted “all female edition” in which sexed-up “Lllladies!” are used to sell magazines and advertising space, and titillate the pants off readers. This edition however is free, and it’s worthy not only for the quality of it’s content, it’s pen-woman-ship,  but also for the broader role it takes in helping us  document some of the joy and wonder that women-folk bring to this here blessed business in which we’re all involved.



illustration by Ammber Doyle


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