My daughter is now a three-year veteran of Girls Rock Camp Austin. What have we tried to do over these years? Prepare her for the fact that women sometimes have to fight harder for respect when they work in a "man's" field. Encourage her natural gifts. Bring out new abilities, the ones that don't come so easily. Teach her to be a leader. Make her more curious about and questioning of the world around her. Show her she can do anything.
So we're riding high last night, after the big finale to GRCA 2009, the 11-band showcase at the Parish. (Can I get an "amen" for the Parish? They treat us so well.) The girl says, "I think now I could go to [name-brand "school of rock"] and be a feminist there."
On the one hand, I think, Oh, no. Stay in the world we've worked so hard to create for you, a place like no other. But on the other, I think, We have done our job. The fact is, the vast, vast majority of women musicians will not have the luxury of working with only women in their bands. In fact, they will mostly be outnumbered by men in their bands. Maybe programs like ours will encourage girls to tilt the balance. I hope so.