I'm pretty well known for writing strong women, in fact it's my thing. Even when I wrote romances, my women were admirable, in no way victims and equally as capable as their male counterparts.
I remember watching this video by Joss Whedon, I cried and applauded and just became his biggest fan.
Give it a few years and , I've been listening to Leonard Cohen's new album. I am, as usual, awed and inspired. The man is absolutely a musical poet. But here's the problem with my inner feminist (that same inner feminist who can cry over a video from Joss Whedon). While listening to him, I began wondering about his contemporaries. Nick Cave and Tom Waits were the two who immediately sprang to mind.
Now, the thing about Cohen, Waits and Cave, is that they offer a very specific type of music. And isn't it great (I thought, while listening, awestruck) that none of them are particularly 'pretty', men. They don't come with the all singing, all dancing entertainment roadshow that so often accompanies more recently discovered musicians/entertainers. No, I thought to myself, these guys are proof that there is room for everyone in a creative world. They don't fit the mold but they're amazing enough that we listen (again...awestruck) anyway.
This is where my feminist sprang up. Is there that same room for women? Can you imagine a female version of Leonard Cohen? Would the world adore a woman who wanted to create music that was completely different from the current norm? Music that was dark and thoughtful, and intellectual? Music that wan't accompanied by a stage show and a super-short, nearly naked dress?
See...I don't think so. The closest I could find to that kind of a female performer was Amanda Palmer or maybe Joan Baez and they're not really in the same 'go your own way' league as Cohen and co.
So...while I'm thrilled to have more Cohen to listen to...I can't wait for when there's enough space for a unique, dark, intellectual, female musician, to make her statement and as a consequence, her mark, upon the industry. Perhaps that woman already exists and I've just never heard of her...can anyone point me in in her direction?