I'll kick this off by saying I've been there before, too, before I was more educated on the topic I was even guilty of writing my own article here on the odyssey about "female-fronted bands."
But, I've grown and learned a whole lot since then, and I've listened to stories and experiences from people in the music scene, especially independent and DIY artists, and I admit my fault then and apologize for my error by writing this, a piece explaining what I've learned and why pieces about "female-fronted" bands aren't "woke" and are in fact just a way of demeaning and itemizing a band's hard work because of the perceived gender of their guitarist or vocalist.
As more and more publications and writers in the scene decide to showcase how cool and progressive they are bc they listen to music made by non-men, more and more of those write-ups and columns become increasingly vapid and condescending, even when they're genuine, because of the way they contribute to the misogyny that makes these scenes so male-dominated at the forefront in the first place.
While it may garner the artists featured some extra attention, it fails to do more than just lump a bunch of unrelated bands together because of a shared factor irrelevant to any of their goals, ambitions, or sounds.
Don't get me wrong, not every article like this is outright toxic or dismissive, many are uplifting and just naïve, but because so many others revert to the objectification of the non-men in these bands and have a nasty habit of comparing any perceived-female voice to Hayley Williams, even the naivete cannot be defensible.
It's okay to shout out women and non-men in the scene! People should do it more often!
But you shouldn't make the fact that these bands have non-men in them the reason for your shoutout, because it helps contribute to several issues and shows your internalized misogyny, and is not only reductive but also treats non-men as sub-par when compared to men because why else would you need to mention and focus on the fact that it's not a man singing or playing guitar in a specific act?
But beyond all of those inherent issues also comes a few that require nuance and education to fix, most notably the rampant and nonchalant misgendering of nonbinary, gender non-conforming, intersex, and trans people that comes with the lumping together of anyone perceived as non-male as "female," which just isn't how that works.
Gender is a wide spectrum and I've seen too many people I know and members of bands I adore be repeatedly misgendered by even some of the most "woke" and "aware" publications that cover their respective music scenes.
For the love of your fellow human and all that is holy, please educate yourself on someone's pronouns and gender before you write about them in any sense at all, and especially before you lump them in with other people you assume are the same. Better yet, stop itemizing people's identities for your article fuel altogether.
This is the kind of issue that takes dozens of tactful articles and opinion pieces against it to even make a small change, but that's why I'm taking the time to apologize for having contributed to the problem and to write my own piece to try and make a difference I hope you all will too, music publications.
I hope you grow and learn and change because of this backlash, and you start listening to and paying more attention to non-men in your communities for more reasons than just that they're non-men and you need an excuse to write a profile piece about someone who isn't a white man.