Monday, January 14, 2013


So my six-year-old comes up to me as I'm watching the new David Bowie video.

"Why can't girls be in bands?" she asks.

I'm not thrown by this. A few of her three older sisters have asked this when they were about her age, so I'm feeling fairly confident I know how to answer.

"Of course girls can be in bands," I say. "You want to see some examples?"

"Yes, please," she replies eagerly, the unprompted politeness indicating she really means it.

So we pull up the YouTube and start taking a tour. We view some Kim Gordon fronting Sonic Youth, then watch Tina Weymouth driving Talking Heads, which leads to my viewing this utterly charming video for the first time ever and how have I never seen it before and doesn't it just make it all the sadder that Byrne left a band this great?

We check out Chrissie Hynde leading the Pretenders and then I go back and we watch some Janis and some Joni and the Wilson sisters from Heart and then first Stevie followed by Christine with Fleetwood Mac. By now YouTube seems to have caught on to what we're doing because the recommended videos in the sidebar are tending to be conveniently on point.

She enjoys seeing artists she's heard many times but never actually seen, such as Cyndi Lauper, Aretha Franklin and Kathleen Edwards.

Perhaps showing she's really her father's daughter—and, just as crucially, her mother's—she loves Shirley Manson with Garbage.

We've spent a very pleasant hour this way and it's about time to set the table for dinner, so I agree to click on one more video. She points to the one she wants. Barely thinking—clearly—just remembering that I always loved the song and haven't heard it in years, I click on it. Her eyes light up. Naturally, it's her favorite of them all. Long blonde hair, glamorous dresses and a pink guitar: what's not to like, right?

I am in so much trouble in a few years.

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