Most rock bands these days consist of several near-emaciated, floppy haired boys who wear very tight pants and play their guitars slung low near their penises. Delightful girl group Smoosh (pictured here), notwithstanding, where are all the rocking lady guitarists? Maybe there's a dearth of female guitar players because, as a new report from the UK shows, girls from a very young age are discouraged from playing traditionally "masculine" instruments like guitar and horns, while boys are discouraged from playing traditionally "feminine" instruments like the flute and harp. According to the BBC, the report, published by the British Institute of Education, says, "The size of the instrument (bigger, male), its pitch (higher, female) and the physical characteristics needed to play it could be partly responsible [for the gender preferences]. Another factor may be that brass instruments and drums have long been used militarily and therefore are associated with war."
not explore is the Freudian implications of instrument size and shape. Maybe little girls want to play the flute because of a latent desire for penis, while boys prefer the ladylike curvature of an acoustic guitar. Or...not.) Anyway! The Institute of Education suggests that "schools introduce single-sex bands to force both sexes to try other instruments." That sounds both expensive and impractical. There has to be a better way to encourage young girls to rock out on the bass and for young boys to play the flute without getting their asses beat. There is good news for older musicians, though, as the BBC explains that the BIE report "says girls are more open to taking 'male' instruments as they get older...and the fact that some of the world's leading performers buck the trend suggests there is much more fluidity in the professional world." Sounds like it's about time for the Rock 'N' Roll Camp For Girls to set up shop in merry old England.