Just because the iconic image of a festival tends to be young and female (and white, but this is a point that gets somewhat glossed over), someone has realised that this may not be reflected on stage as well as off. Anya Pearson has created versions of music festivals' posters stripping out all of those acts who don't feature any female artists. The results? A lot of blank space. Those sausages take up a lot of room usually it seems. Without them, the few acts progressive enough to realise that ladies can do more than ting a triangle or shimmy their hips struggle to take up enough space to look like more than a printing error.
So what's going on? I can't even be bothered to listen to anyone who claims males are inherently better at making music - the correct response to anyone claiming that women can't play guitar or drums or saxophones or sitars is to yawn loudly, turn away, and put Bikini Kill on REALLY REALLY loudly.
And let's not stop encouraging both girls and boys to express themselves.
Could it be that we're operating in a realm where all metrics have been created by men? Like sport, literature and business (and sex!) there is one way of doing things and that's the way that has worked best for men recently. I'm not saying we need to reinvent a type of music that's particular to women. And I'm not saying women can't rock out. I'm just saying that if you start from a default of 'rock looks like 2 blokes with guitars, one on drums and another with a mic' then anything that looks different is going to challenge that. And despite that process starting in the 60s, apparently some people still haven't got the memo.
I'm going to be honest. I'm not too bothered about seeing gender parity represented onstage this summer. As long as people know that if someone picks up an instrument or has an amazing voice, it doesn't matter what their gender is - being able to make music is something that should transcend your genitals. Isn't that half the fucking point? Some of my favourite bands have nothing in common with me. If I met the writers and performers of some of my favourite songs in the pub we'd struggle to make any conversation at all. But they've captured something that speaks to me anyway - put a sound and a lyric to feelings I struggled to even recognise in myself. That's what's miraculous about music.
Let's not stop asking questions about who is doing what, why. And let's not stop encouraging both girls and boys to express themselves. Perhaps it's in the spirit of Glasto - at 3am in the stone circle as you chat to your new friends - to realise as well that we can do this together.