«At first, it’s easy to be patient with these writers because it’s clear that they don’t mean to be so wrapped up in stereotypes, but… by the time the fifth person comes in and asks us something to the effect of why did you decide to be girls? I sorta lose my cool and end up mouthing off in spite of myself. “We aren’t girls on purpose; we’re girls by accident! We’re musicians on purpose. I mean, do you treat men and women differently?”
This poor guy happens to be really nice; he just didn’t know not to ask that particular question. He shakes his head uncertainly. “Well, it’d suck if you did,” I continue. “I don’t see how gender could inform anyone’s character; it’s useless when it comes to predicting behavior. Except for idiots’ behavior−‘cause thinking you have to act male of female instead of human makes no sense.”
He looks so tense that I begin to speak more gently, but I don’t stop, which is what he would like me to do. “What could gender possibly have to do with how your hands work?” I ask him. He shrugs. “Women’s hands work on typewriters but not guitars? Or are we only allowed to play acoustics ‘cause electricity’s too bitchin’ for girls?” He nods along, then shakes his head, trying to agree with me. “For god’s sake, didn’t we all grow up with Free to Be You and Me?”
“Yes!” he says heartily. “I did!”
Even I wish I would shut up, but I don’t fucking stop. Music pounds through the wall and I blame this guy for making me miss it. “We all know there’re bigger differences within the races than between them, right? So substitute ‘gender’ for race, duh-huh. I thought we already did that!”
He opens his mouth, but I interrupt him before he can say anything. “Not to mention the infinite shades of gray inherent in the whole concept of gender. Gender is a spectrum, with no clear division between the poles. Hetero and homo are just scratching the surface of sexuality…”
This is when the exhausted journalist moves warily on to another band member, writing in his notebook next to my name, “outspoken feminist.”»

KRISTIN HERSH, Rat Girl