Best Coast’s Bethany Cosentino on Women Making Music

STEREOGUM: For some reason, people are still in awe of the fact that women shred and make great music.

BETH COSENTINO: It is crazy, and it’s a frustrating fight. But I’ve tried to make my M.O. within the last couple of years very much speaking up and out about it. Because it’s pretty ridiculous.

Here we are in 2016, and young female artists are still trying to be like, “Yo what the fuck!” And hope that at some point it stops being, “Whoa you’re a girl and you play guitar? That’s insane, how is that a thing?” It would be weirder if my dog played guitar. I’m a living, breathing human. But, you know.

I meet young girls who come to our shows and say, “I look up to you because you’re just a real woman and you preach be whoever you want to be, wear whatever you want to wear, do whatever you want to do.” But do it for yourself, don’t do it for anybody else. They tell me, “I’m trying to get this guy to like me, should I do this thing?” No! Just be yourself. And if that guy doesn’t like you, fuck that guy! You’re going to find a guy who likes you for yourself.

And now, with the internet … every idiot ever has an opinion about everything. You get attacked for everything. My outspokenness has been really beneficial but it’s also gotten me backed into a corner. What the fuck are you attacking me for? I’m just standing up for what I believe in.

My best friend is getting her PhD in feminist studies at the University of Santa Cruz and she’s like, the most brilliant woman I’ve ever known. We basically have this conversation every single day, and the resolution we come to is: There’s a lot of crazy shit happening in the world, and you just have to look at how much good there is still and how many people are fighting and supporting these issues. If you just let the Internet peanut gallery get you down, it’s easy to feel bad. But to remember that there are women like the three of us having this conversation, who really get it … it’s a battle because the proof isn’t always there. But there are women and men that are out there fighting the good fight too.