Shirley Manson Of Garbage Talks Girl Power In A New Interview


Shirley Manson of Garbage is featured in a new interview wherein she discusses the state of female power in the music industry … and I’d argue that no one is in a better position than she to comment. As frontperson of the hugely successful band Garbage, Shirley has been in the music biz for many years and she offers a unique perspective on the matter. In her opinion, women in music today are not allowed to be as powerful as they could be. Despite all the strides made by women in music in the Girl Power-feted 90s, Shirley maintains that those strides have been lost today.

Garbage’s frontwoman Shirley Manson has said that women are still being disempowered in the music industry. Manson said although she feels a generation of women in the ’90s managed to “bust through” the glass ceiling, she feels that things have taken a step back in recent years. “I’m delighted to see women in any genre doing well, the biggest stars de jour are female pop stars. I love that, but for me personally I’ve always loved the girls who are in disagreement with mainstream”, she said, adding: “There’s a lot of girls now who are disempowered, they’re not being giving a lot of chances. They are worked really hard, they are wrung dry on tour, then given new songs, which are written by man to start the process all over again. But in economic terms it doesn’t work out like that. They’re street walking for the pimp daddy at home. This is what I have a problem with, the lack of female opinion out there.” Speaking of how she saw the music industry in the ’90s, Manson added: “Our generation felt like we had busted through a glass ceiling. All of a sudden we were on the radio, selling records but not having the play the submissive role of a woman. Now I feel like things have returned to the way they were before we started.”

Garbage singer Shirley Manson is a strong person. Because she is a woman, there oftentimes seems to be a qualifier when people talk about her strength. They may say, she is strong … for a woman … as if stating her gender implies something … less. IMHO, Shirley has enjoyed success because of her strength … yes, because of her insane talent as well but without her fortitude of will and personal power, the world might never have been able to enjoy her talent. I, too, miss the bygone days when artists like Tori Amos, Liz Phair, PJ Harvey, Veruca Salt and more ruled the airwaves. Women who wrote and performed their own music and were celebrated for it. Don’t get me wrong, y’all know I’m a huge SUCKER for poppy music and the stars who perform that kind of music but Shirley is 100% right in that women in music today are not allowed to be as strong as they could be. Sadly, I don’t know that things will change anytime soon but I’m glad that people like Shirley Manson are speaking up and making their voice heard.


  • Krissy

    I think she makes a great point about men writing the music for female artists. It is kind of like they are not allowed to speak for themselves, but rather must parrot a man’s version of what a woman’s thoughts should be.

  • with the Apple coming back, maybe the pendulm will swing back – and smack the Britneys and other empty head tarts – Katy plays g-tar and writes her own lyrics so she is free to be sassy and sexy