Manila (CNN Philippines Life) — Dressed in updated Girl Scouts uniforms, four women played songs about orgasm, gender norms, and letting go of destructive partners during their first gig as a newly formed band, The Male Gaze. “I learned about feminism through music,” says Mich Dulce, vocalist of the feminist band.
Before the band was formed, Dulce was leading Grrrl Gang, an initiative that creates community meetups for Filipino women. During one of these meetups, she met Mariah Reodica, where they then developed the idea of forming a feminist punk band, much like in the underground feminist music movement of the Riot Grrrl in the ‘60s. “That movement was what led me to become a feminist. I was not born ‘woke.’ I lived in a bubble for such a long time,” Dulce adds.
Completing the band are Ymi Sy, who works for Dakila, an NGO that advocates for social consciousness, and Ristalle Bautista, who used to be part of Duster, an all-female band.
“We all recognize our strengths as women in our own ways,” says Reodica. “It was interesting also because we had different perspectives on feminism.”
Dulce explains that activism can take form in many ways, and forming a girl group that sings songs about the many issues that women face is just one of them.
“We can’t discredit these things. There are so many ways of being an activist and doing work through art, through music, you can’t discredit that — that’s how you reach an audience who [are not usually] activists, or [who are] not usually interested in being woke or [in] feminism.”