Mairead scooped me on this one, but in addition to the "Typical Girls" video, You Tube also has an amazing excerpt from a German documentary about women in rock, featuring lots of Slits performance footage and Viv Albertine being incisive and awesome. Visibly exasperated by the never-ending "How does being women affect yr music?" and "What is it like to be a woman musician?" line of questioning, Viv finally gongs the nail on the head: "We are fucking women making music, that's all there is to say about it."
The filmmakers are obviously big supporters of female musicians, but the sum total of the interview clips is sad and a half--sad because the Slits shouldn't have had to talk about this in 1979, and I definitely shouldn't have to write about it now, 27 years later. While the inherent ability of men to make music has never been considered worthy of scrutiny, the imperative to explain female musicianship is deathless. It is explored and questioned, defended and denied as if it were Einstein's theory of special relativity or Heisenberg's uncertainty principle rather than the simple physical act of a woman playing an instrument. Why is this something that necessitates study? We're people, not particles traveling at the speed of light in a vacuum.