The vocal performance of girls and young women, whether on the stage as singers or in the performance of gendered expectations in daily life, is a complex phenomenon. We need only cast our ears towards the screams coming from the Linda Lindas, a contemporary LA-based, multiracial, riot grrrl-descendent band, who scored a viral hit in 2021 with “Racist Sexist Boy.” The song’s vast digital circulation signaled fascination, if not celebration, of the group’s full-throated musical confrontation of oppression. The range with which girls can make vocal music is wider now than it has ever been, and perhaps because of our access to personal technologies, girls can create and broadcast their voices more easily. As listeners, we are also able to access more diverse voices, should we go looking for them.

Alexandra Apolloni’s Freedom Girls: Voicing Femininity in 1960s British Pop, gives contemporary assessments of girls’ performance and vocalized resistance...

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