Camille Barr - The Last Folk Singer

Forte Magazine Interview

Forte magazine recently did this little write up about me! Click link to read the full article.



My full answer about what my new song …Because I was born a girl is about, there just wasn’t enough room to run the whole answer.

The concept for because I was born a girl was something that I explored both by reading scholarly feminist works and deeply evaluating my own experiences and position within the world as a woman. These literary works helped me to expand and develop my understanding of how the world works when you are a woman and unveiled what a patriarchal system looks like in the modern world.

Our modern version of a patriarchal society continues under some of the most unconscious actions within our everyday (in fact the more invisible it can make itself the higher the chance it can survive), it embeds itself in such simple daily conditioning as to pass unnoticed and therefore unchallenged. A startling statistic that is a glaring example of the different value we put on a male life compared to a female, in terms of the value to society is identified through looking at the internet searches done by parents. In Seth Stephens-Davidowitz book Everybody lies (What the internet can tell us about who we really are) for parents of young girls the question “Is my daughter overweight” is googled twice as much as is my son, despite figures that show more boys are overweight then girls. Stephens-Davidowitz further illuminates us to this current gender bias through the google search by parents asking “Is my son gifted” two and half times more frequently then for their daughters, even though he also tells us that the data shows that girls are nine percent more likely to be in gifted programs. Unpack that one and you start to see how we direct boys to opportunities for their careers because we recognise their intelligence and we limit our girls by tying their value to their physical appearance.

It is no wonder girls are known to spend more time fussing with how they look and consuming the products to boot, I mean the pressure is immense when all their value is directed towards physical attributes. And these internet searches are not done by uncaring parents probably the very opposite they care about their children and want to see them succeed, it is what they see as necessary for success for their young girls that should sound the alarm bells. This is what a patriarchal system looks like it directs the behaviour of girls in a way that means they lose their sense of value and this lessons their access to opportunity from a very young age. This then prepares girls to accept being treated as the subordinate to men, an example of this is the gender pay gap.

So this song is about recognising that patriarchy still exists within our culture and that it is a system that not only limits womens opportunities but it is a system that is limiting human potential as a whole. It is very empowering to be able to recognise what you are up against because it gives the the opportunity to question and challenge it.

I had certainly been told as a young girl that women could be anything do anything and had all the same rights as men. But all this did was stopped me from questioning why I was always in a poorer position compared to my male counterparts. What this disguising of gender inequality does is conditions us to accept the position of our male counterparts as justified while leaving women in the position of proving their merit.

Camille xx

Camille Barr

Camille Barr is an Australian poet, essayist & artist.