Shirley Manson, the singer of Garbage, has lamented the current position that female performers hold in today’s music industry.

Manson feels the industry’s portrayal of women and female artists has taken a disastrous step backwards in recent years. In a chat with NME yesterday, Manson stated “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.”

As part of Garbage, Manson helped redefine the female singer, becoming one of rock’s leading female icons during the group’s rise in the nineties. Commenting on her position in the industry she said, “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 to play the submissive role of a woman. Now I feel like things have returned to the way they were before we started.”

Manson was quick to make clear she was not attacking any fellow performers, “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.”

Refusing to name-check any of her contemporaries or which artists she considers are “in disagreement with the mainstream.” it’s not too much of a stretch to imagine that Manson might be referring to the likes of Lana Del Rey, and her well-documented struggles with popularity.

Manson is set to head out on the road shortly with Garbage, who have just released their latest album Not Your Kind Of People.

It is the band’s first record since officially reforming late last year, following on from 2005’s Bleed Like Me.