The aesthetic of the time was different, the slick marketing of acceptable grungeness, heroin chic, and edginess, and former dance-pop divas like Alanis Morissette were rebranded as Angry Chicks, in an image just as manufactured as any other. And most of the girls in bands were either the bombshell lead singer or the hot bassist. They weren't the main creative force or the songwriters or the guitarists, more often the eye candy and the objects of ogling by the male fans and the image of what we girls wanted to be, which maybe wasn't the same sexualization as, say Britney Spears, but it still was just as dysfunctional.
And hell, most music is "mewling" about love and stuff. It's just that some people make it more awesome than others. So yeah, non-story, but people like Liz Phair need to eat and still feel relevant, so it gets trotted out everyone once in awhile so everyone can feel superior about the good old days that in this case really weren't. Besides, as I've said before, there's more than enough good stuff out there due in part to the fair sex as it is. And while I don't believe that the double standard will ever magically evaporate, I do think the next generation of girls will have it easier than I did.