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MC's picture

I have known two things for a while:

1. I like music, and I have feelings about it


2. I like feminism, and I have feelings about it

I realized in class that even if we don't end up with classes dedicated to music and feminism/other cultural movements, I would really love the opportunity to talk about it incessantly with other people. And then I realized we have Serendip and good ideas just abounded.


PROTOCOL: Anyone can offer up a playlist, preferably with links to where we can actually listen to the music. If there are music videos, please post them! Even if it's not the official video and just someone's project, if you like it share it! This particular part does not have a theme, but if someone is inspired to do that sort of thing that would also be totally sweet. The music you post does not necessarily have to be explicitly feminist, it can talk about issues you think are important, or maybe even just have certain lyrics you really respond to. You can also edit and post multiple times, because music is wonderful and I don't think anyone is going to get angry if you add more. If you feel like adding commentary that would also be really cool, but feel free to just post the links and let us ruminate on our own. Interpret this entire activity as you will, there is no "proper model".

My initial contribution:

Titties Bounce, Gravy Train!!!! [Hello Doctor]: A bunch of queer peeps being awesome and singing things you don't necessarily want heard by your parents. Hella Nervous is also fantastic, and the first song by Gravy Train!!!! I ever heard.

21st Century Girl, Willow Smith: Now this is something that I would really be interested in talking to other people about, because the singer is a young girl who is being presented to the pop culture world and potentially has no choice in her decision, but the video provides an alternate interpretation. She is shown literally creating a city for herself, and giving this power to her friends (girls in her approximate age group) and to her younger sister. She makes what she wants from nothing, and is shown enjoying this power to create and choose. While Willow Smith's outifits in particular are slightly more "grown up" in that they do not look like something a pre-teen would wear, they are still fun and do not come off (to me) as uncomfortably sexualizing. Also interesting to note is that the majority of the comments on this video are about how she is incredibly materialistic and that is the state of society and girls/women today, girls/women are inherently materialistic, etc.

Settle Down, Kimbra [Settle Down EP]: Fantastically done but also very creepy video for your viewing pleasure. Following in the vein of girls and sexualization comes girls, sexualization, and strict gender roles and expectations.

Dancing on my Grave, Ghostland Observatory [Robotique Majestique]: Mostly because I really like the phrase dancing on my grave. This is also different from the album version, as in significantly different? Which is interesting.

Underbitch, Poison Girls [Real Woman]: Changing "underdog" to "underbitch" kind of says a lot more than I could. Real Woman is also worth listening to and talking about. "Real woman" is such a destructive term, in that it can not only be used against women and female-bodied but non-female identifying persons to keep them in their place, but is also used to maintain internalized misogyny.

Bittersweet, Sick of Sarah [Sick of Sarah]:

Overwhelming, Blackfire ([Silence] is a Weapon): Also listen to [Silence] is a Weapon. Blackfire is a Native American punk-rock band that is not afraid of telling everyone how they feel about what is going on in the world. Their songs are about issues such as genocide, oppression, domestic violence, and ecological destruction. They mean business.

All Babes are Wolves, Spinnerette [Spinnerette]: I like things with wolf in the title. I like them better when the band continues to use wolfish imagery through out the song, and finishes with something that sort of sounds like howling. I interpret the chorus as about general loyalty to loved ones (like wolves in a wolf pack! Did anybody read Julie of The Wolves? I really liked that book) more so than socially expected female devotion to a lover. Thoughts?

Fury of the Storm, Dragonforce [Sonic Firestorm]: You probably know Dragonforce from Guitar Hero (or I just assume everybody does? We had a lot of school-sponsored Guitar Hero parties in high school, and a lot of Dragonforce happened). Their songs are the ones that you get finger cramps from trying to air guitar to. Dragonforce pretty much does Ballads With Ridiculously Intense Guitaring About Glory, and while there are reasons to argue that this isn't particularly feminist (Virginia Woolfe would hate it because women shouldn't like fighting, glory, or loud music--okay that last one is just a guess on my part), listening to it makes me feel like I can take on everything and then sail away into a distant galaxy on the back of the Lesbicorn. The narratives are very inclusive: they don't tell you a story about other people, they tell you a story about US, about how WE are going to go find Eternal Glory and have mad guitar skills and that's pretty cool. The listener and the singer become a team in the lyrics, and in a way that's very TOGETHER WE CAN DO ANYTHING. It's empowering and that's great.


And this is where I leave the first draft of my contribution, because I really should do other homework. But please! Join the fun!