In defense of the sanctimonious women's studies set || First feminist blog on the internet

So I Thought This Was Kinda Cool

Not sure if anyone here is familiar with The Good Lovelies, but they are a three piece ensemble out of Port Hope, Ontario who are generally categorized as “roots” music – they have a real throw-back, Andrews Sisters three-part harmony type feel. Sunday drives and picnics type stuff.

A friend got me their first CD for my birthday a few years back and it’s great. I took my girls to see one of their shows and they put on the kind of performance that makes you wish they were your best girl friends. I was listening to it in the car not long ago and it occurred to me that nestled in this collection of guitars and ukuleles and banjos were nestled a number of feminist themes. “Sleepwalking'” describes having been sold out by the promise of domesticity. “Down, Down, Down” talked of disillusionment with the church and acceptance of mortality. I should add, these are my personal interpretations only.  

 The song that surprised me most was “Cheek to Cheek”. Admittedly, it was one of the tracks that took me longer to get used to. After really taking a listen to the lyrics I discovered that behind what could be considered a pretty innocuous, love song, was a song about sexual agency, where the woman narrating is truly a subject, rather than an object of desire.

*Listen Here

Put your cheek next to mine
While our fingers intertwine
Step with one foot at a time
My hips have it, my feet fall in line

Our strolls turn into miles
Guided by the pale moonlight
I want to lean in, but it’s been a while
So I wait just a little longer

Oh, I would do
Anything with you
Under the moon

You wait by the riverside
Lips together, eyes shut tight
We sway like it’s our first time
Gently pull you down to the ground.

It’s subtle, but not. I like how there’s a sense of hesitancy in the second verse, but it’s based on the narrators own readiness. There’s no pretense of not wanting to come across as too forward or too bold. Just the thought of “Hmm.. Is this what I want?” and then “Yes, yes it is,” during the bridge.

 The narrator here is the one acting, rather than being acted upon, right up to the last line.

I’ll also add that, vocals aside, there is no indication of gender. This could be a song about a man and a woman, two women, two trans men, two people of any given gender or sexuality.

 Long story short, this reading of the lyrics increased my enjoyment of this song in particular. Does anyone have a different reading? Do you find the lyrics problematic in anyway? Is this just my way of promoting local(ish) talent?

*Lyrics are reprinted with permission (*gigglesquee!*)

Hip Hop Is For Lovers

This is a guest post by Lauren Bruce, former Feministe blogger and music superfan.

Hip Hop is For Lovers is a multimedia web experience dedicated to looking at love, sex and intimacy through the lens of hip hop culture. Its centerpiece is a weekly woman-centered, queer-friendly and justice-heavy podcast that features discussions about a variety of relationship topics punctuated with the best in rap. After months as a listener, I had the privilege of talking with podcast co-hosts Uche and Lenée about the making of the show, the tentative relationship between hip hop culture and mainstream feminism, and what we should be listening to next. After the interview, tune in live on Wednesday nights from 8-10 EST to hear Uche and Lenée in action.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

Yes, we’re occupying it, but I can admit that I do love Valentine’s Day. Not the commercialized romance part, but a whole day dedicated to celebrating love? And watching cute couples all out together looking happy? It’s very sweet. And I’m going to spend this evening watching Bebel Gilberto and drinking champagne and whiskey, so I’m good.

Chris Brown won’t let us forget: Domestic violence is okay if you’re hot

Trigger warning for domestic violence

Sasha Pasulka of HelloGiggles said it best: “I’m not okay with Chris Brown performing at the Grammys and I’m not sure why you are.” She points out that the popular response to Chris Brown’s beating of Rihanna was beyond disappointing, with fans and celebrities alike falling back on “No one knows exactly what happened” and “It takes two to tango” and “He’s such a great guy; he never would have done something like that unprovoked.” Jump forward three years, he was invited to perform at the Grammys (because the music industry appears to be okay with it). Because, says Grammys producer Ken Erlich, people deserve a second chance. And he hasn’t performed at the Grammys for two whole years now. And “we were the victim of what happened.”

But that was last night. That was Hollywood’s reaction. This morning, it’s the fans’ reaction, which appears to be: Chris Brown is so hot, it would be okay if he beat me.

It would be awesome if he beat me.

Examples hidden behind the jump, because seriously, triggering. I just can’t.

New Favorite Things

Jaclyn Friedman’s Unsolicited Advice column in GOOD. This week she advises Blue Ivy Carter:

One of the things that’s going to be especially weird, if the response to Shiloh Jolie-Pitt’s haircut is any indication, is that a non-trivial minority of the global population will soon consider what you do with your body and your sexuality their business. In fact, they’ve already started. Most people would welcome a new addition to their family as “the most beautiful baby in the world,” but in your case, perfect strangers are already being invited to assess that claim.