What I Did Last Night

Get your minds out of the gutters, my sunny little pumpkin-heads. I went to go see of Montreal with some friends, and let me tell you, it was AMAZING. If you ever have the chance to go see them, take it, or at least get me some tickets.

Since I did so many posts on guys wearing dresses yesterday, it sort of made my day when I got there and there was a huge group of boys (obviously masculine-presenting, they were just wearing skirts) who happened to be wearing a some cool dresses. I hope they didn’t think I was making fun of them because I kept smiling at them, but only because I kept thinking “SCREW THE GENDER BINARY! WOO!”* Also, Kevin Barnes, the singer of of Montreal came on in a skirt at one point, and he was wearing makeup and girl’s clothing (or super-androgynous clothing anyway) the whole time, so it was a Night of Genderfuckery, which is my favorite kind. Anyway, I’m exhausted because I still had to go to school today so here’s a video by of Montreal to tide you over.

*They were also pretty attractive. Tip For Boys: If you want feminists to think you’re cool, wear skirts. That is a badass thing to do and we will give you da respect. Also, it is sort of hot so there.

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Real Men Have Pink Hair

Real men also wear massive shiny purple platform boots. So to give you a sampling of what a real man looks like, here’s Jonathan Rhys-Meyer (in Velvet Goldmine) performing “The Ballad of Maxwell Demon”.  Isn’t this entire video (including J. Rhys-Meyer) completely gorgeous?

And also, because I adoooore you and I also adoooore men in shiny, shiny pants, especially when they’re singing Stooges songs (who here doesn’t think Iggy Pop is ridiculously awesome? You? OUT.) here is Ewan McGregor as Iggy Pop in (guess what?) Velvet Goldmine singing “Gimme Danger” which is an amazing song.

Bad Romance With the Patriarchy

So, kids, today we’re talking about everyone’s favorite weird pop star, Lady Gaga! Yeah, I know, I’m super late to the boat on this one. So late that if the boat were Noah’s Ark Rabbit would be an extinct species (woo for bad puns). But I was watching the video for “Bad Romance” the other day and it is actually ridiculously badassly feminist. The video is, anyway– while I did cheer at the “I’m a freed bitch, baby” bit, the lyrics are really pretty bad. “I want your revenge”? Um, no, actually, I prefer my love affairs* without my daily dose of revenge, thank you very much. And no, I don’t “want your ugly”, either, you can keep it. Really, I insist.

But the video ROCKS. The basic premise is Lady Gaga is being sold to a total creep dude as a sex-slave. She resists being sold, and then blows up the guy who bought her. But *twirls mustache* let’s do a more in-depth analysis, shall we?

Things start getting interesting at 1:26, as a pink-haired Gaga is dragged forcibly from her peaceful bathtime (rubber ducky, you’re the one!) by two rather violent young ladies. It can be assumed they run the sick, twisted brothel or whatever is going on in this video. Then at 1:49, they attempt to force-feed her some kind of roofie mind-altering substance. Y’know, like a roofie. My Date-rape Metaphor Sense is tingling, you guys. But then, at 1:54, Gaga does the only right thing to do in this situation; spit the drink in your attacker’s eyes! Good job, Lady G (Holy invisible figure in the sky that I can’t see even in an airplane, did I seriously just say Lady G?). Only moments later, Gaga shows clad in what appears to be a Burberry burlap sack covered in graffiti. She struggles to keep it on, but ALAS! Her attackers (who are female but I’d bet anything they represent systemic patriarchal oppression) rip the coat/sack off. Aaaand now, my little petunias, do you see how this is representative of the constant forced sexualization of women? Underneath the coat/sack is naught but a well-placed chandelier, and some slightly gratuitous sexerful-dancing follows. Except the potty-dance at 2:21 is not really sexerful, but that’s O.K. too.

Gaga proceeds to give a lap-dance to her arrogant patriarchal oppressor random golden-jawed dude who is apparently looking to buy. I was not too happy with this, needless to say. NOO, LADY GAGA! DON’T APPEASE YOUR OPPRESSOR! HE IS THE HAND THAT HOLDS YOU DOWN!! O.K., got that out of my system. After, it cuts to a shot of a bunch of computers with “LADY GAGA – $1,000,000 – SOLD” on them. I guess he liked his lap dance.

After some more dancing and extremely high lobster shoes, Gaga approaches golden-jawed man wearing her Polar Bear Cape of Justice. She drops it to the ground, revealing sexerful lingerie, golden-jawed man goes from golden-jawed to slack-jawed and then… she blows him up. WOOT! Good job, girl. Blow up your oppressor.** Blowing up your oppressor is especially amazesome when you pose super-dramatically afterwards with a wind-machine and then lay coyly by the desiccated corpse wearing a missile launcher bra.***

*That was funny because I DON’T HAVE LOVE AFFAIRS!! Ha ha!! Well, I do have a love affair with brownies, but it’s complicated. We’re taking a break right now, so we’re open to seeing other people.

**I don’t actually advocate blowing anybody up, but from an artistic/metaphorical point of view… Everything’s better with Boom, right?

***I can’t be the only one who thought of Tank Girl (I effing love Tank Girl – the comics, not the movie) when I saw that bra.

Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)

I think “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)” by the Raveonettes is my new favorite song. It sounds so cheerful, and you know how I feel about women musicians. I love ’em like I love that face my dog (well, one of the two) makes when one ear gets flipped up and his tongue is hanging out of his mouth, and his lip is all bunched up and he looks like a dork. I feel like I should dress in a bright yellow sundress and Mary Janes and wear pigtails and go skipping down the hallway singing the chorus and reveling in the horrified looks passersby give me. What? Boys who rape should all be destroyed. Or, at the very least, neutered and sent to Rapist Camp. I imagine Rapist Camp to be something like summer camp. Only Rapist Camp would NOT be all about lanyards and singalongs and promising to email each other after you leave but never actually doing it. Rapist Camp would be more like, “24/7 maximum security living situation surrounded by 19 feet tall electric fencing and guarded by buff, all-female (transwomen welcome) guards with massive tasers and few qualms about using them”. Rapist Camp would not be as fun as summer camp.

The Raveonettes, writing catchy songs about rape and she has really great hair. No, seriously.

Id Engager

“Id Engager” by of Montreal.

I love of Montreal and their singer/writer/lyricist Kevin Barnes*, and this is one of my favorite songs, plus the video is great… I have three lines that I love (and are kind of feministyish; well, two of them are) and have to belt out no matter where I am.

“He’s just a slutty little flirt” (WOOHOO for reversing double standards, there)

“Ladies, I’m screaming out to you from the depths of this phallocentric tyranny” (anyone who can use the phrase “depths of this phallocentric tyranny” in such a gorgeous, poppy song gets props from me)

and “Ninjas prove it… right?” (because ninjas are cool)

*Seriously, this guy is really, really awesome. Look up some interviews with him or something. Plus, y’know, “Ladies, I’m screaming out to you from the depths of this phallocentric tyranny” is probably the best line in a song I’ve ever heard. And it’s a damn catchy song too.

Oh Bondage, Up Yours!

“Oh Bondage, Up Yours!” by X-Ray Spex. Isn’t Poly Styrene’s outfit awesome here? If you check out other X-Ray Spex videos she is dressed in equally enchanting ensembles. Yay for alliteration! Seriously, though, I’m not sure what kind of fabric the dress is but it looks like it would be fairly simple to make… I think I might even have a pattern from an old Halloween costume that would work. And the song itself is kind of awesome, especially the drowsy-sounding, “Some people think little girls should be seen and not heard…” followed by her screaming, “OH BONDAGE, UP YOURS!” Cheers!

Aguilera the Feminist

I love this music video. Is it just me, or is Christina Aguilera actually pretty feminist? I mean, she did a collab with Le Tigre, who are well known for being feminist, and Peaches, who has some of the best electro-raunch (I think I just made up a genre, but what else can you call that song “Slippery Dick”?) around.

And this video is GREAT! It starts with Aguilera dressed in itty-bitty all lavender clothing walking around and a guy grabs hers butt. So she launches into a lecture. I sort of burst into hysterical laughter at the line that goes something like, “you must talk so big/to make up for smaller things”. I now have a new favorite fall-back comeback. And all the calling-the-men-on-double-standards? Rawr. Plus, can we say thumbs up for the few girls who weren’t stick thin? THANK YOU. That was a welcome relief.

While I feel sort of guilty-pleasure-ish for liking such poppy music, it’s kind of awesome too. Anyone who can give a feminist lecture through song in an all-lavender ensemble topped with a baseball hat embroidered with “Lady C” has my respect. Where can I sign up to join Xtina’s posse of lovely ladies? And if I join, can I get my hands on a matching green outfit with a “Lady R” hat?

Women Musicians

I really hate the category, “women in rock”. I don’t get it – “Ooh, look! The guitar player has boobs! Obviously this must affect her playing greatly.” And yes, I think that music produced by women often is different, but I think that is just because men & women have such different experiences in society that their music is going to come from a different place. But I do have a special place in my heart for really badass female musicians. Lynn Breedlove, Joan Jett, Ari Up, and my personal idol… Kathleen Hanna. Kathleen Hanna is often credited as one of the founding mothers of the Riot Grrrl* movement in the 90s as part of the band Bikini Kill (along with equally awesome Tobi Vail, Kathi Wilcox and Billy, whose last name I can never remember.). If you go to the Bikini Kill archives, there are a buttload of comments saying how Bikini Kill changed their life** and made them realize that women can, in fact, be musicians.

When I first became interested in the Riot Grrrl movement, I really identified, but I honestly didn’t get the motivation behind making girls realize they can play music too. I’d always sort of thought, “well, duh, if I want to play music I’ll play music. Obviously.” And I didn’t think too much of it, mostly because I’ve not really encountered much sexism when it comes to women and music, at least. Except this one time, which pissed me off extremely.

When I first got into Bikini Kill, I went through a bit of an obsessive phase. My friends got sick of me talking about Kathleen Hanna and my chants of, “Rebel girl! Rebel girl! Rebel girl you are the QUEEN OF MY WORLD!” It’s entirely possible I lost a great deal of my hearing blasting “Demirep” and singing raucously along. And then I met this guy, T, who is really cool. I don’t want to sound like he’s a jerk (even though this was an asshole thing to say) because T is really awesome and understanding. When we went to go see The Green Hornet (which I hated but anyway.) his first comment upon seeing the main character with his one-night-stand in the opening scene was, “he’d better respect her”. Needless to say, the boy got a high five. T also has really good taste in music. Not many of my friends are into the same kind of music I like, which in some cases is understandable. But it’s always good to meet a fellow music lover. So I tried to tell T about Bikini Kill around the time I first met him. Our conversation went something like this.

ME: “So there’s this really cool band, called Bikini Kill, and the singer is badass” (I’ve mastered the art of speaking in bold and italics)

T: “Oh, really? Is he cute?”

Dead silence. Um. Hoo boy, you have no idea how ironic it is that I was talking about Kathleen Hanna when you said that.

ME: “Well, she’s pretty cute.”

T: “Oh.”

So boys, next time, do not assume that a musician, just because they are badass, is male. Because I will send my flying monkeys after you, and what remains will not be pretty.

*A great book? Girls to the Front by Sara Marcus. It’s effing fantastic.

**I actually heard a great story about a girl who drove around blasting “Suck My Left One”. I can’t drive yet, but I DO have really massive headphones that you can hear from about a mile away. Suburban jocks, beware!