Save for the perfect final paragraph about “Irreplacable,” this has to be one of the worst reviews on Pitchfork. Even for reasons past the dreadful sentence composition, like this four-adverb wonder: “Most radically, the siren-assisted caterwaul of second single ‘Ring the Alarm’ sounds genuinely (and marvelously) incoherent, her voice thrillingly sharp with anxiety and paranoia.” It’s not just awfully written, it’s pretty offensive. What the hell is “it was her pitch-perfect plasticity which gave much of her earlier work its majestic aura, as if she had transcended ordinary goals in a narcissistic drive for perfection” supposed to mean? “Plasticity?” Sure, there’s never been a Beyonce single anything less than very slickly produced, but goddamn that doesn’t make her inhuman. Like, way to not mention her distinctive voice or anything and instead use a word that typically denotes bland sameness. And throw in a nice “narcissistic” to imply that for a woman (of color) to set high standards for herself and try to achieve significant talent is somehow selfish. Right, cause then your white bros wouldn’t be at the top of the game anymore. Selfish bitch trying to be as good as a man. As if, right? Even if it’s not what you’re trying to say, I know what you’re thinking, bro.
Posts tagged sexism.
In the last 24 hours I got pretty angry about two things. First, the ongoing Lana Del Rey fiasco, which was probably my own fault for reading her lyrics for about an hour last night, but which was reinforced by walking to into my office and hearing her album on the speakers this morning. It sounded nice - I’m pretty sure it’s going to get some decent reviews. But the memory of what I’d read made me sad and angry all over again.
The other inciting incident from was the Chuck Klosterman essay in which he strangely and unsuccessful posits that tUnE-yArDs is a flavor-of-the-week indie artist who, along with her gender ambiguity, will fade into the buzzy ether soon enough. This bothered me on a pretty personal level. Merril is an inspiration and hero to me, as someone who is also a woman, musician, ukulele player, singer and believes in questioning gender norms, and her records and live performances have had a huge impact on me over the last few years.
Talking to a friend about our growing desperation in the face of the unending success of the LDR meme, I thought of a piece another friend wrote about her - one of the few that stuck out from the onslaught over the past few months:
What I didn’t understand was why [she] bothered me. But then I watched the videos and realized that for me, the problem was that I simply am not the intended audience.
…in Del Rey’s thus-far oeuvre, the intended audience is a lover who constantly needs to be re-engaged, re-compelled with forever fulfillment, reassured: “You can be the boss, daddy.” The lover/observer, not the artist, is creating the rules, but both are watching so very very closely. To love these songs, I think, requires an exhausting level of interest.
Though these observations were directed towards LDR, I think they can be applied to the Klosterman “controversy” as well. He simply isn’t tUnE-yArDs intended audience. Instead of recognizing that, coming to terms with it, or trying to understand what makes that so (hint: being a professionally grumpy white straight dude might have something to do with it), he assumes that because one minute piece of culture is not all for him, the artist in question must have a limited relevance, and the people who care about her must be suffering from some sort of temporary delusion.
We all make this mistake on occasion, assuming that because we don’t fit in an artists audience their music is bad or of little consequence (and sometimes it’s true, too). What bothers me is that in both of these cases, the parties involved (Chuck Klosterman and LDR’s audience) represent a demographic that is CONSTANTLY pandered to. For the concerns of those outside that group to be treated as silly or delusional (a stereotypical accusation), is all the more proof that sexism is alive and well, and even a distanced nostalgia for a time when it was socially acceptable (which LDR’s music displays) is worse than reversing what marginalized people have been working towards since the days of Ellen Willis, it’s spinning car around and flooring it in the opposite direction.
jacob is the best but sophie comes close.
Inspired by this Comics Alliance article, which stated, regarding many female comic characters, “They read like men’s voices coming out of women’s faces.”
This isn’t to say men can’t write good women, or shouldn’t write women. It’s great when anyone writes fantastic female characters. But as far as I’m concerned, a lot of comic writers have never written women at all, only hollow wooden sex puppets.
(Prints of this if you want them.)
#reasons I don’t read superhero comics.
Seriously, get your shit together comics industry, I want more than 4 comics I can follow.
I’ve heard very good things about Batgirl.
So apparently Tumblr is totally cool with rape jokes as long as Das Racist is making them?
Ok. I’m already iffy on the whole “you should never joke about ____ subject” thing. But the reason this joke was funny is that it’s comparing something really terrible (which is implicitly acknowledging/agreeing that said thing is terrible/happened/is somewhat important) with something totally placid and nonthreatening. Yes, when I read it I found it in questionable taste. But it is quite less outwardly offensive/worrisome than the kind of stuff that OFWGKTA says all the time… they don’t seem to acknowledge that the stuff they’re saying is inherently bad, they say it TO be offensive whereas Das Racist are saying this to be funny and to fuck with people. When Tyler calls people faggots you don’t see any self-aware irony hanging around (as annoying as that can be).
But that “self-aware” irony is usually just used as an excuse as to why something shouldn’t be considered offensive. It’s the same as hipster racism, where someone can get away with a racist comment because they’re totally not racist and that’s why it’s funny haha get it? Also how is saying something “to be offensive” different than saying it “to fuck with people”?
WHY DID NO ONE TELL ME GOT MILK? HELD A LEGIT ANTI-WOMAN RALLY?
THIS IS LIKE THE BAD MARKETING DECISION THAT KEEPS ON GIVING
ALSO I REALLY LIKE THAT THIS ARTICLE IS FILED UNDER ‘SEX CRIMES’
The new set of ‘Got Milk?’ ads has everybody talking today, and a lot of the rhetoric is taking on the sexist and plain stupid ads extremely well. Now it seems they’ve also staged a fake protest, in the name of humor because lol isn’t it funny to conceive of PMS as a man’s problem because women are just so goddamn bitchy when they get to their time, am I rite?
Ugh. Listen: it isn’t funny because this isn’t new. Men making jokes about women PMS-ing is as old as the term itself. Not only is the whole “women are so irrational lol” concept horrendously outdated and sexist (PMS is the new hysteria), but the joke itself isn’t even funny, or new. It’s a joke for men at the expense of women, and I’ll say it again: it isn’t even funny.
Of course, what they want more than anything else is people to be talking about it. So, in that way, they’re probably pretty happy right now. Here’s the website. You can go to it or not, but just know that they’re happy getting the hits right now, no matter what your opinion.
A fucking all man anti-woman protest!? Now tell me I’m being ridiculous, tell me this is all in good fun, tell me other companies are more sexist than this bullshit!
seriously though, i don’t get it.
We truly live in a post-sexism society *rolls eyes*
It just keeps getting worse…
Don’t you know that only women get PMS and only men date them? …
"If someone’s down, help them up." Dianna Settles of The Wild on building an open and inclusive underground.
(Photo by Stephen Yang)
“SHOW YOUR TITS! SHOW YOUR TITS!”
This is the refrain I heard at my first ‘punk’ show. I was 13 and it was the first time that my parents agreed to let me go to a show with my best friend Ian and his mom driving us. I heard this whenever a girl would crowd surf or try to dance. I didn’t understand why people would yell this or why the girls who did lift up their shirts looked so embarrassed or guilty afterwards, if it was something they wanted to do. Let’s start out by clarifying that I don’t consider this a real punk show now. Sum 41 was the headliner.
That isn’t the same scene that I call home today. I feel grateful every time I walk into a show space and find zines about immigrants’ rights, albeism, and feminism. It’s really amazing that through this sort of do-it-yourself/do-it-together ethic we’ve managed to loosely knit together a family for a lot of folks who didn’t feel welcome in other crowds. Sometimes though, there are circumstances where a zine library or a “safe space” sign isn’t enough. We have to be ready to create dialogue and really challenge the actions that oppress us, or be willing to listen and try to educate ourselves and one another even if we aren’t the ones who are feeling oppressed. It’s daunting sometimes to speak up about a situation that makes me feel inferior or alienated, because I don’t like to be thought of as someone who complains, or isn’t strong enough to roll with the punches. Especially if I know that my band mates, or male friends, won’t be about to relate to me. I think this is all part of the problem. If there isn’t discussion on all sides, there can never be any resolution.
We can’t just say that we’re past sexism. Or racism, homophobia, or classism for that matter. As long as these injustices exist in the dominant ideology we will have to fight to disarm them. Through the mainstream, small occurrences of hatred are slipped into everyday life, phrases, and terms. This language is enough to alienate certain groups of people and is casual enough to go by unnoticed. I notice sexism when I see fliers with hyper-sexualized women used for advertising, and when I hear a guy from one of the bands say, “I wanted to fuck that girl, but she’s a bitch.” I don’t feel included when we get to a venue and I’m the only one asked if I’m really in the band, or when a man comes up to me to ask where else I’m tattooed. And it’s hard not to notice when we play a show and someone comes up to everyone except me afterwards to say “good job.” I know that these occurrences are well outnumbered by amazing experiences, but it isn’t any less unnerving to watch the guy who just came up to me asking about what we sound like walk over to one of my male friends and laugh saying, “Just trying to get some pussy.”
This isn’t a call for a separatist punk scene. Quite the contrary. I think that it’s extremely important to have men involved in creating a women-friendly punk scene. Guys can relate to other guys on another level. It’s crucial to have a unified front when it comes to building safe spaces and show spaces. We’ve created such an inspiring community, and there’s so much more potential. There isn’t any reason that we have to accept anything because it’s “just the way it’s always been”. The DIY scene bloomed out of this same realization. Our community is able to grow because of the folks who don’t hesitate when they’re told that something is going to be hard work. It might not be any overnight resolution, but if we can be honest enough to say what we want, and when we feel threatened, and can be brave enough to speak up, we can make it known that there isn’t any room for sexism here. The reason that we are able to maintain such a brilliant community is because of our ability to communicate and support one another. You can see it in every basement that sweats and swells with people singing together to a band, or in the tiny kitchen shows, where the handful of folks sit quietly and captivated. You can hear it in the conversations afterwards, the clumsy introductions and the friendships that follow.
In order to overcome any sort of oppression, we have to understand that if we do nothing to challenge it, we’re providing the grounds for it to grow. Sexism and patriarchy are things that people participate in. While it’s intimidating to be called out, being proactive and trying to understand how you’ve wronged someone (intentionally or accidentally), will take us farther than being defensive, or dismissive. I once read “what each of us needs to do about what we don’t know is look for it.” It’s simple, but if it could be applied to this arms race for the last word in, there would be more room for discussion, and less time wasted making women feel like their personal experiences are invalid. Something I’ve noticed, since the inception of the series on sexism in punk, is that a lot of the folks arguing against what the contributors have to say use sexism and moshing at shows interchangeably. While sexism and detrimental ideas of masculinity can exist in the pit, it isn’t the isolated occurrence. I love it when I can see people dancing and screaming and singing along, but I’ve reminded them to look out for each other, and make sure that no one’s getting hurt. If someone’s down, help them up. We’re all in this together.
I believe that the punk scene cries out for more ladies to be involved. Women and female-bodied persons are inherently valuable to our community, just as men are. There is strength in our diversity. If we all wanted to participate in the conventional, monotonous everyday, full of hypocrisy and bigotry, we wouldn’t have built our way out of it. We wouldn’t have the scars and the dirt under our fingernails to say, “I worked for this”. We built this ourselves, and we’ve threaded our way out of the institutions and the calamity that excluded us, and sought a place to call home. That’s why it feels unsafe when that same racist, sexist, heteronormative, classist, ableist, ageist bullshit we’ve struggled so hard to escape makes its way into our community. We are different. Our experiences are valid. Everyone’s are. Our dialogue and the decisions we make affect more than ourselves. We can challenge negative behavior. We can influence one another in positive ways. We can eradicate bigotry from our scene. And once we’ve accomplished a truly safe space in the punk scene, we can have more shows, more friends, better turn outs, more bands, and more grrls.
Dianna Settles is an artist, vegan food enthusiast, and volunteer coordinator for a bicycle co-op in Atlanta. For more information about The Wild you can visit www.thewildatl.com and facebook.com/thewildatl for tour dates and more. She has a food/travel blog that she’s sort of bad at updating littleroadhome.tumblr.com. You can write to her at email@example.com.
It’s true that even the supposed safe spaces have a lot of sexism ingrained too. When I saw Heathers and Ghost Mice and some other bands at the library in Cambridge, everyone talked throughout Heathers’ first few songs while giving everyone else respect, even though they were easily the best act of the night.
“Sure, I know it’s my personal and subjective problem that I find Joanna Newsom’s Ys the best album of the century and it’s my personal and subjective problem that I get miffed when the most important music journalism publication rates any album more highly than it. But I started to research the highest numbered Pitchfork ratings of all time and I was very dismayed with the results. Not a single album made primarily by a female artist has even received a 10.0 rating from Pitchfork. Only two albums have been named album of year which has a significant female creator—Fever to Tell by the Yeah Yeah Yeahs for 2003 (if we go by the end of the decade lists), with Karen O as the primary lyricist and songwriter and Silent Shout by the Knife for 2006 with Karin Dreijer Andersson as the primary lyricist and songwriter… Only 7/40 top albums of the year from 1970-2010 have had women as songwriters and only 2/40 with women as the primary songwriters and lyricists (and let’s remember that the Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Knife have men in them, so I am a bit hesitant to even count them)”
All The Birds on the Bon Iver BNM today.
I find it so annoying when people don’t realize that ratings are in part relative to that artist’s other work and, most importantly, made by different people. Mark Richardson reviewed Bon Iver and Chris Dahlen wrote the Ys one. Does Richardson like Bon Iver more than Dahlen liked Ys? No, he just translated his thoughts into an entirely holistic and mostly arbitrary number in a slightly different way. Believe it or not, ratings aren’t a science. Instead of being depressed that Tune-Yards might not get AOTY, why not just be excited that you might find an artist you like even more? Using Pitchfork ratings, ones that only have a difference of .1, is silly. And by the way, every music publication gave MBDTF awesome reviews. No idea what you’re talking about there.
Jesus was breastfed. Personally I find screaming babies far more distracting than breastfeeding.
OH MY GOD, YOU MEAN SOMEONE HAD THE AUDACITY TO USE THEIR BREASTS FOR THEIR BIOLOGICAL PURPOSE? AT A TIME WHEN THE INFANT REQUIRED IT? Well. Well I never.
This too. I’m serious, PET PEEVE. I don’t even have kids and it pisses me off that people think breast feeding is so vile. What the fuck is vile about a baby eating? Please explain that to me.
IT’S NATURAL, folks! The kid needs to eat! Would you remember the sermon if there was a baby screaming through it? I didn’t think so.
I didn’t think it was that controversial. I’ve assistant-taught classes where teachers were breastfeeding right in the middle of lecturing. None of the kids gave a shit. Truth be told, my thoughts were “This is a little awkward, but it seems like a commonly accepted thing, so whatever.” Not a big deal, guys.
“I’ll be happy when the day comes when people don’t think it’s such a big deal to have a movie with a lot of women in it.”
Kristen Wiig (as quoted on Autostraddle)
Same goes for movies with POCs and QUILTBAGS. White cis heterosexual males should not be the default.
If someone made a movie with an all-quilt cast that would be pretty fucking notable.