Monday, April 27, 2009

How Not to be a Feminist Rocker-Man

As I have stated in some of my previous posts, I am interested in exploring the ways men contribute to the fight for equality between the sexes. One of the bloggers over at The Pursuit of Harpyness posted the lyrics to a song that I thought provided a good example of how to fail at being a feminist man.

This is a song by Ben Lee, entitled "I am a woman." (You can see a video here).
It’s true, it’s true
I’m a woman too
I move with the flow of the seasons

I do, I do
Cause I’m a woman too
I don’t make sense but I got my reasons

So hear me roar
I will not be ignored
If you’ve ever had to fight
You’re a sister of mine
If you’re heart’s got something to prove
Then you’re a woman too

It’s here, it’s clear
Is what can be unfair
There’s always someone being kept down.
It’s true, it’s true
Cause I’m a woman too
So shut me up and I’m gonna get loud

[chorus: So hear me roar, etc.]

The African he’s a woman too
The American he’s a woman too
The Palestinian he’s a woman too
The Jew? He’s a woman too
The freedom fighter, he’s a woman too
The messiah, he’s a woman too
This planet, he’s a woman too
And you you’re a woman too
You’re a woman too

Now I know that this song makes about as much sense as the language that spews out of my baby monster's mouth, but apparently Mr. Lee is using the word "woman" as a substitute for the word "oppressed". I suppose he deserves credit for recognizing that women are oppressed but he would have won more points without the whole "women are irrational" stereotype.

mr. mraynes hates when I tell him he doesn't understand something because he's a man. I totally understand why this bothers him, it's the ultimate trump card and its hard to have a productive conversation after I've played it. But I need mr. mraynes to be a man; I need to understand his male experience and thinking much more than I need him to understand what it is like to be a woman...I already get that.

So I guess what I'm saying to all you feminist men out there is be men and be proud of it! Us women-folk have the woman thing down; we need you to confront the gender problems from your male perspective.

Oh, and if you want to write a subversive feminist song, this is how you do it!


  1. I have a great husband who is also interested in sticking up for eqality - it can just be so hard for him to see patriarchy. Because it is everywhere, like the air, it seems invisible. Background.

    The Lennon song makes a good point. It reminds me of one of the characters in Zora Neale Hurston's, _Their Eyes Were Watching God_, except there, they say woman is the mule of the world, oppressed in every culture and race.

  2. I have never liked how that Lennon song sounded, but have always enjoyed the subversive lyrics. I wish I liked the whole package more.

    I have not thought much about the male perspective in quite this way. Food for thought.

  3. A male perspective is important. I find I can handle it if they also understand that it's not the ONLY perspective. That's where the trouble comes in.