Let me begin by thanking everyone so much for the response from my last post on feminist songs. I got some great songs recommended to me, which I will definitely be using for some music videos in the future.
Okay, now that the pleasantries are out of the way, I must come clean. I lied. I completely and utterly lied to all of you. I thought this feminist theme would only last a week, but I was oh so very wrong. It's gotten to be much bigger than what I anticipated, and I've been working on several things that I can't wait to share with you. I've been writing some new blog posts (in my head mostly, some on paper) and I think I'm getting closer to finalizing my thoughts with them (which means some new blog posts in the horizon - yippee!) AND there's a big music video I am editing. My roommate, Chrissy, helped me film it this past weekend, and I'm really stoked to release it when it's all done. But I know I've been holding out my lip syncing styling skills from all of you, so I decided to release a little filler video while I continue to work on the really awesome/amazing one coming your way. Enjoy!
First of all, I completely adore Sara Barielles (in case you couldn't tell from a previous blog post)
Second, I want to share why I selected this song, and why I feel it actually does qualify as a feminist (not an anti male) song:
While some have pegged the frustration in the lyrics to "Love Song" as a veiled reference to the singer's struggle to deliver what she thought her label wanted ("I'm not gonna write you a love song/ 'Cause you asked for it/ 'Cause you need one, you see"), Bareilles said the real explanation is a bit more complicated.
Yeah, she's pretty damn awesome, and will be coming out with her new album "The Blessed Unrest" this summer (which I can't wait for!)
So, as I continue to write, edit, and explore, I will... Wait... what's that? There's a BONUS music video in this blog?! No way!! (Yes. Way.)
This song needs no introduction or a descriptive reason as to why I choose it. I just love it.
See what happens? I hold out on posting videos and you get TWO in one post. Oh what a world!
Hope you enjoyed these, and check back in the next few days. I hope to have the super amazing awesome music video completed by the weekend, and a couple new posts in between now and then.
It has come to my attention (through a series of complaints) that I have not made one of my awesome lip-syncing music videos in quite some time. I actually had planned on recording one today, but my allergies started acting up (or I'm fighting a cold) and finding it to be quite a challenge to focus, let alone breathe. You might be thinking, “Well, Christine, you technically don't sing these songs, so what’s the big deal. It's okay if your face looks like a punching bag or that you're inhaling nasal spray.” And you’re right, I’m definitely making an excuse for myself because in all honesty, I've been struggling to find the best song to express all my thoughts for this feminist themed week I've created.
I've been researching for weeks (okay, a week) to find just the right song, and this is what I've discovered: There are so many kick ass songs out there that have to do with female empowerment and sticking it to the man (literally), that I became overwhelmed. Then, while going through my iTunes, I discovered it's also difficult to find a song that's pro women and not anti men (because sometimes I'm not necessarily mad at guys, I just want a song that pumps me up and reminds me how friggin fantastic it is to be a woman). I became transfixed with this idea in my mind. I had to find a song that promotes female empowerment, but doesn't have to do with all that guy baggage.
As a result of my thorough research regarding this, I discovered that most websites list the following as "feminist anthems":
Unsure of whether I found the right song(s) to use, I texted my two best friends who live in California and asked them "What's a good girl power song not about a guy?" Sabrina responded with "I'm dancing to one right now!!! Beyonce's 'Grown Woman'. When I got home, I listened to it and instantly fell in love:
Tiffany responded with "I Kissed A Girl," "Queen of the Night," and this classic number:
Yes, Chaka Khan did the original "I'm Every Woman," but I just love me some Whitney.
After they texted me these song titles, I was filled with this sense of nostalgia. I was reminded of all the times we used to drive around in my Jeep, windows down, blasting Katy Perry as we headed to the beach. I thought of the late nights we would stay up drinking wine, listening to Alanis Morisette or Kate Nash. I remembered the music videos we would create, singing along to Kelly Clarkson, Lady Gaga, and the Spice Girls. Those music videos resembled the ones we used to create back in middle school, minus the amazing dance moves we had when we were thirteen. I think most of my female readers know what I'm talking about when I mention that. Those were some good times.
Our playlists were, and still are, full of strength, courage, and wisdom (and yes that's a title of an Indie Arie song), and those are the qualities I want to bring to light. So, I know (I know!) you were really hoping I would end this blog with a video of some sort, but you must stay patient and wait for the awesomeness that will ensue.
NOTE: If you had any song that came to mind while reading this, I would love to know! Send me a comment, email, or text. Maybe I'll even "sing" it for you!
A follow up to yesterday’s blog post: I was having a conversation with my mom last night, and she told me that she did a report on Eleanor Roosevelt in the 8th Grade. Please know, this is the first I’ve heard about her report, but we both found it somewhat strange that there’s this connection we have to Ms. Eleanor. Maybe we’re distant relatives of some kind. Or maybe she’s just one awesome lady that many people find pretty inspirational. Now, onward!
A week ago, I was scrolling through my Twitter feed (is that the proper way to phrase it? Honestly, I’m not a big tweeter. I’m gradually learning how to use it though, as evidenced by this blog post.) And I saw a Tweet from one of my favorite feminist writers, Jessica Valenti. She stated that she would be in NYC on Wednesday night for a reading at the KGB bar on E. 4th Street.
I thought it would be pretty cool to go see her read an excerpt from her new book Why Have Kids? This woman was one of the best people to discover throughout my gender studies classes in college. She wrote a book called Full Frontal Feminism, which quickly became one of my feminist bibles (next to The Feminine Mystique) and she is the founder of Feministing.com (an awesome website you should totally check out). A couple years later, I was living in Connecticut and started to develop my first blog. It was on Blogger and the title was Misunderstanding, Misconceptions, and Myths: A Look at Gender Issues through A Sideways Microscope (not at all a pretentious or heavy title, and I’m sure I’ll re-use it for the first gender studies book I publish).
NOTE: While trying to remember the title, I discovered that this blog still exists in the internet ether at www.feministlookslikethis.blogspot.com
(Yeah. I own that title. What up.) So if you’re ever in the mood for some good feminist rants, you should totally check it out.
Amidst these various rants and discussions, I became entranced with the obsession people have with our construction of virginity throughout America. So I started researching and reading more, only to be amazed when I discovered Jessica Valenti had already written a book about this very subject. It’s called The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity is Hurting Young Women (nailed it). Within thirty minutes, I drove to Borders, bought a copy, went home and began devouring it. This book was the basis for my play, so eloquently titled: The Purity Play, which had its first staged reading nearly a year ago to date.
Needless to say, I have a big literary/feminist crush on Jessica Valenti, so when I saw that she was going to be reading in New York last week I knew I had to go see her. What ended up happening was not at all what I expected. It was way better.
I thought it would be a date night with myself, but it ended up being a friend date with one of my favorite people, Jackie (She and I went to college together, studied acting, performed a scene from Stop Kiss opposite each other, I was her spotlight in Miss Saigon, and she is literally the most kick ass person you will ever meet). She and I went out for tea beforehand, headed down to the East Village, sat down at a table, and enjoyed some gin and tonic with some macaroons. As we were sitting there, a woman sat down at the reserved table next to us. Our chairs touched, and I looked to my left, ecstatic to see that it was in fact Jessica Valenti herself. I maintained my cool, but was bursting with joy on the inside, clutching my copy of The Purity Myth, hoping she would be able to sign it after the reading. While we were waiting for the evening to begin, Jackie tagged us on Facebook, and her friend (who is also in love with Jessica Valenti) took a cab down to meet us as at KGB bar, just to see Jessica read. We sat there and listened to Jessica, along with two other feminist authors, read excerpts of their work. It was brief (due to an overlapping schedule conflict with another event) but it was a dream come true for me. At the end of it, we stood up, and Jessica turned to me. She said “hey” and noticed The Purity Myth in my hand. I told her that I was a big fan and asked if she would sign my copy. Not only did she sign it, but she posed for a picture with each of us. I was trying to keep my cool, but was totally geeking out. I told her that I wrote a play based off her book, which she enjoyed hearing about. I think we said a couple more things to each other, but I was so elated, I think I blacked out a bit. All in all, it was a perfect evening, and I was in feminist heaven.
After leaving the KGB bar and bidding our farewells to this remarkable woman, Jackie and I went to The Strand Bookstore (each purchasing five new books) and raved about what a fabulous New York night it had been for us. When I got home, I tweeted and Facebooked the photo collage to the left. A couple minutes later, Jessica Valenti tweeted back to me "thanks for coming!" After I freaked out a little to my roommate, I tweeted back to her, and knew right then and there that we had just become the best of friends (if only). Thus begins my Twitter stalking adventures.