Saturday, February 3, 2007

Queer Musical Interlude: Sleater-Kinney

Now for this week's musical interlude, from Portland, OR, Sleater-Kinney performing What's Mine Is Yours:

The Washington Post on Sleater-Kinney's live performance:
Sleater-Kinney's sound is raw yet accessible, passionate yet mindful of the audience. The band directed its energy outward, pulling audience emotions up and down. "Rollercoaster" demanded -- and got -- spinning green lights. "Modern Girl," sung with a tough sweetness by Carrie Brownstein, offered the unexpected counterpoint of percussionist Janet Weiss on harmonica. And "Steep Air" began with a contemplative guitar intro -- reminiscent of, of all things, Shawn Colvin's "Sunny Came Home" -- that was overtaken by the building thunder of Weiss's drums and the ominous lyrics that signaled the escape of the desperate.

Guitarist Carrie Brownstein on gender deconstruction:
And in terms of redefining gender, I think, I have to say my main problem with it, although I do think, OK I do think that gender is a construction and I do think that redefining what a woman is part of an important debate. But, I think that’s it’s sort of a post-revolutionary concept in a very pre-revolutionary time.

Meaning that, sexism still exists. Women as a category, as an identifiable marker, exists in our society, whether we want it to or not. So, to simply claim that woman doesn’t exist for yourself might be OK. But to try to dismantle it as an entity in order to bring another form of politics in there, will only work after sexism is gone.

It’s hard to let go of being a woman, or the idea being a woman, when we still live in a society that oppresses women and objectifies women. I just think that in that sense, it’s problematic. And in terms of older feminists who worked really hard for things like equal pay, or maternity leave[....]

For someone thirty years younger to begin to say "Woman is just a construct, we need to totally let that go…" Are we there yet? Can we afford to do that? Hopefully those discussions can coexist. Instead of one trying to topple the other. I think we can be working towards different goals, but it means a complete toppling of the category of “woman,” not just by feminists, but by everybody. Until that happens, I just don’t see it as being really possible.

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