|Apparently being a feminist means being unattractive or aggressive, or possibly both.|
I am in two minds today. The culprit? Jessie J, that lovechild of Lily Allen and Lady Gaga, who has been dominating the airwaves with Do it Like a Dude. My problem with this track is that to me, it smacks of the pseudo-feminism which appears to argue that men are superior beings and women must try to be just like them.
The young lady in question has stated that the lyrics are about "male egos in the music industry", explaining that it was "tongue-in-cheek but also a middle finger up. Women can do whatever the big men in suits do who take themselves so seriously. It's an empowerment song."
Actually, I feel pretty empowered already. Of course women can do all the stuff men can do (duh). But why would we want to?
She isn't the first to suggest imitating men as a way of "becoming" their equals. P!nk has one of the best voices in the business and is incredibly talented – but she, er, dropped the ball when she ended her Stupid Girls video with a clear choice; Sindy dolls bad, playing sport good. Because, well, boys play a lot of sport. And as it's traditionally girls who play with dolls, naturally they must be scrapped immediately. (Was there also a little irony in the fact that to parody bimbos writhing around in their underwear, she had to writhe around in her underwear…?) Despite this, I do applaud her for ridiculing the lack of political ambition among girls who end up "dancing next to 50 cent," and for generally making promos with a sense of humour – about herself as well as everything else.
Luckily I like being a girl and I have no desire to start wearing my jeans halfway down my bum, or joining in rugby club initiations involving puke, or any other traditionally male pursuits, in order to fulfil some sort of bizarre politically correct ideal. If you disagree, you may want to consider joining pinkstinks.co.uk. It is (don't laugh) a group which campaigns to stop girls buying pink toys. I am over-simplifying of course, but you get the gist. This is odd to me because a) surely it would be more "empowering" to allow your daughter to choose whatever colour she likes, b) pink has only been considered a "girl's" colour for about 70 years and c) I'd have thought that for those raising a daughter in 2010, her liking the colour pink would be the least of your problems. Displacement activity, anyone?
However, in the research for this mini-rant I came across something which made me want to say "Please disregard every bad thing I ever said about Jessie J." Once I had heard the acoustic version – I was floored. In comparison, the production of the radio release doesn't even begin to do justice to her vocal talent. The girl is freaking incredible. A star is born.