Saturday, January 05, 2008

Chick Rock Night at the Village Green

Because I'm feeling kind of bad for Hil (see latest Rasmussen NH prediction here), I feel like reaffirming women's liberation with some classic Fanny, Suzi Quatro and some post-modern Storm Large.

I'm four years younger than Hillary, and I know what it was like back then -- being a girl with ambitions beyond the ideal husband, house and kids in the suburbs. My consciousness was raised in high school, when I was running for class president. I had jumped into the campaign, thinking I would be good in a leadership role as I had already evidenced the skills that would be put to good use as a theatre director and teacher. Politics and show biz are pretty much involve the same skill sets.

So I was sitting in Latin class chatting about running for office when the eventual class Valedictorian with perfect 4.0 turned to me and said she couldn't vote for a girl because being president was a man's job. This young woman with all those impeccable academic qualities got married right out of high school, had kids and eventually I heard she went to nursing school.

As for me, I was soundly trounced in the election by the class super athlete. That pretty much ended my political ambitions. Good thing too, because it would have been wasted effort. According to a recent Gallup poll, more people would choose NOT to vote for an atheist, no matter what. Note that the 48% figure is a consistent number from the 1950s to the present, a time during which the percentages opposed to blacks and women dropped hugely.

Back in the dark ages of the 1960s, most girls went to college to get a husband. Some like Hillary wanted a husband and a career, and she was willing to put her husband's career first. (I could never do that so, wisely, never married!) Then the Vietnam war came along and messed all the old traditions. Our fellow students, boyfriends, brothers, cousins and friends were getting drafted, or else dodging the draft in various ways. We mobilized and took to the streets, boys and girls together. The war resistance movement opened us up many more possible liberation paths.

Things are better now. In the same poll, we see that only 5% of the populace would vote against someone because they are black and 8% would vote against a candidate because she is female. That is hopeful, but it doesn't address the lack of women in leadership roles at all levels. For example -- go to this site and see that only one woman made the top ten list of local "newsworthy" people of 2007. Chrissie Hynde only made the top 15! Bah!

I wonder, just how far have we come -- really? I think that is a real problem -- there are no newsworthy women locally. If that is the case, why?

We need some grrl power inspiration right about now. Here's some classic Fanny. This band never got its just due. They were all very talented musicians and this video proves it. For me, the very idea of Fanny was electric and inspirational. Women could pick up guitars and play. It was ok to pursue your artistic passion, even when the field was very much male-dominated.

Here's another early rock and roll legend, Suzi Quatro. Why isn't she in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame? Madonna goes in but not Suzi or Fanny. Utterly shocking.

No Chick Rock Night would be complete without Storm Large. What the what is Ladylike? Check out Storm and the Balls in Ontario, 2006.

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