Feminist rates songs about women

// 14 March 2007

Over at the Guardian today, Laura Barton has awarded 10 songs about women a score out of 10 based on their feminist chops.

beyonce of destiny's childDestiny’s Child comes in with the highest score at nine out of 10, for Independent Woman.

Independent Woman continues an argument expressed in an earlier Destiny’s Child song, Bills, Bills, Bills, which harangues a gentleman for not paying his way in a relationship. Independent Woman goes further, explaining that a woman should not require a man to buy her shoes, house, automobile or the “rocks” she is “rockin'” but should instead head out to find gainful employment and, therefore, financial liberation. (The bit about Charlie’s Angels and Lucy Liu is pretty superfluous and should probably be ignored.)

I’ve never heard of the song or the singer, but Charlene comes in last with no points, for a number called I’ve Never Been to Me. Barton makes it sound kinda hilarious though:

A song apparently written by the editorial team of the Daily Mail, I’ve Never Been to Me tells the tale of a woman who has “been to Paradise” but “never been to me”. The song addresses another woman who is bemoaning her status as “a discontented mother and a regimented wife” (which does sound fairly unappealing). Rather than telling her to buck up, though (as Candi Staton did so brilliantly with Young Hearts Run Free), Charlene mopes that, though she has personally “been undressed by kings”, and, indeed, “sipped champagne on a yacht”, these cavortings have all been for nought. Yes, even the evening she “danced like Harlow in Monte Carlo”. Why so? Well, you only have to consider the nights she has spent crying for the “unborn children that might have made me complete” to catch the gist of her argument. Summation: menopausal ex-globe-trotting crumpet wonders if she shouldn’t have settled down in that semi in Swindon, aged 22, after all. Just why is this still a karaoke favourite?

Now, if only Barton could be persuaded to carry this on. Maybe Apple will give her a job sorting through iTunes?

Photo by Osei (Ozzy), shared under a Creative Commons license

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