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where the boys are

So, the new issue of Bust arrived yesterday, and I am glad to see that the magazine seems to be back on track. I've been seriously disappointed with a few issues since the relaunch, but this new one was excellent - a good mixture of pop culture and political stuff. And I was delighted to see the article about the demise of Sassy (even though the content was pretty depressing).

And then there was the PJ Harvey interview. Christina Martinez was a good interviewer (I could add 'for someone who isn't a writer at all' but that might be construed as jealousy because she is married to one of the hottest men in the world. I actually think she's pretty cool), but Polly Jean herself was a disappointment, mostly because of her remarks about feminism. I knew she'd distanced herself from the concept before, but I'd never seen an interview ask her directly, and I wasn't impressed by what followed. I can't understand how someone who doesn't even have a fucked-up view of feminism (which would be another issue entirely) can reject it like that. She said she thinks feminism means solidarity and support between women. And yet she's not attracted to that. In other words, she is a Boy's Girl. And I've always kind of hated boys' girls, with their "oh, other girls are just so stupid, but not me. I like cooler things than stupid girls. They're all so bitchy and trivial." I don't despise those girls because I myself don't like boys. Apart from the fact I go out with a boy, I've always had male friends. Hell, I'm in a band with four boys, and I've spent a lot of time being the only girl in group situations. I lived with two male friends for ages. I am living with two boys right now. Yet I identify with other women, and, yeah, I do feel solidarity with them. And for someone to dismiss that whole idea...well, that's pretty off-putting to me.

She also came out with that tired old 'well, I've never experienced any gender discrimination', which makes me think she should head to Afghanistan for a while. Just because she, as a white, educated middle class woman, have never been discriminated against, doesn't mean that other women haven't, including her own peers (if she ever had to look for maternity leave or, I dunno, if she lived here and wanted an abortion, then she might realise that discrimination actually does exist). her management actually contacted the magazine after the interview and expressed their concern about her appearing on the cover of a "feminist flagship magazine". I genuinely feel less respect for Harvey now. And I'm going to see her perform tonight, but I dunno, it won't be the same.


( 15 comments — Leave a comment )
Aug. 31st, 2004 03:57 am (UTC)
If you should bump in to her tonight, I would suggest giving her a piece of your mind!
Aug. 31st, 2004 06:22 am (UTC)
Huh, I think what I thought was a new issue might be one behind you. The one I got last week had an interview with Jena Malone.
Aug. 31st, 2004 06:35 am (UTC)
Yeah, that's about three months old - did you ask them to start with that issue? Their sub service has really improved over the last few months. The most recent issue of Bitch came out about two months ago too, so it looks like Bitch are still tardy with the international subs.
Aug. 31st, 2004 07:06 am (UTC)
I don't remember what I asked to start with, it was a while ago. Oh well, they're new to me, at least!
Aug. 31st, 2004 08:58 am (UTC)
I just picked it up yesterday here in Vancouver, and I've been looking for it for weeks. Apparently it takes them a long time to distro internationally.

By the way, is Cristina Martinez the singer for Boss Hog?
Aug. 31st, 2004 09:41 am (UTC)
That's her! And, I don't think the new issue has been out for all that long, has it?
Aug. 31st, 2004 12:01 pm (UTC)
Some Americans are my friends list have been talking about the new issue for a while, so it's been out for at least 2 weeks.
Aug. 31st, 2004 10:27 pm (UTC)
Oh, that's disappointing. I hate when women take that attitude of not liking other women just because they're women. It's no better than when men do it. And I used to like PJ too...
Sep. 1st, 2004 06:03 am (UTC)
I read the article and was disappointed too. And renewed my resolution that there are just some artists I should not know too much about if I am going to continue to enjoy their work. I've got a list of 'em. It's getting longer the more glimpses I catch of celebrities at the Republican Convention.

I think I could be more accepting of PJ's attitude, if she presented her ideas like Chrissie Hynde: just get in there and get things done, don't give your power away. But I came away from PJ's interview disappointed moreso because she does not seem particularly thoughtful or intelligent.
Sep. 1st, 2004 06:24 am (UTC)
Exactly - although to be honest, I don't have any time for Hynde's "survival of the fittest" attitude to feminism either. But yeah, PJ more or less admitted that she didn't really think about it, and yet still had this kneejerk reaction against it. I saw her last night and the audience was about 70% women, which is amazing, and I can't believe she doesn't feel something about that.
Sep. 1st, 2004 08:02 am (UTC)
Well exactly! Isn't one of the great benefits of being a performing artist the ability to connect with your audience? To put that energy out there and feel it come back to you?

But yes, though I have no patience with the "I'm not a feminist, but..." contingent, I have even less patience with those who are inarticulate and thoughtless in their defense of that position. PJ seemed to lack perspective and context. Hynde at least comes from a position of having been assailed from the beginning of her career by certain branches of feminism over the years for not being "feminist enough" or in one instance, because she identifies as a writer/rocker/mother first, getting shit for not waving the feminist flag above all.
Sep. 1st, 2004 06:18 pm (UTC)
Back in 1992 or thereabouts sweetpizza and drummygirl did a notorious (at the time) zine about PJ's anti-feminism and their disappointment in/confusion about it (confusion because if she's not a feminist pop star, then who is, I guess). In fact we even had a song called 'Pollyzine' at one point but it was only peripherally about that. Anyway, the point being that she's been disappointing feminists for a long time...

Saw the call for band submissions... we definitely want to play. Once we've found out travel costs, etc, we'll put in a submission.
Sep. 2nd, 2004 02:06 am (UTC)
I remember hearing about that zine! And yeah, I knew she had publically distanced herself from feminism before, but I'd never read any interview in which the interviewer actually tackled her on it - other interviews seemed to just let her say "I'm not a feminist" and leave it at that. Christina Martinez tried to make her explain her position, and she [Harvey] couldn't really do it, or at least did it pretty clumsily and ignorantly.
Sep. 2nd, 2004 04:35 pm (UTC)
You heard about the zine? I gotta tell Tammy!
Sep. 10th, 2004 12:40 pm (UTC)
"See that woman over there? She does fine without feminism. So if you're there leaning on it, then it's just because there's something wrong with you."


I was never a fan of Polly Jean, and even though I like lots of bands who don't consider themselves feminists, when stuff like she said, well, it kinda puts me off.

The more I see anti-feminist stuff, the more I want to emblazon the word all over my body.

Don't get me started on those 'I don't like other women' women....I just kind of feel bad for them.
( 15 comments — Leave a comment )


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