Tag Archives: feminism

The most awkward Q&A ever with Kim Gordon

Kim Gordon's awkward Q&A at the Music Box Theater, Chicago

Everyone understates themselves. Everyone wants to be someone else. Even your idols.

That was the take away from attending a Q&A with Kim Gordon at The Music Box Theater, an event sponsored by the Chicago Humanities Festival. The event was sold out, the front half of the venue packed with journalists. Kim had just released her memoir Girl in a Band, following a sticky break up with her band mate and husband of almost 30 years, detailing the bands build and break. I was expecting to see Kim as a triumphant and ambitious artist and woman, post Sonic Youth and post husband. That wasn’t quite the case.

Sitting on stage in a leather jacket and jeans, Kim Gordon, the former bass player, lyricist, singer and co-founder of Sonic Youth, awkwardly answered the interviewer’s questions, as if she were surprised that she was onstage it all. It was unclear whether the interviewer had read the memoir, or if she knew who Kim was before that night, and she kept mentioning how she hoped that the interview would get less awkward as the conversation went on. It didn’t.

“When you are taking a selfie, do you try to look bad ass or sexy?” The interviewer asked.

The audience was silent as Kim thought about this for a second. Not inexperienced with the press, she was probably ranging around for something tactful to say.

“Uh, there are things I don’t care about as much as some people,” she said, kind of chuckling.

The crowd echoed her, laughing in response, and then there was silence again, until the interviewer realized that Kim wasn’t going to continue talking.

She nodded and shuffled her notes.

Pulling strings, the interviewer asked another half-researched question that didn’t apply much to Kim as an artist.

“So what do you think about the 90s?”

“Uh, I don’t know? As an era? I guess it was kind of underwhelming.”

What did these questions have to do anything with Kim’s book or career? Had the interviewer not seen the trending Ask Her More Campaign? I was outraged.

I was hoping to hear about the process behind her visual art. I wanted to know about her upcoming art exhibits.  I wanted to ask her about the controversial comment she made about Lana Del Rey’s feminism (or lack there of). I wanted to ask her what Sonic Youth album she was most proud of. I wanted to know about the future of Body/Head and her other projects.

If there was anyone I idolized more as a teenager, it was Kim Gordon. She gave me the permission to pick up a guitar. She gave me the permission to create what I wanted to. She was one of the first female performers who inspired me to play, write, and sing free of conventional forms. Because of Kim, I realized that I didn’t have to be a classically trained musician, writer or artist. Writing and playing became enough for me, regardless if I had an audience for it, or if someone thought it was “good” or “bad”.

So to hear that Kim didn’t think of herself as a musician really got me thinking.

Towards the end of the event, I was able to ask her a question about how she handled criticism.

“I don’t deal with it very well,” she said. “[In regards to writing Girl in a Band] I thought, I’m just going to do it. Of course I really thought about who I would offend, but I didn’t want to over think it. It was just my story.”

What can we really do as artists except for that? Maybe it’s just a matter of taste- some interviewers and audiences are going to connect to certain media and subjects and some won’t. Disinterest is the most subtle and distracting form of criticism, and Kim Gordon handled it with an admirable amount of humility and grace.

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Independence is Sexy (to some)

A man doesn’t want a powerful and independent woman as a wife? So women should be more sexy? Isn’t it possible to be both Suzanne Venker? women1-e1353938704696

I want to applaud Suzanne Venker for serving as the devil’s advocate to the feminist movement. She is in fact, a strong and independent woman for representing martial living, which is currently deemed out of style and over-rated in the minds of many people, including myself. Perhaps an article such as this would be mainstream half a century ago, but her editorial describing women’s “war on men” and her book How to Choose a Husband (And Make Peace with Marriage) are leaving many women upset, as it has been rapidly circulating around the internet this week. So why are people, especially women, upset? Venker’s argument glorifies the submissive and docile woman, riding the coattails of the Fifty Shades of Gray franchise.

A submissive woman in the house is not needed, especially today. Women, especially mothers have to organize a family’s schedule. In this way, women are nurturing and strong. I am not a mother, but I’ve watched mine and have concluded this: mothering is not for the faint at heart. There is no reason for a woman to be primarily submissive in the household except for to potentially please a man. This opens the door to male dominance and possible domestic abuse, leaving women feeling be-little by gender stereotypes and there lack of “femininity”. No wonder women are angry about Venker’s argument.

History tells us that women have been suppressed from the polls and the work force, submitting to the housewife role in the past. Today, women enjoy the right to vote, the right to be in control of their bodies, and the right to work out of the house in the same positions as men, with nearly an equal salary. Femininity is not a submissive trait, but one of strength and righteous.

That being said, there is really no war on men. There has been an exciting advent for equality that has overall, been successful and should be celebrated. Because of social advancement, women are more confident and independent. If that’s not attractive, I don’t know what is. I would like to argue that there are many men who appreciate powerful and strong women. As a woman, I appreciate a powerful and strong man. Venker’s editorial posses a problem of conflicting character types, not gender equality.

Women have been sold a script that women being feminine is weak…the same qualities you are going to use in the workplace aren’t the same as in a marriage. – Suzanne Venker



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Bitch Exposure: Feminist professor encourages gender inequality

Allow me to self-indulge today with an editorial involving the mistreatment of women by women. I was utterly appalled by how I was treated this morning by my speech professor, an astute and beloved woman who has taught at my University for over ten years.

A friend who I play tennis with sits next to me and she assumed we would be in the same group and told the class so… calling me “his girlfriend”…repeatedly.

I asked her if she knew my name and she looked right through me as the class laughed. I can’t believe that a woman who considers herself as an animal rights activist and feminist would diminish me to a “girlfriend” aka something owned. My friend, who is married and has a child, was also very uncomfortable.

I left my class completely enraged, wondering why it upset me so much. It could have been just an off the cuff remark… was I looking too hard into it? I couldn’t help but wonder about the way I conducted myself. What left me looking like arm candy?

I would consider myself an independent woman. I am currently in a committed relationship, with a boyfriend in Chicago. We’re both going to different colleges and pursuing different career paths. He doesn’t define me in the slightest. I would never allow myself to be defined by a man, or anybody for that matter.

Women are so quick to judge each other. No wonder gender equality is still a problem. What is the solution to this social issue? This isn’t unlike the girls who I wrote about supporting a rape case: https://notyourcoffeebitch.wordpress.com/2012/09/07/girls-rally-behind-alleged-rapists/

Especially among women, there will be no social advancement in terms of gender equality, if females cannot look past their preconceptions/ misconceptions.

It is important, especially as a professor, to value a person by the contents of their mind and encourage it’s further development. I thank her for giving me the opportunity to expose the injustice of solely defining a woman by a man, a belief I thought she held.

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Why Are All of These Women in the Kitchen?

Here at Not Your Coffee Bitch, we try our best to declare that just because we have female genitalia doesn’t mean that we are going to make you a pot of coffee. If I’m not mistaken, kitchens across the world do not have a force-field keeping males out of the kitchen. This is why I was a bit disturbed last Monday.

Before I explain what was so disturbing, you need to know two things. First, I live in Ohio, Canfield Ohio. Well, I have a Canfield mailing address, but I actually live in Greenford. It is a very small town with a very small school. The houses either resemble those as seen on Desperate Housewives, or are located on a farm. The posers at the local high school like to chew tobacco and lift their trucks. Girls with 4.0s want to go to college to find husbands and most of them dream of being stay at home mothers. It’s backwards, believe me, I know.

The second thing that you need to know is that the Greenford Ruritan sponsored me to go to Buckeye Girls State. For those of you that do no know, Buckeye Girls State is a mock government facilitated by girls. It is a week long program that takes place at The University of Mount Union.

Monday the Greenford Ruritan invited one of my friends that I attended Girls State with, two other scholarship winners, and myself to their monthly meeting. When we first arrived at the meeting I noticed a group of older gentlemen mingling at their seats. Simultaneously a group of women and one man slaved away in the kitchen serving everyone. I couldn’t help but to notice that it looked very backwards. They didn’t take part in the meeting at all. Once everyone was served and all of the dishes were clean they helped themselves to pie; pie that they ate outside.

I spoke to a couple of the women outside after the meeting. They were interested to know about my future plans. This is when my interest in politics came up. They seemed to be feeding out of the palm of my hands, until I mentioned that I was inspired by Gloria Steinem. They were completely turned off when I mentioned my icons name.

What makes a feminist so vulgar to some women? Sure, not everyone should burn their bras, but everyone needs freedom. In a land where Barack Obama is commonly called Osama Bin Laden (for the record I’m socially liberal and fiscally conservative) do the women have a choice? These women must have been a product of their environment and Greenford is still filled with traditional values. At one time it was okay to have a slave pick the cotton from your fields, I’m sure that we can all see the flaw with that and we have moved on. My question is, why are so many women refusing their liberation? No matter what these women may have heard, being a modern woman does not make you a slut, nor does it mean that they wil burn in hell.

I will never understand why some women continue to live like the help. All that we can do is make sure that younger generations are well aware that they are not slaves. They can be anything that you want to be, not just homemakers.

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