Saturday, March 15, 2008

the ghosts in the radio are singing along

I was going through my old CDs today, and I realized something. I've been thinking lately that my tendency toward feminism is something newish; I don't remember thinking about feminism in much depth before I got ill and found myself with all this time to sit around and read. Logically I can deduce that I must have had opinions on the matter, what with me driving myself as hard as I used to, to be academically successful and hip and tough and all that, and then I did join the Army. But I don't remember what I thought. The past is a blur. I can reconstruct what must have happened from things I know about myself, but I have no real memory of a lot of it.

My old CDs, though, tell a different story. I never used to purchase music. When I lived in my parents' house, I wasn't allowed to listen to music that wasn't explicitly Christian, so in order to listen to the things I wanted to listen to, I had to obtain CDs either from friends or from the library, burn copies onto blank CDs and label them something misleading, and then never listen to them unless I was using headphones and no one else was around. Telling it like that makes it sound like I was horribly oppressed, but I ended up listening to exactly what I wanted anyway, so I guess it was alright. The point is that I never bought music.

Today I found three old CDs that I actually purchased: Le Tigre's self-titled album, and Pretty Girls Make Graves' "Good Health" and "The New Romance." Way back in the day, back when I had the energy to follow music and find things that were exciting and new, it was important to me to listen to feminist music, written and sung by women. I'm glad to know this about myself, and I'm glad to have this music again. I've been inspired, actually, and now I have six CDs on order at the library to expand my feminist playlist.

Not that I think it's important to inhabit a feminist ghetto, where all media I consume is appropriately female oriented; that would be too similar to the Christian bubble I was raised in, and I don't want to be the kind of person who shelters themselves from the world. But the music I listen to, which is mostly alternative/indie rock, is heavily male-dominated. Listening to an all male choir is valuable- many of these men are incredibly talented- but it feels incomplete.

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