I've been tapped to do a DJ set at a Feminist Initiative party on April 4th, to which you're all welcome, by the way. (Spread the word!) Right now I'm going through my record collection in order to figure out what to play, and I keep coming up with the same problem - can this record be played on a feminist night without being offensive?
Obviously I'll be focusing on female artists, and preferably female songwriters and producers as well. On top of this I'm trying to figure out what messages might be considered inappropriate. For instance, I'm a bit leery of most songs of straightforward, romantic love, with their connotations of traditional relationships and heteronormativity.
However, sex is obviously all right. A woman taking charge of her own sexuality is a classic feminist theme and there's plenty of songs dealing with the theme. Even in male-produced, male-written tracks the woman who sings has power through being the subject, and having a voice. I'm a bit obsessed with robots in music, and I've amassed several tracks of women who desire sex with robots - definitely all right, I mean what feminist objects to sex toys?
It's when you turn it on its head it can become problematic.
Midnight Star - Freak-a-zoid
Yapoos - Barbara Sexeroid
Two classic tracks with classic videos. Here, though, the female subjects are themselves sex robots. In other words, even though the women are subjects, they're also objects. Can I conceivably play these at a feminist party? Does it matter that Midnight Star's Belinda Lipscomb actively desires to be a submissive object? Or that Jun Togawa in the Yapoos (as I've come to understand it) sings uneasily about being a sex robot, which in the course of the album eventually loses its mind?
What do you guys think?