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Posts Tagged ‘tori amos’

Repost: “Silent All These Years”

Posted by purplemary54 on April 20, 2015

I don’t really feel like I have anything interesting to say today, so I figured a repost would be a good way to go.  This one seemed more than appropriate for a day when I’m feeling less than talkative.

Wanna feel old? The song that introduced the weird and wonderful Tori Amos to the world is more than 20 years old. I had no idea it had been around that long. That would put me in my very early 20s when it was released; it still speaks to everything I am.

I’ve always felt like I was invisible, forgettable. . . not quite silent, but near enough. The first time I heard “Silent All These Years,” I thought, “that’s me.” No, I was never a slightly troubled girl making some rather dubious decisions involving men and pregnancy (I’m not saying the decisions I’ve made about men were especially wise, just never quite this dramatic). But I was a dreamer, wondering if “twenty-five bucks and a cracker” would be enough. I was always a little unrealistic, a little silly. I didn’t care. I wrote my poems and dreamed of running off with a rock star. I dreamed of starring in movies with Andrew McCarthy. I dreamed of traveling the world with U2. I dreamed that everyone who ignored me or teased me would meet me years in the future when I was rich and successful, and feel a little bit bad about ignoring or teasing me. I dreamed of being noticed.

Of course the point of this song is not dreaming “what if I’m a mermaid in these jeans of his with her name still on it.” It’s about dreaming, but not “waiting for somebody else to understand.” It’s about taking control of your life and finding your own voice, your own power. People might ignore you, or say crappy things about you. But none of that matters. Because you are a mermaid. And a rock star. And a poet. You are whatever you make yourself.

“Hey, but I don’t care because sometimes I hear my voice, and it’s been here. Silent all these years.”

I’m not silent anymore.

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Posted in Music, Singer-Songwriters | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

For Jane Doe, Steubenville

Posted by purplemary54 on March 20, 2013

This is a little outside this week’s theme of sickness.  Except that this is something like an institutional sickness.  I don’t like the term “rape culture,” but I also can’t think of any other way to describe living in a world where it’s the woman’s fault if she gets raped.  It’s not.  Period.

I’m sure you’ve all seen the coverage of the verdicts in the Steubenville rape case.  I’m sure you’ve all seen how so much of the media is focusing on the reaction to those creeps getting far, far less than they actually deserved for their crimes.  It makes me sick with fury to see reporters discuss how those boys’ lives are ruined.  I’m sorry, but I don’t think a couple of years in juvie is going to ruin their lives.  Certainly, they’re going to be better off than the girl they violated, passed around, and photographed as though she were a piece of meat.  This young lady’s strength and courage astound me.  And my admiration grew when I read about this on Meizac’s blog.  Here’s a link to the original post on Tumblr

Jane Doe, Steubenville has requested that anyone who wants to help pay her legal costs instead donate the money to Madden House in Wheeling.  Madden House is there to protect women from violence.  The fact that these places are necessary is a huge black stain on the culture.  The fact that the only reason those creeps in Steubenville ever got charged with anything was because of the evidence on social media is another black stain.  There are so many stains on our culture right now, I’m not sure we’ll ever be able to make it clean.  We are a society that still doubts a woman when she brings charges of rape or domestic violence against a man.  We are a society that still thinks women should be held responsible for each and every single moment of their lives and safety, but that men can do whatever they damn well please.  We as a society should be ashamed.  I know I am.

Tori Amos recounted her own rape in a song.  It’s a powerful document.  I’m proud of her for refusing to be silent.  I’m proud of any woman who stands up and demands to be counted, who makes it clear that she will not cower in shame.  Because of rape shield laws, the identity of Jane Doe, Steubenville is protected.  But she is not silent, and she is taking action.  So here’s to her, and the hope that someday this institutional sickness of rape culture will be cured.

 

Posted in Music, Singer-Songwriters | Tagged: , , , , | 4 Comments »

“Silent All These Years”

Posted by purplemary54 on January 22, 2013

Wanna feel old?  The song that introduced the weird and wonderful Tori Amos to the world is more than 20 years old.  I had no idea it had been around that long.  That would put me in my very early 20s when it was released; it still speaks to everything I am.

I’ve always felt like I was invisible, forgettable. . . not quite silent, but near enough.  The first time I heard “Silent All These Years,” I thought, “that’s me.”  No, I was never a slightly troubled girl making some rather dubious decisions involving men and pregnancy (I’m not saying the decisions I’ve made about men were especially wise, just never quite this dramatic).  But I was a dreamer, wondering if “twenty-five bucks and a cracker” would be enough.  I was always a little unrealistic, a little silly.  I didn’t care.  I wrote my poems and dreamed of running off with a rock star.  I dreamed of starring in movies with Andrew McCarthy.  I dreamed of traveling the world with U2. I dreamed that everyone who ignored me or teased me would meet me years in the future when I was rich and successful, and feel a little bit bad about ignoring or teasing me.  I dreamed of being noticed.

Of course the point of this song is not dreaming “what if I’m a mermaid in these jeans of his with her name still on it.”  It’s about dreaming, but not “waiting for somebody else to understand.”  It’s about taking control of your life and finding your own voice, your own power.  People might ignore you, or say crappy things about you.  But none of that matters.  Because you are a mermaid.  And a rock star.  And a poet.  You are whatever you make yourself.

“Hey, but I don’t care because sometimes I hear my voice, and it’s been here.  Silent all these years.”

I’m not silent anymore.

Posted in Music, Rock, Singer-Songwriters | Tagged: , , , | 4 Comments »

“Bonnie and Clyde ’97”

Posted by purplemary54 on October 30, 2012

This might seem like a strange song to post in response to Meizac’s posts here, here, and here.  But bear with me a moment.  Meizac, who is strong and smart and has two of the most beautiful children ever, got me thinking today.  About how quickly a woman can go from being safe and happy to in danger.

I’ve never been the victim of domestic or sexual violence.  But I know how lucky I am to be in that category.  I know just how many women are.  And I know that there are people out there think that there’s no such thing as rape or abuse against women.  A lot of them seem to be Republicans running for office in this country.  They probably think it would be great if we went back to the good old days when women just took care of the house and the kids and their obviously superior men.  There’s plenty of people out there who seem to believe that a woman’s duty is to shut up and do whatever any man tells her to do.  That it’s god’s will that women are inferior to men.  That a man who beats a woman is just doing what he has to do to put her in her place.

Those people are wrong.  And those kinds of attitudes allow criminals to go free.  It’s said that 1 out of every 4 women will be the victims of sexual assault in their lifetimes, but virtually everyone seems to think those numbers should be higher.  So many of these crimes go unreported because of the shame and stigma and the dark ages attitude that says she must have been asking for it.  Don’t even get me started on this case here in California.  I am aghast at the things being said about and done to women.  With all the attempted and successful legislative assaults on women in the United States today, I am starting to feel a little freaked out.

That’s where Tori Amos’ cover of Eminiem’s “Bonnie and Clyde ’97” comes in.

This is the scariest song I’ve ever heard.  Amos takes all of the hate and misogyny that Eminiem thinks it’s okay to spew and turns it around.  She doesn’t scream or add ominous bass and guitar.  She very, very quietly exposes this song for what it is: a small-minded angry man advocating the murder of women.  You don’t like that she’s leaving you for another man?  That’s okay.  You were probably justified.  I am terrified every time I hear this, which is why I don’t listen to it a whole lot.

For the record, Eminiem has never killed a woman, or anyone else for that matter.  He might be a misogynistic freak, but he’s never gone that far.  But the fact that this song exists, and that somewhere out there some kid is going to hear it and think that this is an appropriate response, is something that makes my blood run cold.  It doesn’t take much to make a woman afraid.  A crowd of men laughing too loudly and staring too pointedly.  A dark parking lot.  A drunken boyfriend with a bad temper.  A song.

Read Meizac’s wonderful posts.  Her anger is so much more eloquent than mine.

Posted in Music | Tagged: , , , | 5 Comments »