The Sexist

The Morning After: Feminine Feminist Edition

* Ms. Magazine reporter Kate Noftsinger asks a panel of Lilith Fair artists a question:

“Who here identifies as a feminist?”

I got a long pause, followed by nervous laughter.

Finally [Brandi Carlile] spoke, “I don’t know, it means something different that it used to.”

Before I could ask what it meant now as opposed to then, [Sarah McLachlan] assumed the role of official spokesperson and began building a mystery:

"It’s a tricky question, because it’s been redefined and I think we all define feminism to a certain degree. We all define femininity. I think we’re able to have a little more balance. There’s still fights to be fought. There’s still inequality, absolutely. . . . I think as long as we’re being mindful and honest with ourselves and doing what we feel is right, and that’s a very personal decision for all of us, if we’re going forth with that intention, then we are; we’re being feminists, we’re being humanists, we’re being feminine. We’re being true to ourselves, in every way, in every facet of our personalities."

By conflating feminism with femininity, Sarah McLachlan officially lies squarely in the feminist tradition of Sarah Palin devotees.

* Metro Weekly profiles "the first out transgender Capitol Hill staffer."

* But, also in Metro Weekly, magazine co-publisher Sean Bugg is "terrified to write about transgender issues."

* In 1999, David Segal penned the definitive Buttman profile:

Ladies and gentlemen, hide your daughters: John Stagliano is strolling down a riverside walkway and he's got his mojo working.

Cradling a video camera in his hands, he sidles up to a curvy brunet and fumbles for a pick-up line. Gazing into the lens, the woman seems flustered at first, then amused, then — lo and behold — flattered. She follows him to a hotel room, and within minutes she is standing on a coffee table, peeling off her dress. A man knocks on the door and eventually there is a whole lot of naked writhing on a white couch.

Stagliano shoots. Stagliano scores.

* Sady Doyle channels Simone de Beauvoir-as-dating advice columnist.

Photo via Kashmera, Creative Commons Attribution License 2.0

  • PD

    Boo, Sarah McLachlan. (Fumbling Towards Ecstasy is still a great album, though.)

  • Ryan

    Et tu, Sarah McLachlan?

    I can't believe the LILITH FAIR CROWD is now beginning to think of feminists as bullies who won't give you the time of day unless you pee standing up.

  • RE: Worst Column Ever
  • Katie

    Right, Ryan? I was going to say, I can't believe that even in a setting such as a "Lilith Fair panel," the question "do you identify as a feminist?" can't just get a solid chorus of "YES." Disappointing.

  • Em

    Whaaaat? You know how I translate Sarah McLachlan's words? "I'm afraid men might call me names and conflate me with negative stereotypes, so I'm going to be chicken shit and duck out of this question."

    Seriously. I have people call me names and say shitty things when I say I'm a feminist, but if you have balls at all (ha) it's a teaching opportunity. If that person isn't a jerk, it can lead to a really interesting conversation as to why they generalize feminists in whatever way.

  • Lizrd

    No wonder high school and college level women have such a hard time owning this title. If these musicians, whose target audience is (largely left, progressive) women, are too spineless to own it for fear of... whatever, how can we expect young women in general to be willing to. I wish I could have been there. I would love to put their feet to the fire about this.

    Also, pretty sure that Brandon Boyd identifies as a feminist. There is no way the pressure on Sarah McLachlan by whoever is so high that she couldn't be like "yep, I'm a feminist" and leave it at that.

  • …done

    that "building a mystery" quote is killing me!!

  • b-bop

    The definition of a feminist is an advocate for equal rights for women, "I will remember you" insinuated otherwise Sarah McLachlan.