May 19, 2010

What I'm listening to- Deathrats

Yaay, this semester is finally over! Only one more class later this summer left, then I graduate from this boring community college with my associates degree. Boo, I'm currently sick with an ear and sinus infection :-(. Not cool. I always seem to get sick as soon as the seasons change. 

Annnyways, today I want to feature an awesome band called Deathrats. Deathrats is a female-fronted feminist hardcore/punk band from Washington, DC. The lead singer, Christine's, voice is captivating, and the band as a whole just overall rules. They currently only have a self-titled 7" out, but trust me, it's good stuff. Plus, they have lyrics like this...

Sense of Entitlement
I’ve been socialized to critique every part of my own body
I can’t accept compliments or appreciate my own form
But I can’t leave my house without someone calling at me
Everyday I’m confronted with what other people think
What makes them feel so entitled to my body,
Why am I subject to their desires and what they think?
If I’m denied joy and authority over my own body
What makes them think that they deserve any?
I’m expected to look in the mirror discontented with what I see
And if I feel confidence in my body or my sexuality
Then it exists for you, it’s certainly not for me
It’s unacceptable for me to feel these things, but you can tell me if you like what you see?
Hands off, hands off of me, keep your fucking hands off of me
"I wrote this song with street harassment in mind. Its about dealing with the frustration of feeling that I have such limited agency over my own body on both legislative and day-to-day bases, but knowing that any dude walking down the street may feel as though they have the right to tell me their opinion of my body, comment on the way that I present myself, or even straight-up grab me as I’m walking to work or school. I feel like it applies to a lot more than just this, but its what I was thinking about."

Girl Style
We’ve been taught to hate one another and we replicate their standards
We cut each other down to size, each of us starved and socialized
I’m sick of the punk boy revolution, its ordinary
When women can support women, that’s something revolutionary
Why lament the loss of our girl style then, when we’re just as angry now
Why do they look backward to Kathleen Hannah, when there are so many of us now
You’re not satisfied, well neither am I
If we’re hating each other, we’re hating ourselves
If we can’t trust each other we can’t trust ourselves
"I wanna give a shoutout to Huggybear.  I’m tired of hearing straight, white, middle-class boys talking about revolution, because frankly, they don’t know shit. There is so much more that could be said about that. Regardless, this is really about how my relationships with my female friends mean more to me than pretty much anything in the world. It’s about bonding over the bullshit we all go through and making fairly unbreakable ties. Its also kind of calling out people who conflate the involvement of women in punk with riot girl, because it dates and simultaneously limits the reality of women and feminism in punk. It ain’t over."

Very moving and well-said. I find it really awesome and empowering that a hardcore band will unapologetically sing about such subjects as sisterhood and female harassment in a music genre whose shows are (unfortunately) still mainly attended by males. And "When women can support women, that’s something revolutionary" are words to live by, in my opinion. All the lyrics are written by the lead singer, Christine, and you can read them all, as well as download their full 7" here.

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