Music On Monday: Refusing To Be A Man

When my husband was 14 or so he was cut from a hockey team for the first time in his life, causing him to have a mid-adolescence crisis. He says he considered giving up hockey forever (and we all know how that turned out) and he became more serious about skateboarding, previously just a hobby, as an alternative. Naturally, during this period, he co-founded an ironic punk band.

This is how the Such Friends were born. Even at that age it would appear Canadian teens are able to master parody. The Such Friends once played a basement concert with original songs such as ‘Pass Me The Milk.’ The chorus sings: pass me the milk…pass me the darn, f$*@ing milk. Dave still sings this song when he wants me to pass him the milk.

The soundtrack to his mid-adolescence crisis and probably an inspiration to the formation of the Such Friends was the musical stylings Manitoban punk band Propagandhi. As an impressionable 14-year-old Dave was listening to Propogandhi’s second album and memorizing the very political, rather radical (when you consider the average beliefs of a Canadian prairie resident or an American Midwesterner) lyrics. I doubt he understood it all then, but it sure beats having your brain numbed by Mariah Carey…which is what I was doing at that same time a thousand miles away.

Dave still loves Propogandhi. He still knows all the lyrics to every song on that album, although it’s difficult for me to guess how he learned them since when the music is playing I can’t hear anything but noise. And yes, I know how old I sound when I write that but egad does it have to be so LOUD!? Anyway, although their music does reside in our iTunes library, I always panic and rush to change the song when they come up on shuffle. Despite Dave’s efforts to translate/narrate the lyrics to me, all I can hear is the yelling. My god the yelling.

Recently, because he knows me all too well, he sent me an e-mail (while sitting 4 feet away from me) with the lyrics of a few of those songs cut and pasted into the body. The title of the e-mail was ‘humor me…just humor me.’ And I did.

While I still can’t really stomach this genre the way Dave would love me to, I can certainly appreciate that these men and musicians planted some pretty awesome seeds in Dave’s hormone-riddled adolescent mind. And as we raise our daughter and face a world with what seems like louder and more powerful voices of hate clinging to the patriarchy, it’s hard not to appreciate how much he values a diversity of messages. Lyrics below for those who don’t speak this language.

I’m not going to try to tell you that I’m different from all the rest.

I’ve been subject to the same de-structure of desire and I’ve felt the same effects; I’m a hetero-sexist tragedy. And potential rapists all are we.

But don’t tell me this is natural. This is nurturing.

And there’s a difference between sexism and sexuality.

I had different desires prior to my role-remodelling.

And at six years of age you don’t challenge their claims. You become the same. (Or withdraw from the game and hang your head in shame).

I think that’s exactly what I did. I tried to sever the connections between me and them.

I fought against their further attempts to convince a kid that birthright can bestow the power to yield the subordination of women and do you know what patricentricity means?

I found out just a couple of days/months/years/minutes ago. It means male values uber alles and hey!

Whaddaya know… sex has been distorted and vilified.

I’m scared of my attraction to body types.

If everything desired is objectified then maybe eroticism needs to be redefined.

And I refuse to be a “man”.

M.O.M. Past:

Sarah Harmer

Timbaland ft. The Hives

Rene and Jeremy

Elvis Perkins in Dearland

Brendan Benson

The White Stripes

Janelle Monae

They Might Be Giants


The Frames

Great Lake Swimmers

The Who

Andrew Bird

Cold War Kids

Michael Buble ft. Shania Twain

Butterfly Boucher

Hey Rosetta!/Said the Whale

Tracy Chapman

White Rabbits

Jack Johnson

Nerina Pallot

Lauryn Hill

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