One of the popular culture trends I most dislike is the 'chickie' pop phenomenon. This has come hand-in-hand with a very estrogen-saturated run of pop-country and pop-folk stars who just put me into sugar shock.
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Yet it has even infiltrated punk rock and the stand-alone singer-songwriter genre. It's a completely separate trend from the whole Britney Spears 'dance slut' routine: this is a kind of Patriarchy-friendly 'girls can rock' corporately-controlled stardom rather than the female empowerment of artists like Patti Smith, Pat Benetar or even the happy-go-lucky individuality of Cyndi Lauper. All of these girls - as opposed to women - are now crying and whining their way through some of the most co- dependent songs I've suffered through in the whole time I've been alive, which is the better part of forty years. It's God-awful, and women musicians I know who are of the self- empowered variety are mournful of what's happening to women in music.
Where's Wendy O. Williams when we need her? She comitted suicide several years ago. What happened to strong African-American women in Black music? R&B is looking like Britney Spears now: I don't see any Aretha Franklins or Anita Bakers in the mainstream. Assumedly, hopefully, to hear anything about women artists of the respectable caliber in the realm of popular Black music I would have to be more of an insider.
What might come along to save us? I know women musicians in the old-school heavy metal paradigm, but they're not getting signed by the major labels. Strength isn't selling, unless it's the fake kind like Avril Lavigne. The audience, even adult, has now been properly conditioned to prefer the saccharine-sweet infusion of youth-obssessed bopper-pop that is now among the leading causes of intellectual brain death and self-impressed shallowness in young women. For the long view, it seems that the Nation will wallow in Stuff that Sucks until the Asteroid hits.
For music from a self-empowered woman of enormous talent, if you can handle true, old-school heavy metal, go here: