What's up, Europe? Gender, media and European integration. The story of a a young Dane exploring the continent.

Thursday, September 14, 2006

Famous feminist #4

Merrill Beth Nisker (born 1968), better known as Peaches, is an electroclash artist. Her songs are mainly concerned with sex. Before she became "Peaches," she was an elementary school teacher and librarian.

She plays almost all the instruments for her songs, programs her own electronic beats and produces her records.Her songs have been featured in movies such as Mean Girls, My Little Eye and Lost in Translation. Her music has also been featured on Showtime's The L Word television series. Peaches performed guest vocals on Pink's album Try This, on the song "Oh My God." She has been invited to lecture at the Contemporary Music Academy in Berlin. Her most notorious song, "Fuck the Pain Away," is also the name of an electro night club in Brighton.

Peaches' music is preoccupied with gender identity. Her lyrics and live shows self-consciously blur the distinction between male and female; she appears on the cover of her second album Fatherfucker with a full beard. When asked if she had chosen the title for shock value, she commented:

"Why do we call our mothers motherfuckers? Why do we stub our toe and say, "Aww motherfucker!"? What is motherfucker? ... We use it in our everyday language, and it's such an insanely intense word. I'm not one to shy away from these obscene terms that we actually have in our mainstream. Motherfucker is a very mainstream word. But if we're going to use motherfucker, why don't we use fatherfucker? I'm just trying to be even."

She disputes accusations of "penis envy," preferring the term "hermaphrodite envy" since "there is so much male and female in us all." Nevertheless, she does not shy away from identifying herself as a sexual being, although she rejects the sanitized portrayal of women in popular music.

Source: wikipedia

This is a more controversial choice of 'famous feminist'. I chose Peaches because she gave a concert in Copenhagen yesterday. She must be crazy on stage (I've never seen her so I just imagine) but still cool. Politiken wrote in their review:

"It is an interesting, feministic style when this pale, chubby, not very attractive woman again and again in hotpants and bra exhibits her sexuality and appears strong and cool by doing so. You are fascinated and repelled at the same time. At times she looks like a nervous school girl, other times like an ugly transvestite. As she sings: "You love it when I'm bad" - and we do. Because she breaks our ideas about what a woman is and what she does and should do."

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