It's your duty to be beautiful, If you want to be loved.
A meditation on women, bodies, identity, value, youth and beauty. We'll see if I stick to it. There was a run for a minute there of stories that got stuck in my craw.
This is from “The Abortion War” episode we did in 2012; looks like it’s making the rounds on Tumblr today.
Here’s the whole episode (it’s public on YouTube, feel free to share):
Looking through featured posts in different tags on Tumblr, and spotted Zeina Awad in a screenshot post from a 2012 episode of Fault Lines on “The Abortion War” making its way around today. Glad I work with this team again - the content has a long lifespan, and that makes thinking about online narrative for the program interesting.
Sheila E doing “Glamorous Life” at the American Music Awards in 1985. This performance is bonkers. For the first third she sings lead while standing and also playing the lead percussion part. Then she takes the mic and dances around. And then the lights on stage go dark and she solos on drums in the dark with glow-in-the-dark sticks.
Two things occur to me watching this, and recently revisiting Sheila E’s first two albums. One, Prince in the 1980s was the kind of pop genius that comes along every 20-30 years, maybe. The amount of brilliant, boundary-pushing, but still accessible music he was responsible for, as both a solo performer or, as with this song, as a writer/producer, is simply astonishing. It’s honestly like talking about Albert Einstein in 1905, that’s how in the zone he was. It was a decade of a true and lasting genius by an artist at the height of his powers who was given all kinds of resources. A rare thing.
The second thing is what a talent Sheila E was (and probably still is, though I haven’t heard anything she’s done in some time). She had a few big hits, two good records, and came from a remarkable family of musicians (she had several first-call percussionists of note in her family). In the late 1980s she was Prince’s live drummer and also was also the leader of his backing band (you can see her considerable skills behind a proper kit in the Sign O the Times film). Imagine what it takes to be Prince’s musical director in those years, for him to hand over the keys.
Put down whatever you are doing and make sure you watch this video.
Also before the drum solo somebody comes out and puts a white fur coat on her.
NOBODY DOES IT BETTER.
Sheila E is my spirit animal today. Seriously, you need to see the sticks.
Yes. Even if my spirit animal right now is some kind of cold blooded creature that prioritizes lying still in the sunshine and not wearing high heels on stage. But. Fuck markrichardson. Why is this about Prince, first? Why?
It appears that gradually, over time, editors have begun the process of moving women, one by one, alphabetically, from the “American Novelists” category to the “American Women Novelists” subcategory. So far, female authors whose last names begin with A or B have been most affected, although many others have, too.
This isn’t a Wikipedia problem. It’s an everything problem. Women are always being filed away as “other”. There are binders full of them.
The good news is that Wikipedia is relatively easy to fix. Keep an eye out for this nonsense. If you see something, say something. Or just edit the damn wiki and fix it yourself.
And then move back over to the everything problem.
Someone (I can’t actually remember who) recently sent me an outraged rant about Wikipedia’s sexism problem. Made me really, really sleepy. Also, however, her rant was — verbatim — as written above. So now I’m wondering something else: is this even happening?
Thank you to everyone who saw my question on Joe’s site (Here) and has said kind words to me. I really, really appreciate it. I’m feelin’ the love! I will keep my chin up and show all those male professors just how wrong they are.
Go read her question, though. It is brain bending. I want specifics — is she not supposed to go into astrophysics because why?