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October 6, 2008 | by  | in Music | [ssba]

Peaches: A Feminist Perspective

Today I’m going to analyse Peaches in a feminist context. Mainly because it’s easy and I’m a bit worn out from feminist analysis (I had my 489 due in this week).

Peaches is a Canadian singer, famous for “her hypersexual brand of rap, raw electronics and rocked-up burlesque.” She played at SFBH last week, is total feminist which is awesome; her chosen activist platform being her music, she called her 2003 album Fatherfucker in an attempt to destabilise the power of the word motherfucker.

She loves blurring the uber constructed lines of gender identity, appearing on the Fatherfucker album in a full beard. She’s at her best when she messes with the male gaze, turning it onto males themselves, and when combined with a blatant disregard for heterosexism, the results are joyfully rebellious “Just one thing I can’t compromise/ I wanna see you work it guy on guy”.

I could just talk about Peaches’ lyrics – there’s plenty of feminist material there. But to talk about what Peaches meant through textual analysis without analysing what a performance of hers feels like is not true analysis. Handily, I went to her gig last week.

I was in a great frame of mind to go to a Peaches gig. I’m newly single, but past the phase where I’m feeling insecure and needy, thus I was ready to party with my bitches and not care what some guy at some gig thought. I felt confident enough to wear my bright pink Lycra leggings with matching stripy black and pink singlet. After a bottle of wine, I was amped enough (read foolish enough) to add one (just one) lightening bolt earring.

The mosh pit (do we still call it that? Clearly I haven’t been to a gig since the 2001 Rockquest in the Lower Hutt town hall) started heaving from the minute Peaches walked on stage, clad in a giant pink costume. I’m finding it difficult to describe the intense empowerment and liberation I felt at this concert. As a feminist, I’m constantly trying not to let gender stereotypes and expectations get to me, but they do. Maybe it was the wine, maybe it was the leggings, maybe it was Peaches (or a combination of all three), but as soon as the music started pumping, all I did was dance around without a care in the world. A highlight was everyone jumping in time and singing “Two guys for every girl, every girl”. Peaches lets me know its ok to be loud and raucous and vulgar and objectify guys. You might think I sound silly, but this positivity has seeped into my life for the last week.

Art + politics = deadly combination for social change.


About the Author ()

Well hello there. Eleanor was the Theatre Editor in 2007, now she writes the Women's Column and just generally minces about the Salient office. Eleanor is currently an Honours student in Theatre (with a touch of gender). She also has a BCA in Marketing but she tries to keep that on the d-low (embarrassing, because she loves academic integrity and also perpetuating the myth that she's a tad bohemian). If you've got a gender agenda, woo her by taking her a BYO Malaysian. She lies, if you show any interest at all she'll probably tackle you in the street and force you to write a column.

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