If you could see this musical journey I’m on, it would look something like this:
We’re in a mostly comfortable car that appears to be running well. I’m driving and you’re riding shotgun, because you called it. We’re on a gravel road in the middle of a forest. My Dad died unexpectedly two months ago, and I’m working it out through music and concerts. Therefore, it’s cloudy and the wind is cold; the trees are completely bare of leaves. Not the most enjoyable scenery at the moment, but on the horizon, the sun is shining and we’re heading in that direction, so it feels like it’s going to be okay.
We come to a fork in the road and I slam on the brakes. A large sign appears before us that reads: “Moral dilemma ahead!”
The Red Hot Chili Peppers are coming to Winnipeg in May. I wouldn’t say I’m a huge fan, I’ve never bought a Red Hot Chili Peppers CD. But I also never turned off their music if it came on the radio. I’ve seen their show before and I really enjoyed it. As a matter of fact, I discovered the Rebirth Brass Band through them and thought they were phenomenal.
And then, I read this: Can You Be a Feminist and Still Love the Red Hot Chili Peppers?
Suddenly, their music wasn’t so appealing to me. If it came on the radio, I switched channels.
Here’s an extreme example of the point I’m trying to make:
Let’s pretend Michael Jackson was still alive. He’s on tour and that tour is coming here! He’s THE KING of Pop. In terms of concerts this would be the concert to end all concerts. He’s at the top of his game, there’s no entertainer better. The Concert Reviewer in me is shouting “I MUST GO!!!”
Children are saying he sexually abused them. Suddenly, I’m red flagging all over the place. Sexual abuse of children is WRONG! WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! It’s wrong. Period.
So what do I do? Do I miss the show of the century? If I go, does that mean I’m excusing the sexual abuse of children???
Now we’re back to the present and the water is getting murkier.
Here’s a text I received from my Husband:
“Chili Peppers concert announced today! Totally want to go!”
Me: “I don’t.”
Husband: “Why not??!”
Me: (copy and paste article)
Husband: “I can’t read this right now, but if you unsupported every band that ever treated women poorly, there wouldn’t be any rock bands left. Led Zeppelin, Motley Crue, Guns N’ Roses, etc, etc, etc.”
Husband: “Okay. After reading that article, I’m down on all bands and maybe they should all be boycotted. To assume this only relates to Chili Peppers is way off base. It’s Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll, not Healthy Relationships, Good Eating & Rock n’ Roll. A lot of guys get into the business for that lifestyle. I don’t identify with the music that way.”
The unfortunate truth is “Sex, Drugs & Rock n’ Roll” can be used as a pass to treat women badly. And if I feel strongly against misogynistic behaviour, does that mean I have to denounce something that I LOVE (rock music) because the underbelly of it is rotten?
I hate this blog post. I truly hate it.
For the record, I LOVE Led Zeppelin, but I draw the line at Motley Crue. I attended a Crue show at the old arena years ago and was completely disgusted. In my opinion, their negative portrayal of women completely outweighed their “talent” and I vowed to never see them again.
So is that the answer? Does it have to be black and white; support or denounce? Or are there grey areas? Can talent outweigh wrong doings? Led Zeppelin is okay, Motley Crue is not?
Obviously, I have no answers. Just that uncomfortable “you need to make a decision” feeling inside me. I know I’m not the first woman to encounter this dilemma and I know I won’t be the last. Ultimately, the decision will be mine and it’ll be right for me.
But right now, we’re sitting here with the hazard lights on, because I don’t know which road to take.
TicketMOMster is a Rock and Jazz-loving Mom; single-handedly keeping Ticketmaster alive in Winnipeg. Follow her musical journey here: www.facebook.com/TicketMOMsters