Female musicians

17 02 2009

Have you ever looked at your iPod and realized that well over half of your music has been sung, written, and produced by men? Similarly, have you read music reviews and blogs and find that most of the music recommended to you is made by men? That characteristic in itself is not a bad thing, but it’s a shame that there don’t seem to be as many women making catchy and innovative music in most genres, and that the women who are don’t have as high a profile as men do.

So the goal of this entry, rather than to call on Gender Blender readers to boycott music made by men, is to check out some of these female or female/men offerings, which range from obscure to relatively well known. In the interest of full disclosure, I don’t have a ton of confidence in my music-reviewing ability other than identifying what is good and what is not, so my comments are sparse, and might only relate tangentially to the songs themselves. 🙂

1. School of Seven Bells – Half Asleep

The two female vocalists harmonizing on this track, as well as the soaring, ethereal production, reminds me of The Cranberries and even Coldplay’s “Clocks”, only much, much better.

2. Lykke Li – Dance Dance Dance

Easy, breezy, summer, beach listening. All cliches, but the song is good because of them.

3. Thao Nguyen – Tallymarks

Thao Nguyen provides clever and poignant similes about telling a boy that she likes him.

4. Estelle – 1980

Before gracing us with the BEST SONG EVER (“American Boy”), Estelle rapped about her hard knock childhood and made me stop wishing that Lauryn Hill would record another album.

5. Duffy – Mercy

This song is a different take on the 60s girl group sound that Amy Winehouse revived. Duffy is also British, and between her, Estelle, Amy, and Lily Allen, they’ve mounted a female British invasion that deserves to have as much of an impact as the Beatles and the Stones did.

If you have other recommendations, please let us know in the comments!

Flashback #2: 1980s: The Video Guide to Successful Seduction

17 02 2009

“Seduction can happen anywhere.  Your car…the woods…”

Any guy who puts his hand down my shirt in a restaurant is a shoo-in for a second date.  Try these tips out and you might just end up like Farley, or the oh-so-sexy eye-contact guy.

There are no words for this…

17 02 2009

Muzzamil Hassan, the founder of a television station that sought to portray Muslims in a more positive way, has been charged with beheading his ex-wife, Aasiya Zubair Hassan. Last Thursday, February 12th, Hassan, 44, reported to the local police near Buffalo in Upstate New York that his Zubair Hassan, 37, was dead. Police found Zubair’s decapacitated body lying in the hallway of the Bridges TV station, where they both worked.

Zubair Hassan and Hassan had been married for eight years and have two children, aged 4 and 6. Zubair Hassan had recently filed for a divorce from Hassan, mentioning previous incidents of domestic violence. She had also previously filed an order of protection that was in effect as of February 6th to prevent Hassan from entering the family home.

On the surface, Hassan does not seem to be an abusive husband. He graduated magna cum laude with an MBA from the Simon School of Business at U. Rochester in 1996. He then established and become CEO the Bridges TV station in 2004 to counteract negative stereotypes and portrayals of Muslims in the media.

Hassan is now charged with second degree murder and is in the middle of family court hearings regarding child custody. He also has teenage children from a previous marriage, which makes you wonder how he treated his previous wife from that marriage.

This story shows us that there is no standard image or profile that all domestic abusers fit – just because they are well educated, wealthy CEO’s does not mean that they are not abusers. It also proves that enacting police orders and fleeing an abusive relationship does not guarantee that the abuse will stop. Battered women may even be in more danger after leaving an abusive relationship. Moreover, domestic violence is not just a women’s issue. It affects children, families and communities.