Feminists don't have a sense of humor?

Watch out, sarcastic Broadsheet fans -- I think I've found us a theme song.

By Catherine Price
November 13, 2007 7:24PM (UTC)
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Are you sick of hearing people tell you that feminists need to get over themselves, or grow a sense of humor, or stop taking things so seriously? Just give them an ironic theme song: Nellie McKay's "Mother of Pearl." (Click on the play button at the bottom of the post -- and for hearing-impaired readers or anyone else who wants it, here's a link to the lyrics.) In a breathy, sweeter-than-sugar voice, McKay sings a playful little show tune with lines like "Feminists spread vicious lies and rumors," and "[Feminists] have a tumor on their funny bone," while a group of hecklers in the background responds, "Lighten up, ladies!" or "Sing us a new one!" (My favorite line: "They say objectification isn't funny," to which the peanut gallery responds, "It's hot!") This is the perfect song to play for people who think women need to put a sock in it: They'll want to agree with the words that she's (sarcastically) singing, but will probably have difficulty sitting through the dance solo.

It reminds me of a business card my mechanic likes to give out to people who complain to him. "Your story has touched my heart," it says, in fancy-looking script. "Never before have I met anyone with more problems than you. Please accept this token of my sincere sympathy." (Then it lists his contact information.) I find McCay's song to be just as deliciously sarcastic.

Catherine Price

Catherine Price is an award-winning journalist and author of Vitamania: How Vitamins Revolutionized the Way We Think About Food. Her written and multimedia work has appeared in publications including The Best American Science Writing, The New York Times, Popular Science, O: The Oprah Magazine, the Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Washington Post Magazine, Salon, Slate, Men’s Journal, Mother Jones, PARADE, Health Magazine, and Outside. Price lives in Philadelphia.

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