Thursday, April 24, 2008

"L7" Punk Rock Group - Song "This Ain't Pleasure"

By Kim Seder

Lyrics:
No raving beauty
But she's got heart
He's got escaping
Down to an art

This ain't pleasure
Don't ask why
This ain't pleasure
And monkey's can't fly

She's an infection
A stain on his soul
He's her addiction
They're out of control

This ain't pleasure
Don't ask why
This ain't pleasure
And monkey's can't fly...oh, no

This ain't pleasure
Don't ask why
This ain't pleasure
And monkey's can't fly

This song was performed by the all girl band L 7, from L.A. in 1992 on their 3rd Album Bricks are Heavy. As you can read from the lyrics above, the song is short and simple. But that is the beauty of it! I looked and looked over many lyrics written and/or performed by female artists and I had trouble finding one that 'hit me.' I basically browsed numerous websites with lyrics contained on each site, but it was much more difficult than I thought it would be. I also don't have the latest auditory technology so I found it even more difficult trying to download and even FIND the song in order to attempt to download it.

So, here goes my blog:
The song, "This Ain't Pleasure" is not a song I have heard before and I have never heard of the group before either! I did listen to a lot of different music in the 90's and I love PINK who is considered a punk rocker (I think) but apparently this group may not have been as mainstream otherwise I suspect I would have heard of them. This song addresses the women's issues of 'self image, perceived image, suggestions of sex, noncommittments, vulnerability of women, women as baggage and self discovery. In the first paragraph first line, the song reads... No raving beauty...we have discussed attractiveness as both positive and negative in our feminist studies so beauty is one of the central issues here. To me, I believe this song written in 3rd person is talking about not being a RAVING beauty as a problem because it goes on to say, BUT SHE'S GOT A GOOD HEART! Well, how nice of them to say that! Imagine her not having beauty and also not having a heart....double whammy. The song goes on to say, HE'S GOT ESCAPING DOWN TO AN ART which clearly shows the sometimes typical behavior of some men who leave the relationship due to either committment problems or just because they (not all of them) just want sex and then they leave. I think that the issue of men using women for sex is certainly thought of in our mainstream society, however the issue of men 'escaping' or leaving relationships is not.

The 3rd stanza is more troubling to me...SHE'S AN INFECTION, A STAIN ON HIS SOUL.... That line is very sad...the woman is viewed as a microbial, free radical, negative infection -spreading group of cells throughout his spiritual being; my goodness, his soul!!! How can he escape? And let's go on...HE'S HER ADDICTIION, THEY'RE OUT OF CONTROL. She is seen here as more of a problem again...she has an addiciton problem, no self control and because of her inability to control herself, she (and her name COULD be EVE, who tempted ADAM) he cannot control himself either. It's clearly her fault, right? NOT! How common is this in our American society today? Let's blame women for men's problems. Isn't there a saying in Sue Monk Kidd's book that takes a text from the Bible that states a boy's problem is from his mother?!

The only empowerment in this entire song is in the chorus when they repeat the words, "THIS AIN'T PLEASURE, DON'T ASK WHY." There is validation of reality here and the woman admits there is a problem and knows that it is not right which is a first step in solving a problem, but then the song goes on to say "THIS AIN'T PLEASURE AND MONKEYS CAN'T FLY." We all know monkeys can't fly, it's impossible... so the group L 7 is saying that it's impossible for the woman to do much about it. Like she will keep on suffering and loving the man, but not get what she needs from him in return. Only to see his back side walk away..... I don't see any text in these lyrics that suggests ways to fight. It's pretty much depicting reality in an unhealthy relationship with a very narrow escape route for the female.

Because this song was written in the early 90's, females were not as active in the feminist movement. It was the end of the 1st wave of feminism and the relationship is basically apathetic. There should be more songs that empower women and give them strength, hope and how about instruction for escaping sorrowful relationships!?! I believe if I had chosen a song written within the last couple years, we would be exposed to more 'feminists fists' than frail flowers! If I had a chance to speak with the writers of this song, I would say they should strongly consider writing songs with more enlightening and empowering words using reflective music interspersed with strong bass notes and firm beats. Politically, that is up to them, but I would say, be an independent thinker, writer and an independent feminist (who doesn't hate men.) Democrats or Republicans welcome!

Research websites:

www.l7official.com

www.thecoverzone.com

1 comment:

JUAN said...

YOU WRITTE A BOUT empowering . hAVE YOU TAKE A LOOK TO ANOTHER SONG OF THIS BAND? "JUST LIKE ME" "FAST AND FRIGHTENING" ?