Sunday, January 04, 2009

I was thinking about that, too!

Yoko Ono: A Feminist Analysis (Introduction: Oh Yoko!), by Cara at The Curvature via Feministe.

. . . the treatment of Yoko Ono is still relevant to our understanding of art, relationships and a woman’s place in society.

Yoko Ono’s name is tossed around as an insult, sometimes "jokingly," sometimes really and truly hatefully. Any woman who dates a male band member and expects to be treated like a person, or any woman who is seen to in some way cause a change in a male artist of any kind, is particularly at risk of being called “Yoko.” To a lesser extent, so is any woman who expects to be given equal consideration as her partner and her partner’s friends friends. Why is it an insult, exactly? Well, because “everyone” hates Yoko Ono. She’s a mentally unbalanced, scheming, money-grubbing, castrating bitch. Oh, and she broke up the Beatles. Or so they say . . .

. . . If you actually take the time to read Beatles history, you’ll see pretty clearly that the cracks in the band were showing for some time before John Lennon even met Yoko. John was growing away from the Beatles musically, struggling with drug addiction and with the insecurity he seemed to feel in varying degrees throughout most of his life, and was therefore lashing out and pulling away from the group. Paul McCartney was making a power grab for control of the band, one that he was winning and John felt powerless to stop — and while John had a tendency to be nasty to the people closest to him, Paul had a tendency to be extremely condescending and controlling. George Harrison was resentful of John and (especially) Paul’s refusal to take his songwriting and musicianship seriously — even though despite being neither the greatest songwriter or vocalist in the group, he was absolutely fucking brilliant. Ringo Starr never had a serious problem with any of the other Beatles, but was feeling incredibly marginalized within the band and distraught over the disharmony.

Poor Ringo. :( I see him as the undersung Beatle.

The other thing that changed my mind was John himself, and his persistent, repeated earnestness in professing that he wanted out of the Beatles long before Yoko and she only gave him the strength to do it; not to mention his proclamations of happiness and rightful insistence that anyone who hated Yoko and didn’t respect their relationship certainly didn’t love him or have his best interests at heart. And realizing that Yoko wasn’t to blame for the Beatles breakup makes you ask a question. Why does the myth persist?

Why indeed. Rebel Grrrl mentions the old SAT-style analogy "Men:Heroes as Women:villains". I agree with that in so many ways. Cara is bringing the deepness with her Yoko Ono posts.


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