Androgynous, the Replacements

how could this song be so lushly beautiful?

I think it makes my pulse cascade so much because I’ve been mistaken for the opposite sex more times than I can count.

While I take pride in my gender, I’ve also learned to embrace androgyny.  As JD Salinger says in one of his novels, many writers are androgynous; it’s a gift to be able to see with two minds and recognize the beauty in everyone.

People have both female and male energies inside of them.  It’s good to be respectful of the multiple ways of being, and of the myriad identities of the universe.

It brings to mind one of my favorite Joy Harjo poems, the Woman Hanging from the Thirteenth Floor Window, where the woman hanging thinks of all the women she has been, and of all the men, and of climbing back up to claim herself again.

“Androgynous” by the Replacements is a reclaiming song, and a defender of everyone who’s ever been bullied for not being masculine enough, or for not being feminine enough.  The song says, what’s the big deal if someone is androgynous? who cares what sexual orientation someone is, as long as there is love?  Let there be a same hair revolution.  “Tomorrow who’s gonna fuss?” is a sweet vision for the world; we can switch sexes like we switch tenses like we switch songs.

Another song that protests being harassed because of towing the gender line is Androynous Mind by Sonic Youth.  It has a more hard-driven punk sound than the Replacements song, but still offers salvation for androgynous people with the repetition of, “hey hey it’s okay.”

Other key songs on this theme are Lola by the Kinks and Lola R for Ever with Marianne Faithfull.

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Filed under manifestos, poems, protest songs, truth speakers

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