Celebrity Friday! John: feminist pissed

Have I mentioned lately how much I love podcasting? I feel like I haven’t been talking about it enough. 😉

One aspect that goes hand-in-hand with podcasting is the tech aspect, which – in case you didn’t notice all my whining – is something that is *not* my genius work. It reminds me of being in calculus class surrounded by high-functioning, cerebral guys and feeling pissed / close to tears because I just didn’t *get it*. The lesson I ultimately took away from calculus was this: I can make anything happen if I’m damned determined enough. Acing my calculus exam was one of proudest achievements of my teenage years (and I couldn’t duplicate those results today!)

For me, the tech end of podcasting is like learning calculus all over again – except there’s no rock star teacher telling me I’m just as smart as the boys – and there’s a lot of podcasting help forums that are OVERRUN with dudes swinging their dicks at each other.

I’ll give you a minute to wipe up that coffee you just spit out.

Yeah, the tone of this blog entry is *feminist pissed*. And I don’t get feminist pissed very often – usually because I don’t notice sexism when it happens to me. Sexism can feel like a drive-by shooting. You’re left there in a state of shock going, “Was that some sexism? I just had some sexism thrown at me, didn’t I?”

Here’s an example from my life: When Sweetie and I owned the coffee roastery, we travelled all over the island to get our product into cafes, restaurants and grocery stores. One sale required multiple visits and follow-ups, and we just couldn’t be in all the places we needed to be: so we hired another sales rep. No brainer.

The guy we hired had no sales experience, but we were paying on commission and he was looking for an extra way to make some cash. We gave him a sales script, some talking points and a bunch of samples and sent him on his way.

By the end of the week he’d closed three new accounts and gotten into grocery stores and restaurants that wouldn’t even give us a meeting.

Why? It took a long time for it to dawn on me. The day one café owner expressed concern that our coffee would taste and smell like perfume, (which neither of us wore) I really had to admit that the sexism in the male-dominated industry of restaurant, café and grocery store ownership – not to mention that most coffee roasters are also men – was having a major affect on our business.

So I have a little baggage where sexism is concerned. The resulting anger is harshing my zen, dudes.

This is how I’ve been treated as the only woman in podcasting forums dominated by tech-geek dudes: with an undertone, a subtle disrespect, a talking-down attitude like a flea that’s acutely felt but difficult to pin down.

The really annoying part is, like any “ism”, if you choose to try and explain to the drive-by shooter that what they’re doing is intimidating you, patronizing you, silencing you, erasing you – the classic response is, “No I’m not. You’re just too sensitive.”

Right now I’m searching for the forums of female podcasters – there are a TON of female podcasters out there, and they can’t all be on blogtalk radio, right? They can’t all be hiring someone to set up their sites. Somewhere, the women have created their own podcasting space where they can feel safe asking entry-level questions, and feel respected for the choices they’ve made. After some angry-googling (everyone’s done angry-googling, right? It involves furious typing while muttering curse words under your breath) I found this:


And at the time of this blog post, it’s only four episodes in! Brand new! WOO HOO! Now I feel better.

Way, WAY back in 2011 when I first started this crazy blog, I made the very first Celebrity post:


It was about Sweetie having a feminist talk with John about some of his songs. This morning, this post and John’s quizzical eyebrow popped into my head, asking to chime in.

So here we go:

Hey John.

Hello beautiful, (eyebrow wiggle, like groucho) (takes a puff of his obscenely phallic cigar – a maneuver that reminds me of Erik for a second) I like the phrase “feminist pissed”. When you get pissed on, get pissed. (Shows me a zen monk warrior, indicating that pissed does not have to contradict a zen state of being.) You should talk to George. He always understood women better than I.

This surprises me.

It’s true. (shrugs)

Surely you’ve incarnated as a woman, right?

I did, a long, long time ago. The culture was completely different; the culture you’re in now is rapidly changing. All I can do is watch and learn!

I’m always surprised by how often you tell me you’re learning still by watching the incarnated.

It’s always a balance. Every teacher needs to be a student, otherwise they get big heads! (Shows his head inflating like a balloon and pops!)

I didn’t know there were Buddhist warriors. I’ll have to google that in a bit. (What he’s showing me is a monk in orange robes and shaved head with a long staff practicing hand-to-hand combat intended for defense of the helpless, their towns, from invaders.)

Oh yes. (gives me the feeling of *they’re REALLY cool*) They are the only warriors I truly admire. The (zen) state of mind is crucial when you’re trained with the knowledge of aggressive defence – when you have the power to end someone’s life, it’s important to have the mind that can handle it.

Violence perpetuates violence, which is why the victimized sometimes victimize others. Nothing every stops unless *someone* has the power of mind to absorb the violence and correct it. (Shows a runaway freight train and a single human on the tracks who stops the train with a light tap.)

It may seem impossible. It isn’t. It’s possible. Truly.

So my friend, I would be grateful for advice in this situation, if you have it.

The first thing is to understand the men. They have no battles but the ones they invent. (Gives me the feeling of “you’re right”.) They DO create extra difficulties for themselves so that they can show other men what they have conquered.

(Shows me a thread where I asked a question and a member responded with “It’s too complicated for me to explain to you without taking hours of my time and writing a huge email – I offer consulting services but I’m not trying to sell them to you. Just completely redo your podcast from scratch, and do it on faith because I said so.” I’m paraphrasing, but this was the advice.)

This was not intended (to squash you down) it was intended to lift him up. You were incidental.

Uh, like collateral damage?

If you choose to be damaged by it. (eye twinkle) He simply does not see the effect of his words.

(Flash back to a racist poster from the time the schools in the US integrated public schools – the poster was stating a perceived “fact” that these kids were not compatible.)

Let me paraphrase that: for someone who sees their opinions as fact, when they’re stating their “fact” they don’t realize it’s oppressive, because for them it’s simply reality, not an opinion.

Yes! (smile)

So what do I do?

Who says you need to do anything? Just leave them behind. (Shows me monkeys in a cage.) One day they’ll wonder why there are no females in their enclosure. Nothing motivates a male like a female! (eye twinkle)

Oh my gawd, John. (He’s giggling because that last sentence was completely old-school sexist and he knows it, yet it still is true.)

(He sends me the energy of a correction and a re-phrasing of his last sentence, showing the energy of sexism is ultimately, “YOU SHOULD DO THIS” not merely observing established patterns of behavior.)

Ah, that’s true, actually.

Women being creative is the (sexiest) draw for a man! Why do you think (gay men) love fashion?

Oh John. I love you.

(blows kiss)

14 thoughts on “Celebrity Friday! John: feminist pissed

  1. “Woman is the Nigger of the World” ( in my opinion) really is a beautiful song. I know yall hate it (LOL). I feel John was trying to get men to CHANGE their view about how they treated the women in their lives. I feel the song honestly came from a good place in John’s heart.

    BTW….. I find it so strangely coincidental that Erik shot himself on October 9, 2009. That would have been Johnny’s 69th birthday!! And it is THE EXACT day that John came into my life (I can pin point THE DAY/ long story). Those two are connected somehow.


    • I have no strong feelings about that song. Sweetie really hates it though! 😉

      That is a weird coincidence. I don’t know if there’s a connection but it wouldn’t surprise me.

      They’re both similar in, uh, volume and determination to be heard!


  2. I’ve learned some really problematic things about John 😦 That he was the antithesis of a feminist. Imagine that right? It’s kind of like how there’s this misconception that Tupac supported women even though he raped a woman when he was alive but because his image is so widespread people don’t take that contradiction into consideration. Or, similarly, how Gandhi was pretty racist and sexist when he was alive, but again, because of the image that he projected people take fragments of his legacy and make them seem as though he was one dimensional opposed to a human being that made mistakes, some more horrible than others.

    Disclaimer : I don’t think that he’s a bad person. So disregard the word ‘shit’ here.

    Did you know about any of this?


    • John is indeed guilty of “almost” everything stated in that article. He was a troubled man with a history of violence. All of us human beings have an extraordinary dichotomy within us. Each one of us has a bit of Evil… AND LOVE. It’s important to choose LOVE . But we must face our “dark side” as well to be able to heal. John faced his dark side and that is why he was so pro- peace and love. He never claimed to be a Saint. He is far from it. It’s the public that put him on a pedestal. You must understand, as troubled as John was, he was/is a million fold loving on the other side of the coin. The “peace/love” movement was REAL for him. It wasn’t for “show”.

      Having read all that about John ( I knew all of it already) I still LOVE the man more than words. I accept all of it, as I hope people would accept all of my “dark side” because like everyone else, I have a bad side too.


      • Well said, Noel.

        I felt like there was a lot taken out of context for the articles she linked sourced. Most of those links were referencing other articles – it was at least three degrees away from a direct report of an event.

        So I acknowledge that there’s a lot of room there for people to spin it to their own point of view.

        I felt like a lot of the incidents sited lacked context. Like, maybe John fooled around a bit with Brian, and that caused such a fierce homophobic reaction. It wouldn’t be the first time the most violent reactions are fueled from self-hatred or fear.

        Also, quoting a playboy article where John himself was talking about “being a hitter.” The article quoting the article quoting the playboy article was like, “See? He admits it!” And I’m like, “Uh, where’s the rest of that conversation / interview with playboy?” There’s a big difference between saying “Yeah, I was a shit, and I’m learning to change,” and “Yeah, I did that. What of it?” Maybe he was speaking to other men who currently were “hitters.” It’s valuable to present your flaws to the world.

        Like any other celebrity, he had his whole train wreck of a personal life documented every step of the way.


  3. Yes — well said, Noel!! And I agree about things being taken out of context. Good lord, if you took some of my more horrible mistakes out of context, I would look like a monster on paper…


  4. Haha, whoa! John’s been around really strong lately, popping in with references with me. Then I found this. Here’s the way I see it: John never, ever claimed to be a saint. Heck, even the SAINTS weren’t “saints” all the time. He was capable of being quite acidic and awful, especially in his younger years, but would come back with an apology so sincere and often learn deeply from each experience. Yoko is NOT to be underestimated: she was/is a driving, powerful force in and of herself. I will also say that those four guys – John, George, Paul and Ringo – lived through something that none of us can really comprehend. Living in the eye of a hurricane when you are starting out in meditation and trying to heal old wounds is nothing is be taken lightly. They saw people behaving atrociously around and toward them They were objectified, and the hotel bathroom was the only place to go if they wanted any moment of privacy during Beatlemania.
    They saw women (and men) positively losing their grits when they came into view. I think John relied on his sense of humor (they all did) to get through it. Their vision of humanity was far different in their lifetime then ours and I am sure now they are seeing and learning so much in a different light. Women were eager and willing. John did make fun of a lot of types of people, but he did so ubiquitously. People used to actually bring in their crippled sons and daughters and ask the Beatles to touch them in hopes of healing. Can you imagine? They were like, WTF is this? People were ridiculous. Negative articles like that blog entry usually come about by people who had John up on some shining pedestal that he was all good and peace loving all the time. He was a scrapper kid from Liverpool with enormous heart, vision and talent that continues to bring light and love into our world. Sorry – I can’t help it, I’m really defensive about those guys.

    He’s right about George understanding women, btw. Underscore, highlight.


    • So well said Sara, thank you 🙂

      I’m glad you chimed in about Yoko too – yeah, she IS a force into herself, and a kick-ass trail-blazer artist feminist. I sure took some shit from the people I love(d).

      I feel like the who article is holding icons of the 60s and 70s up to today’s standards. Back then, women weren’t expected to leave a guy who lost his temper. Us children of the 90s grew up with messages like “one hit is too much”. Even in the 80s, a punch wasn’t a relationship extinction event.

      And I’ll bet she brought him back to earth right quick. Labelling Yoko as a “battered wife” – which is a shitty title to pose on anyone by the way – seems particularly insulting to put it on Yoko.

      Or maybe I’m being completely and infuriatingly anti-feminist? I dunno. This has been a great conversation though.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s