[TypicalGirls] Gang of 4

pascale amzallou pascaleamz at yahoo.com
Mon Jan 24 23:29:18 EST 2005

I'd guess that most of the female artists talked about
here would
hate that a distinction is made purely on the basis of
sex, and
I think it would be fair to say that the Gang of Four
or Scritti
Politti contributed much more to the dialogue of sex,
and music than many female artists ever have.  Given
that both the Gang of Four and Scritti Politti came
out of a much bigger
scene that included men and women in more equal
than any musical scene up to that point, I think it
would be a
kind of ridiculous thing not to include them in this
group.  And
that's not to mention the fact that people here
obviously have
an interest in them, not to mention the fact that the
Gang of
Four did have a female member at their commercial peak
both groups had plenty of songs dealing with issues of
and gender that took a very feminist /
deconstructionist stance:

Scritti's "Is And Ought The Western World" takes to
issue false
(or pointless) dichotomies in Western society, and the
idea that
pro-feminist, pro-activist men should not be included
in a discussion forum such as this, but that an artist
who reinforces
negative societal stereotypes of women can be included
on a biological basis strikes me as absurd.  Even
later records
like "The 'Sweetest' Girl" dealt with mainstream ideas
marketing (and perpetuating) ideas of feminity and

The Gang of Four tackled issues of gender and feminism
nearly every record - "Damaged Goods," "I Love A Man
In Uniform," "I Found That Essence Rare," "Contract,"
"It's Her Factory," "The History Of The World" to name
but a few - and
they covered songs by other artists with similar
too and were known to dissect their own music in terms
their sex and in contrast with artists such as the
in interviews and press releases.

This is simply my opinion.  I realize that this isn't
my list, but
frankly the Gang of Four or Scritti strike me more as
girls" than a group like Dolly Mixture, who were
and behaved in many ways like most other girl groups
and who shied away from the big questions other groups
of the era
were asking.  Don't get me wrong, I like Dolly Mixture
they were not without their merits, but in many ways I
they reacted against the idea of what a "typical" girl
should be
much less than the aforementioned 'boy' bands.

So is this a discussion group about feminism and free
in music (as the Slits' song from which the group's
name is
taken) or is it a kind of "Hurray For Everything
Female!" group 
with no capacity for the sort of flexible gender
identity at the
heart of the Slits, Raincoats, Scritti and the Gang of


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