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MISANDRY! It's really hot right now. Which is great news for me, as I've almost completed my statement necklace made of the severed penises of the men who have street harassed me this summer.
And yes, sometimes misandry humor is ironic, as it's been described. As Jess Zimmerman put it in Slate, “It's inhabiting the most exaggerated, implausible distortion of your position, in order to show that it's ridiculous.” For me, it's also a kind of gallows humor, a way to blow off steam when I'm being constantly confronted with the realities of sexism. It's a way to imagine a fantasy world in which I am the powerful one, in which men fear me instead of the other way around. For instance, "A strange man followed me down the street today telling me he wanted to lick my tattoos, so I killed him." I didn't, obviously, but it's a hell of a lot more fun to type than "so I felt scared and sad and worthless and did nothing."
That's probably why my most earnest love for several of these artists dates back to my young teen years, when I felt most powerless. What better time to shout along with Bikini Kill, with Ani Difranco, with Alanis Morissette, with 7 Year Bitch?
And please just don't even start with me about how some of these songs wouldn't be OK if a man wrote them because I'm sorry but songs about killing women in a society where that fear is a daily reality for most of us just are not a 1:1 comparison with songs about women lashing out at their oppressors and abusers.
It's like that old comedy rule about "punching up." Jokes about killing all men are funny (and art about killing men powerful) because women as a whole are victimized by men on a daily basis. For that same reason, jokes about killing all women are not usually that funny. And misandry jokes are not "sexist" for the same reason that white people jokes are not "racist" -- because sexism and racism must be backed up by institutionalized oppression.
To state what I hope is obvious: Nobody actually wants to literally kill any men here. Not me, not Kathleen Hannah, not Natale Maines. We just wanna sing about it.
1. "White Boy," Bikini Kill
There are so many great Bikini Kill songs about hating men that it was really hard to choose, but I went with "White Boy" both for its straightforward "White Boy/Don't laugh/Don't cry/Just die" chorus and for this lyric, which should be the misandry society motto: "I'm so sorry if I'm alienating some of you/Your whole f**king culture alienates me."
2. "Goodbye Earl," The Dixie Chicks
Pretty much the #1 best country song about killing men in a genre so crowded with songs about killing men that I didn't even bother to try to list them all. Also, how have I never seen this video? Jane Krakowski is Wanda! This song gets extra points for the sheer sense of glee and celebration that accompanies Earl's death.
3. "You Oughta Know," Alanis Morissette
"Jagged Little Pill" was like the SCUM Manifesto for my generation of teenage girls. We all had it, we all knew all the words, and we still do. This Alanis, the pissed off leather pants in the desert Alanis, ushered in the era in which dudes talked uncomfortably about "angry woman" music. And it was good.
4. "Dead Men Don't Rape," 7 Year Bitch
OK, this isn't really one of my "favorite songs," although I did like 7 Year Bitch. But for sheer misandry power, you can't beat the title/concept.
5. "Independence Day," Martina McBride
Another classic in the canon of "fed-up woman kills her abuser" country songs. I am a sucker for this conceit. LET FREEDOM RING.
6. "Janie's Got a Gun," Aerosmith
The only song on this list by a male artist, "Janie's Got a Gun" is about a woman who kills her father who sexually abused her. "Man he had it coming," indeed.
7. "Precious Things," Tori Amos
Tori Amos was the first non-Christian musical artist I was properly obsessed with. And part of the reason was lyrics like these: "I wanna smash the faces/Of those beautiful boys/Those Christian boys/So you can make me cum/That doesn't make you Jesus." Yesssss Tori yes. One day, my mom sat me down and told me that I should be careful because she'd heard from a friend that Tori Amos had a large lesbian following. Must be all that face-smashing.
8. "Bust Your Windows," Jazmine Sullivan
There had to be room on this list for hatred of individual men who done you wrong, especially when combined with destruction of personal property. Don't we all "deserve to smile"?
9. "Before He Cheats," Carrie Underwood
And while we're effing up dude's cars...
10. "Gimme Brains," Bratmobile
Oh hey, I'm back, just had to break for a lunch of MALE BRAINS.
11. "Caught Out There," Kelis
"This song is for all the women out there/Who been lied to by their men." SO ALL WOMEN AM I RIGHT LADIES. JK, but skip to 1:24 or 2:40 for some cathartic "I HATE YOU SO MUCH RIGHT NOW" screaming.
12. "Hit 'Em Up Style," Blu Cantrell
Yes, I will accept my misandry in the form of taking a man for every dollar he's worth.
13. "Hide and Seek," Ani Difranco
It seemed really imperative to include an Ani Difranco song on this list, but despite her one-time reputation as the ultimate man-hater, I found most of her songs to be disappointingly balanced. But then I remembered screaming along to the lyrics at 3:04 from "Hide and Seek." ALL TOGETHER NOW:
Girl Next Time He Wants to Know What your Problem Is/Girl Next Time He Wants to Know Where the Anger Comes From/ Just Tell Him This Time The Problem's His/Tell Him the Anger Just Comes"
14. "Gunpowder and Lead," Miranda Lambert
OK ONE MORE OF THESE. "His fist is big but my gun's bigger/He'll find out when I pull the trigger."
15. "Tyrone," Erykah Badu
Just one of the best "Seriously, screw this dude" songs ever written. Plus, this is the recording where she says "I'm an artist and I'm sensitive about my shit," aka MY LIFE MOTTO.
Let us sing this one together and feel our power grow. If we are lucky, we'll begin to menstruate as one.
MORE MISANDRY in the comments. What are your favorite songs about killing and/or keying a dude's car and/or just hating men a lot?