MEN! JD Samson Of Le Tigre Fame…

Posted: March 26, 2011 in Identity, Masculinities, Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

If you don’t know who Le Tigre were you need to do some Riot Grrrl homework people! JD Samson was part of this electronica/punk/screamo/post-disco/whateveryouwanttocallit trio in the 1990s and 2000s. Le Tigre ROCKED!

But also, they played with gender identities.  I think the whole of Riot Grrl did. As soon as you have seen a woman in torn jeans and backcombed hair playing  bass guitar screaming ‘SWAMP PUSSY’ you know that the role of   ‘female rock artist’ is being fucked with. That the concept of ‘woman’ is being fucked with. (incidentally one of my favourite Riot Grrrl bands was Bongwater. Their analysis of post-feminist neo-liberalism via the themes of Pretty Woman was something to behold: ‘cos that’s all women are good for isn’t it? Sucking and Shopping, Sucking and Shopping, Sucking and Shopping….’ And now, maybe our popular culture is telling us that ‘sucking and shopping’ is all anyone is good for).

Le Tigre fucked with gender, perhaps  the most consciously of all the Riot Grrrl bands. Not least through the persona of JD Samson. And in Samson’s new project, gender is still at the forefront … it is called MEN after all.

I don’t want to make too much commentary. JD Samson speaks on this OUT! interview more eloquently than I ever could. But it is worth a listen. And the new single by MEN, ‘Off Our Backs’ is damned catchy, with quite a sexy video too. We love you JD!!

  1. arctic_jay says:

    I like Le Tigre; their songs are always catchy. But JD Samson annoys the shit out of me. If queer radicals are more conscious of their bodies, why is it that trans people can never talk about gender bluntly and honestly? Their “analysis” of gender is always purposely vague, banal, and with no explanatory power. It’s all political platitudes meant to justify their playing dress up. Jack Donovan is right. JD Samson is the gender equivalent of a wigger. Because she was born a woman, her gender presentation will always read soft-butch dyke, when a man acting as she does would come off as a closeted uber fag. The experiences of the two are different. You can’t call your band MEN unless you’re also analyzing maleness and masculinity from a biological and historical perspective (this can be done in pop music if you’re smart). Approaching a band called MEN from a feminist, queer theory perspective is not radical. It’s cliche.

    • I don’t know if JD Samson identifies as ‘trans’ or not. I agree Samson’s interview was not wildly revealing about gender identity but it was about a pop record so that is what was talked about.

      Thanks for your critique a-jay!

  2. Interesting. Thanks for the introduction.

  3. chuichui says:

    From what I’ve read JD identifies as a butch dyke, she is always called she. I adore that JD mixes up gender cues without crossing all the way into trans. Men. It’s just the name of her band.

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