A Karen to Dance To

Inspired by radfemspiraling‘s Friday music recs and recent post on Karens, and a song that came up through my earbuds while I was on my daily trek through the empty streets of coronavirusland.

Karen Carpenter. A literal Karen rather than what was talked about in the post referred to above, but hey.

So I’m marching around, enjoying relatively perv-ball-free streets, and into my ears flows the following, which I hadn’t listened to in years and years.

What do you get when you fall in love?
A guy with a pin to burst your bubble
That’s what you get for all your trouble.
I’ll never fall in love again.
I’ll never fall in love again.

What do you get when you kiss a guy?
You get enough germs to catch pneumonia.
After you do, he’ll never phone you.
I’ll never fall in love again.
I’ll never fall in love again.

You get enough tears to fill an ocean
That’s what you get for your devotion.
I’ll never fall in love again.
I’ll never fall in love again.

Sorry, the video is really just an audio version.

Well, I laughed and laughed right after the part about catching diseases from men. I wrote something to that effect recently. Now, this song was written by Burt Bacharach and Hal David, and being male, they originally wrote the lyrics with the sexes reversed. Poor hurt men – as if men can fall in love, right? And of course, women are the source of disease – like how they’ve always blamed prostitutes for venereal diseases. Anyhow, the song was made famous by Dionne Warwick, and she reversed the sexes – probably more out of not wanting to appear lesbian than fighting the power. And honestly, it makes more sense and rings truer when a woman sings it. Men don’t really love or cry over women, unless they are crying because their slave is gone, and they don’t want to go to the effort of procuring another.

Just because I felt like it, I decided to write a few of my own lyrics for the more modern survivor of male love and attention. I took the fall in love lines out to conserve space, but you know they’re there.

What do you get when you fall in love?
Stockholm Syndrome with a side of shame
That’s how it works in the hetero game

What do you get when you fuck a dude?
Chlamydia, AIDS, or a yeast infection
Knocked up, and finally, his rejection

What do you get when you deny the trans?
Death threats, rape threats, no-platforming
Loss of your space unless you confirm him

Feel free to come up with your own and then you can dance and sing along.

Let’s get back to Karen Carpenter. She was a superstar, but undervalued. Unfortunately more famous for her death from anorexia (what some racist, sexist black women have called ‘white girl disease’, even though it is very common among many Asian girls and women, as well) than for her amazing musical talent. What a lot of people don’t know, is that she was a kickass drummer – better than most of the famous male drummers out there. She was forced by the producing powers in her life NOT to drum, and to focus more on the lady-like singing. Women have always been cut out of most aspects of music due to the unseemly nature of playing an instrument that might require body movements or facial contortions.

Her joy was in drumming, however.

I include below, this incredible video of her in her element. You see joy in her that you don’t see when she sings. And it boggles my mind how her clearly decimated body is able to put so much power into communion with the several drum sets on stage. Please try hard to disregard the creepy, douchey brother presence. He can play the piano well, but there is something odd about him that I don’t want to examine too deeply.

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Posted on April 10, 2020, in Feminism, Language, Misogyny and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. Comments Off on A Karen to Dance To.

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