Olivia here. I read a pretty odious article in The Daily Mail recently (no surprise there), in an effort to add more variety to the sources from which I get my news. The importance of ‘seeing it from the other side’ has been emphasised in recent weeks following the apparent epidemic of ‘fake news’ (Donald Trump’s buzzword du jour), and I try not to limit myself to the liberal and left wing press that feels the most comfortable to me. My partner jokes that I am left wing to the point of being a communist (wrong, I have moved far beyond that to liberal plains far beyond the comprehension of mere mortals, where gay multiracial families frolic in countryside littered with wind turbines and vegan cafes). Anyway, trying to broaden my horizons clearly backfired, when I came across an article by Dr Catherine Hakim, who claims that ‘decent husbands’ are driven to cheating, domestic abuse, and sexual assault when their wives don’t have sex with them often enough. I’m not going to go into huge depth as to why this statement is complete and utter bullshit, but things like, the blaming of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, the disregard for male victims of those same things and for those in non-hetero relationships, and the characterisation of men as animals that cannot control their urges are a few red flags. Also, the idea that the wives and partners of men should offer up sex as a kind of reward for their partner doing the washing up (yes she actually said that) completely nullifies the fact that women may actually want to have sex because…they enjoy it? Crazy I know. Happily, this kind of regressive attitude towards sex and gender roles is becoming more and more uncommon, not least due to the efforts of women in music over the last few decades, working to subvert the male gaze by reclaiming their sexuality through their music. Recent musicians that come to mind include Pussy Riot, St. Vincent who makes reference to masturbation in ‘Birth in Reverse‘, and Tove Lo, who recently got a vagina tattooed on her upper arm. Now part of the feminist hall of fame are EXON BANKS, who’s latest release is an inspired reimagining of ‘Candy Shop‘ by 50 Cent ft. Olivia Lufkin. Subverting the tracks original misogynistic message, the Swedish duo give the track a dream pop makeover, saying ‘it’s about asking for what you want without permission and expanding one’s perspective on femininity and gender. It’s about reclaiming the right to your own sexuality and transcending gender expectations. Most of all, it’s about being yourself and enjoying life‘. With hazy synths and woolly vocal samples, it’s almost unrecognisable save for the well known chorus. Perfect for night driving and being a badass in general.

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