National Domestic Violence Awareness Month is a good month to watch/listen to the Dixie Chicks sing Goodbye Earl.
In a post called Man-haters, Amanda at Pandagon writes:
Warning: The video is excessively corny. This song came out years before the Dixie Chicks got lambasted for criticizing Bush, and in all honesty, the furor over them criticizing Bush was a build-up of years of pissy resentment from my conservative red state brethern who hated the fact that the Dixie Chicks are cheeky feminists who are wildly popular with the ladies, especially for writing songs like “Goodbye Earl”. The song is about two women who were friends in high school and move apart, but when one of them gets beaten by her husband so bad she ends up in the hospital, the other comes to town to help her out. Mind you, the law has already been established as ineffectual in protecting the woman against domestic violence, so when the two women decide to murder Earl, it’s understood as an act of self-defense. It’s an upbeat song, which is really what’s cool about it. No Lifetime Movie Syndrome for the women; they realize that you can’t just roll over for men that are gonna beat you and kill you, and their willingness to fight back is cheering and even fun. Also, they start a business together, a nice touch.
But the best part of Amanda's post is about how "[t]he phrase 'man-hater' is more an insult to men than to feminists. . . [W]hen you call someone a 'man-hater' who is actually hating on sexists, abusers, and rapists, you imply all men are these things. And they are not. So who are really the man-haters when that phrase is being wielded? It’s not the feminists; it’s the men implying that hating rape or hating abuse is the same thing as hating men."
I especially like what Amanda has to say about the "made-up word 'misandry.'" You should go read it.
Misogyny Violence Against Women Dixie Chicks Video Goodbye Earl Gender Politics Feminism Patriarchy