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feminist wire | daily newsbriefs

August-02-01

Indecent Exposure?

Gil Scott-Heron said the revolution would not be televised. It also won't be happening between Sarah Jones's thighs. Or so says Jones in her song "Your Revolution," which parodies misogynist lyrics from popular rap songs. With lines like "Your revolution will not find me in the back seat of a jeep/ With LL hard as hell," Jones minces no words as she attacks the bling-bling/bitches-and-ho formula that dominates hip-hop today and turns it into her own feminist rant.

In a world of Lil' Kims and Foxy Browns, Sarah Jones is certainly a breath of fresh air. But don't tell that to the Federal Communications Commission. According to them, her song contains "unmistakable, patently offensive sexual references."

On May 17, the FCC issued a $7,000 fine to Portland radio station KBOO-FM for airing "Your Revolution." The commission claims the song is "indecent" and that its lyrics are "designed to pander and shock."

According to Jones, the FCC is "simply so disconnected culturally that they are unable to discern a parody that is attempting to respond to the hate speech in pop music." She adds, "The FCC is either misguided in their assessment, or the ban is a clear attack on progressive feminist voices."

You might remember Jones from the cover of our October/November 2000 issue. A noted poet/playwright/actor, she's won rave reviews for her solo shows Surface Transit and Women Can't Wait! "Your Revolution" was a collaboration between Jones and hip-hop artist DJ Vadim and appears on his album U.S.S.R: Life from the Other Side.

On July 9, KBOO filed an appeal of the FCC ruling. As for Jones, her revolution is far from over.

Action alert: Tell FCC head Michael Powell what you think. E-mail him at mpowell@fcc.gov

Media Resources: MsMagazine


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