Thursday, April 15, 2010

A Song About Gender

I would have played this one myself, but my voice seems to not want to cooperate with me this morning.

This song, "I'm a Boy" references the imagined future. According to the narrative, parents have the ability to choose the sex of their children. One unfortunate family who requested to be sent all daughters but was mistakenly given three daughters and a boy instead. Some have assumed that the song is some sort of impassioned plea to protect masculinity against the scourge of femininity, but I really don't believe that to be the case.

I think, if anything, the song can be taken in a queer context, speaking directly to those who do not feel as though their designated gender role fits them, and along those lines it can certainly be interpreted within a transgender framework as well.

Take a listen yourself, if curious.

One girl is called Jean Marie
One little girl is called Felicity
Another little girl was Sally Joy
The other was me and I'm a boy

My name is Bill, and I'm a head case
They practice making up on my face
I feel lucky if I get trousers to wear
Spend days just taking hairpins from my hair

I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but my mother won't admit it

Get your frock on, Jean Marie
Plait your hair, Felicity
Paint your nails, little Sally Joy
Put this wig on, little boy

I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but if I say I am, I get it
The other was me, and I'm a boy

I wanna play cricket on the green
Ride my bike across the stream
Cut myself and see my blood
Wanna come home all covered in mud

I'm a boy, I'm a boy, but my ma won't admit it
I'm a boy, I'm a boy, I'm a boy
I'm a boy, I'm a boy, I'm a boy, I'm a boy
I'm a boy - I'm a boy - I'm a boy

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