More after the jump.
FYI, some of the women in video above include Carrie Brownstein, Lena Dunham, Natasha Lyonne, and Miranda July. I think it’s a terrific use of a brilliant and powerful recording/song. I’m a huge fan of girl pop and this is definitely one of the classics. I first came to know this song through a Joan Jett cover, and I assumed it was a B side, one of Lesley Gore’s more obscure recordings. I couldn’t imagine that a song that was that shockingly pro-feminist could have enjoyed any mainstream popularity in pre-feminist America. But amazingly, “You Don’t Own Me,” which was released the year after The Feminine Mystique was published, was a giant hit. It was one of Gore’s most popular songs, second only to “It’s My Party” in sales. It climbed to number two on the charts, right behind the Beatles’ “I Want to Hold Your Hand.”
It doesn’t always seem that way, but there were strong feminist stirrings in the pop culture of the pre-feminist era. You can see it, too, in classic Hollywood movies, especially in the women’s pictures and the 30s and 40s comedies featuring independent-minded fast-talking dames.
And btw, another reason Lesley Gore is awesome, in addition to her music, is her activism. She’s an out lesbian and does done manifold good works for the LGBTQ community. Love her!