Monday, June 3, 2013
40 Year Itch : Woman Power
In the 1970's women began to desire more than a good husband, a good family and a nice house. They made up more than half the population but, in far too many ways, felt like they were treated as second class citizens. It was time to upset the balance and one of the women leading the charge was Yoko Ono.
On June 3, 1973 Yoko participated in the First International Feminist Conference at Harvard University where she made the following statement before singing "Coffin Car", a new song from the upcoming album Feeling the Space. (The album also featured a song called "Woman Power" with the lyrics: In the coming age of feminine society/ Well regain our human dignity/Well lay some truth and clarity /And bring back nature's beauty.)
What happened to me was that I was living as an artist and...as a woman was considered the bitch in the society. Since I met John, I was upgraded into a witch and I was...and I think that that's very flattering. Anyway, what I learned from being with John is that the society solely treated me as a woman who belonged to a man who is one of the most powerful people in our generation, and some of his closest friends told me that probably I should stay in the background, I should shut up, I should give up my work and that way I'll be happy. I was over thirty and it was too late for me to change.
But still, still, this is one thing I want to say, sisters:You're not alone. Because the whole society started to attack me and the whole society wished me dead, I started accumulating a tremendous amount of guilt and as a result of that I started to stutter. And I consider myself a very eloquent woman and also an attractive woman and suddenly, because I was associated with John, I was considered an ugly woman, an ugly Jap, who took your monument or something away from you. And that's when I realized how hard it is for women. If I can start to stutter, being a strong woman and having lived thirty years by then, it is a very hard road.