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Kurt Cobain- The Feminist

The late Kurt Cobain was surprisingly, an avid member of the feminist community. Here are some of his links to activism and his ties to the feminist agenda.

If generation X had a king it would be Kurt Cobain. His devil may care attitude arguably defined a generation of people. His haunting melodies and desperate screams spoke to youth disenchanted with societies’ expectations. He cared about a lot of things despite what his attitude projected. He was one of a handful of male feminists who reached enough fame to project their ideas on a mass scale. Through his songs and even in his interviews he repeatedly noted how much he detested sexism. Up until his untimely suicide in 1994 and despite his drug abuse and personal issues, he never wavered in his attempt to prove that men, even famous rock band having men, could be proud unadulterated feminists.

Kurt was open about his dissociation with the masculine ideal.  He was quoted as saying “I’ve always had a problem with the average macho man – they’ve always been a threat to me.”  His mellow nature defied traditional gender roles. ‘Territorial Pissing’ may have been in response to the disenchantment he had experienced with masculine behavior.  During his music video for one of his hit singles ‘In Bloom’ he donned a dress and also wore a dress during an interview with the Los Angeles Times noting “Wearing a dress shows I can be as feminine as I want.”

In junior high school Kurt noted that he was very into heavy metal but that he grew out of it. In an interview with metal express in 1994 he commented “I have nothing against heavy metal, except that some of it is pretty sexist”.  This was very different from the male prominent bands of the time who made a considerable amount off of the degradation of women in music.

His progressive beliefs put him at odds with Guns and Roses, Axl called him a ‘pussy’ for not agreeing to tour with him. Kurt says he didn’t agree to tour with him because he believed him to be a racist homophobe referring to lyrics in his song ‘one in a million’ where he says “niggers and police” and “immigrants and faggots” and in ‘It’s so easy’ where he sings “Turn around bitch, I got a use for you”.

Whilst performing at a No On 9 benefit, (supporting defeating of Measure 9 an anti-homosexuality measure that said homosexuality was “abnormal, wrong, unnatural and perverse and they are to be discouraged and avoided”) he was approached by a kid that suggested he and Guns and Roses patch thing up. He responded with, “No, kid, you’re really wrong. Those people are total sexist jerks, and the reason we’re playing this show is to fight homophobia in a real small way. The guy is a fucking sexist and a racist and a homophobe, and you can’t be on his side and be on our side. I’m sorry that I have to divide this up like this, but it’s something you can’t ignore.”

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