Toelentino and Small Staid Response

Jia Toelentino

The piece I read was titled “What Should We Say About David Bowie and Lori Maddox?” which was published by Jezebel. The essay explored the controversial story of Lori Maddox, who famously retold her story of how she had sex with David Bowie when she was underage. Toelentino acknowledges the various factors that make this scenario problematic, sensitive, and complex – worth noting as well, the article was published soon after Bowie’s death in early 2016, as a sort of response to the dichotomy between people who wanted to praise Bowie’s work and those who refused to ignore the more scandalous elements of his past. Toelentino is likely targeting a female audience, as much of the paper discusses how women like Maddox may have played a role in defining the contemporary identity of women and how important – if controversial – that is to her. As a man, this section of the essay went mostly over my head, but for the most part I appreciate Toelentino’s analysis of the situation as a whole.

Mairead Small Staid

The piece I read was titled “Girl in a Country Song,” which was published by The Point. It analyzes the lyrics and music of a female country duo who purposefully deflects the stereotypical image of women in country music. She praises these artists while also looking at how few other country musicians are capable of showing the same progressive attitudes, highlighting how even contemporary and popular country songs still fall into defining women as needing to look, behave, and think in a certain way. Like Toelentino, Small Staid seems to be writing to a female audience, perhaps one that had previously rejected country music for the feeling that it had alienated them for its sexist tendencies. She aims to show that there are artists within the genre that are true to the musical roots of country without falling into the pits of it. As a man – and not a huge fan of country – I am certainly out of this audience, but I can respect Small Staid’s respect for these women who are able to defy norm for the sake of their art, and Small Staid’s writing on this is engaging.

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