The Chicago Women's Liberation Rock Band, and its sister act, the New Haven Women's Liberation Rock Band, were a group of second wavers who came together in the early 1970s to sing feminist rock songs in a pre-Roe v. Wade environment. (They all sort of used the term "rock" very loosely.) Together from 1970-1973, and considered a musical disaster, they managed to record enough songs for a vinyl release in 1972, which was remastered and released on CD — with remixes by Le Tigre — in 2005. With songs like "Ain't Gonna Marry," "Dear Government," and "Sister Witch," they were fairly radical, and looking back on their work, you can sorta see how people came to think of feminists as angry, humorless bitches. But you can also see how far we've come as women, not only because abortion is now safe and legal, but also because we've managed to temper whatever radical political views we might have with a sense of humor. I mean, how can you not find "The Abortion Song" hilarious?
When I worked at BUST, we got this album sent to us, and we would all sit around singing "The Abortion Song" in really exaggerated operatic voices, "Freeeeeee our sisters! Aboorrrrrrtion is our riiiiiiiiiight!" laughing our faces off. It's a good way to celebrate the 35th anniversary of Roe v. Wade.
And just to experience just how wacky some of those second wavers were, you should check out their jam "So Fine."
Here are some lyrics of what they thought sucked about being women:
"We used to think we were only good for pleasing men, having babies, doing housework, having shit jobs, doing volunteer work, and, you know...sex [cue sad sound affect]"
And here are their lyrics for what they think rules about being liberated women:
"We didn't know that women could get together and play rock music, fix cars, give abortions, love our sisters, stay single, choose our own lifestyle, and, you know, SAY NO!"
I dunno, I feel like I'd rather have sex and do volunteer work any day over fixing a car and giving my friend an abortion. But hey, that's just me. Feminism isn't monolithic.