Illustration for article titled Blame Canada: 70s-Era Feminist Singers Are Issues Of National Security

Canadian songstress Rita MacNeil was a feminist activist in the late 60s and early 70s, and she is shocked to learn that the Royal Canadian Mounted Police's security branch had a dossier on her back in the day. According to the Canadian Press,"Newly released documents show the admired entertainer and Order of Canada recipient was among dozens of women from across the country who came under Mountie scrutiny as the force hunted for left-wing subversives at the height of the Cold War." All feminists are evil pinkos, dontcha know! In response to hearing this, the plucky MacNeil, whose debut 1975 album was called Born A Woman, told the Press, "The only thing I'm sorry about now is I didn't know I was under surveillance, or I would have got them to drive me home."Many of the songs from MacNeil's Born A Woman, according to the artist, "would have been sung at rallies, demonstrations or meetings that we attended." Reading MacNeil's words made me wonder: what would be the feminist anthems of today? One that comes to mind is Le Tigre's "Hot Topic", in which Kathleen Hanna and co. chant a litany of feminist icons including "Gertrude Stein, Marlon Riggs, Billie Jean King, Ut, DJ Cuttin Candy, David Wojnarowicz, Melissa York, Nina Simone." (Side note: the link to those lyrics includes an ad for Pink, where you can meet your lesbian match! I guess feminist = lesbian to advertisers). Also possibilities, Pink's "Stupid Girls" and Nellie McKay's ironic "Mother Of Pearl", which sends up feminist stereotypes. Any other suggestions for feminist anthems of the aughts? Rita MacNeil Dumbfounded By RCMP File On Her And Other 1970s Feminists [Canadian Press]


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