“Misogyny and Other Cock Blockers”

Boss Senorita

Last Wednesday I released a video for “Boss Señorita”—a song I wrote to empower women and offer men a different approach. Two days later, a misogynist killed 6 people because women rejected him. I’ve seen much discussion about misogyny since then and I’m seeing men get very defensive. As a man, I understand why. My hope is that admitting why—to ourselves and to women—may help us create a space where women aren’t terrified of us. One can dream.

Naturally, we feel offended when we hear generalizations about our gender. We want to say, “IT’S NOT ALL MEN.” But the rage I’m hearing and reading from many of us only points out that some of the generalizations hit too close to home.

None of us are truly innocent bystanders. Not all men are violent or disrespectful, but we are more similar to the creeps and violators than we like to admit. We have the same compulsion to look at a woman walking by. We objectify regularly. We feel unwarranted jealousy when a cute girl we barely know has a crush on someone else. We feel a territorial ownership of the females in our lives. The offenders are not some alien species.

I am not suggesting that we should feel guilty for having desires, fantasies or for feeling protective. My goal is to make men aware that these natural instincts feed an unnatural cultural problem. We overlook everyday sexism because it strokes our egos, exploits our desires and skews the balance in our favor.

Much of our behavior and our media bombard women (and men) with the idea that they aren’t worth our time (or maybe anything) if they are not attractive and/or eager to pleasure us. Like the sexy fast food commercials that make our mouths water and our balls twitch. And the cheerleader kicking her legs apart every time our team scores. It’s everywhere. And it’s great, right? A system that tells women that if they desire a man’s attention they must be hot and ready—why wouldn’t we want to keep that system? For one, it’s manipulation. It is also oppression. And it is so pervasive that women police each other on our behalf. And yet it’s still not getting us what we want: to be desired.

We want women to think we are great. Our egos require women to think that we are great. Think? What, like men? System failure. Despite what we are taught, it turns out that women do think and men do have feelings. All the self-doubt that we encourage in women for our benefit instead feeds our own self-doubt. When we can’t tell if a woman thinks we are awesome or if she is simply looking for male validation, our egos cannot truly be satisfied – even if our balls are.

By the way, I despise manipulation and sexism when it comes from women too. I am just focusing on what I think is the heart of the problem. Yes, men get hurt by women. I have been hurt and rejected by women. That it is a part of life. Culture-wide objectification, dissatisfaction, and daily terror don’t have to be.

From as early as we can remember, sexism is passed onto us. We’ve all heard our fathers, grandfathers, uncles and/or favorite movie characters talking about how women are irrational or too complex to understand. We’re told “to keep a woman happy, just say sorry,” or the slightly more blatant “bitches be crazy.” This is dehumanization. From childhood. We weren’t born sexist and we don’t have to pass it on.

As I type this, my son is watching Power Rangers. One of the male characters just said to his buddy, “I saw her first!” As though she is the front seat and he just called “shotgun!” Objectification is everywhere. From childhood. (For the record, I just explained to my son that it is not up to those Power Rangers who the girl likes, and that she doesn’t have to like either of them.)

Until we, as males, change our deeply engrained expectations we will never be innocent bystanders. We start by taking responsibility for our insecurities. By how we talk about women when women aren’t around. By knowing that our worth is not measured by how much women desire us. By how we anonymously comment online. By how we raise our young boys and girls as equals: if it’s not cool for your daughter to have sex, it’s not cool for your son either. By how we listen to her with the same respect we would give our mothers, sisters, brothers, fathers, best friends and acquaintances.  Just because there is ALSO a part of you that would totally bone her silly if you could—in an alternate universe, in a vacuum, in your head, or wherever—it doesn’t mean you can disrespect her in the real world.

This isn’t to say you can’t make advances. If you want to explore real world options with her just pay attention to her words and body language. And take the hint. Who knows? Whether it’s a one-night stand or a lifetime of commitment, she may actually want what you want! However, if she doesn’t —and this is the crucial part —Let. It. Go. Even if you are the most awesome guy in the world, and spend a lifetime wooing her, you are not entitled to ANYTHING! “But I put a ring on it!” Is NOT an excuse. If you don’t like what you’re getting back in return, communicate. Use your words.  You’re a big boy. If your feelings and desires don’t matter to her, move along. She’s clearly not who you are looking for. No amount of emotional or physical manipulation can change that.

Oh and you don’t have to respect all women. You don’t have to respect all men either. If you don’t respect someone, move along. That’s equality. That’s feminism. Just because it starts with “fem” doesn’t make it pro female or anti male… it is literally “the doctrine advocating social, political, and all other rights of women EQUAL to those of men.”

If we want a leg to stand on when we claim that it’s “NOT ALL MEN” then we need to be less defensive when women stereotype us, and be more offended when men perpetuate the stereotype. Some of us may have stood up for women in obviously harmful cases, but we need to do it in the “harmless” ones too. For too long we have laughed at the sexist joke­­—whether because we thought in funny or wanted to fit in. Let’s be pioneers. Let’s be revolutionary. I can’t think of anything more manly.  Plus, chicks will totally dig it.

New song & video! “Boss Señorita”

I don’t love the word, “feminist.” I consider myself one but I feel that the word itself repels those who most need to embrace it’s meaning: “Advocating social, political, legal, and economic rights for women equal to those of men.”

Changing how misogynists hear any word starting with “fem” could be more of a task than it needs to be.   So, I wrote a feminist anthem in a way any music-loving chauvinist could appreciate… a badass blues song.

I have probably stayed up multiple years worth of sleepless nights to create art that is as entertaining as it is meaningful. And never before have I felt so strongly about achieving that goal than with this new song and the video my wife and I produced for it. Please turn it up and enjoy, “Boss Senorita.”

Pics from opening for Sir Tom

 

 

 

 

 

So much fun and an incredible honor opening for Sir Tom Jones last Thursday night at House of Blues San Diego. His crowd was ready to party and generous with their cheer. Thanks to all who came to support me and you who support me by being interested in what I do. Here are some pics by Sharisse.

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Amazing video shoot for upcoming single!

This past Sunday was one of my favorite days ever. A few months ago I wrote a song called “Boss Señorita” and immediately knew that it would be the first single on my upcoming album. I also had a clear vision for the music video and we just lived it out with reigning two time US Boxing Champion, Danyelle Wolf. For 6 hours under the hot afternoon sun in Borrego Springs, CA… we got to play outlaws and get into fight scenes and generally goof off like we were kids again. My wife, Sharisse Coulter, and co-photographer/director, Jason Lee Segal both captured so much great footage that we are excited to share when we launch the single and video this month. Potentially May 21st so stay tuned!

Huge thanks to all the friends who helped out on screen, behind the camera and with our preparations. We couldn’t have done it without you!

Opening for Tom Jones @ HOB San Diego.

 

 

Check out this poster below from House of Blues San Diego. Yes, it’s true! Next Thursday I open for the legendary, Tom Jones! Very honored and excited. Hope to see you out there SD. And btw, have you heard Sir Tom’s new material with folky guitar and that big voice. It’s going to be an amazing show!
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Guitar drama with happy ending!

For seven years, I played this Taylor…
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Then I went and bought this…

Everybody said, “Oooohhhhh. Gibson.”

Taylor was jealous and needed to feel special. So…

Then I said, “Wait! I don’t actually know how to refinish guitars.”

But I kept on with it and then…

Now they sit happily together. The end.

Tour Video wrap up

I’m so pleased to have put this mini movie together not only for preserving the memory of such adventures for myself and my son but to share the journey with you! Madluv!

Opening for THE father of Rock’n’Roll.

Last week I had the honor of opening for the man many credit with “inventing” rock n roll. John Lennon once said “if they didn’t call it rock’n’roll, they’d call it Chuck Berry.” Whatever you call it, it’s obviously keeping Chuck Berry young… this man at 86 years old is still doing his famous Duck Walk and showing moments of absolute awesomeness. I can only imagine the rocking that was happening back in the day… when he invented rocking.

It was at his venue in St Louis called the Duck Room (at Blueberry Hill) and it was a sold out show, packed wall to wall with Chuck Berry fans (some just fans of music/history who came to get a glimpse). We played a 45 minute set which went really well as we won some new fans… but the whole time I was thinking “don’t say Chuck Berry.” It’s one of the few rules you are told when opening for Chuck Berry is that you are not permitted to say his name. My first thought was that Chuck Berry must be as evil as Lord Voldemort (referred to as “He Who Must Not Be Named” in the Harry Potter books). Then, I figured it makes sense – a man of such fame and reputation needs no introduction. Touche, Chuck Berry. It was especially difficult because I had planned to tell the story of how the first song I ever sang on stage was a Chuck Berry song. I ended up just naming the song title (Johnny B Goode) and everyone screamed as though I had said “free money!” or “welcome to Oprah’s giveaway show!”

All joking aside, and despite Chuck being very elusive (got to shake his hand and barely get this photo – he’s yelling ‘next’) it was a true reminder for me that this whole thing is one step at time. One exciting small event by small event. If there’s a skip in the beat of the heart, you’re on the right track. Like I said in my FB post that morning…

“About to board a plane to St Louis where tonight I open for Chuck Berry. This photo is me singing his “Johnny B Goode” at my cousins wedding over 20 years ago. It is the first song I ever performed live. So I’ve been at this for over 20 years and I’ve got a long way to go to get to where I want to be, but I do know when to stop and appreciate full circle moments like this. Thanks all of you who support and inspire me along this journey. #stickwithit

Rock on, Chuck. And thanks to you, Mr Berry, the rest of us can too.

San Diego Homecoming Show!

San Diego friends please join us 6:30pm this Thursday 6/27 at the Encinitas Library for our homecoming show. Full band, book signing and tour slideshow! It’s free and all ages so bring children! Check out the article in the Coast News. Madluv!

Celebrity book review!

Josie Brown is the author of The Secret Lives of Husband and Wives (soon to be an NBC show), the hit Housewife Assassins series, and Totlandia. We are ecstatic to share this review that she posted on Amazon about Sharisse’s debut novel:

“Jenna, the heroine of ROCK MY WORLD, is not only a former model and the daughter of a famous rocker, but also the wife of Alex, a musician who’s earned his chops and is now riding his own wave to fame. The blissful life she’s created for him and their teen daughter, Felicity, is her haven –

But that world comes crashing down around her when she discovers that Airika, her closest friend since high school, has been sabotaging her relationships with both her husband and her daughter.

My guilty little pleasure is discovering books that gives me an authentic POV on a sort of glamorous life the rest of us can only dream about. Sharisse Coulter’s insider’s take on the rock world is that–and much, much more because of the complexity of her characters, who seem to leap out from the book’s pages. Your heart breaks for Jenna with every betrayal because you get who she is: a woman whose chance to create her own identity beyond those dearest to her is stymied with each twist of fate.

The essence of a compelling page-turner is exactly that: real, and satisfying to the end.” – Josie Brown