Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Super Funky Song Alert...Part 2!

Last night while browsing this blog, my riot grrrlfriend mentioned that the first caveman-themed song I posted, The Jimmy Castor Bunch's Troglodyte, would've been a lot more enjoyable had it not been so sexist. My immediate reaction was to go on the defensive.

"Sexist?! What are you talking about? It's just a silly song about cavemen. Do you really expect progressive gender politics in a pop song about Cro-Magnon cave dwellers? Bikini kill yoursel--"

Then I remembered The Bertha Butt Boogie.

The Bertha Butt Boogie was The Jimmy Castor Bunch's funky follow-up (i.e. QUICKIE CASH-IN) to Troglodyte. But where the first song was all about objectifying Bertha's booty, this one was arguably an ode to the power of womanhood. Sure, it still shined a spotlight on Bertha's backside (as well as those of her sisters!), but it was also a metaphor for female sexuality and sensuality in the Pam Grier era. In The Bertha Butt Boogie, Bertha is a confidant, demonstrative and - yes - sexy woman exercising full ownership of her body and desires. She and her sisters are out there dancing solely for their own enjoyment. If the fellas want to stare, let 'em.

While I wouldn't go so far as to label The Bertha Butt Boogie an according-to-Steinem example of 1970s feminism, I am gonna go ahead and say that it's the Coffy to Troglodytes' The Mack. Yes, the cavemen in this song are still the same salivating, single-minded horn-dogs that they were in Troglodyte, but this time around, it's clearly the cavewomen who are in control.

Sorta like with me and my gal!

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