Interview with US singer Ani DiFranco

This live music video from the USA is called Ani DiFranco – Studying Stones (3).

From British daily The Morning Star:

Feminist future

(Friday 02 November 2007)


EQUALITY NOW: Ani DiFranco sees the end of patriarchy as necessary for a peaceful world.

Radical singer-songwriter ANI DIFRANCO talks to the Star about war, peace and why patriarchy could well destroy the world.

IT’S the one of the great “unmentionables” of music journalism – with a few exceptions, most musicians, presumably because they spend their lives perfecting their music and image, actually have very little to say about politics and the wider world.

The US singer-songwriter Ani DiFranco is an exception. Backstage, before her gig at the Shepherds Bush Empire in London last month, DiFranco spoke eloquently and knowledgeably to the Star about a variety of subjects, including the forthcoming US presidential elections, the Iraq war, feminism and the climate chaos that the earth is currently facing.

For DiFranco, underpinning all these issues is patriarchy – “the fundamental structure of our society.”

Since her 1990 self-titled debut album, the Buffalo-born folksinger has consistently highlighted progressive causes on her 19 official albums, selling a total of four million records, while touring relentlessly.

It is this prodigious work ethic that recently gained her a place in a CMJ list of the 25 most influential artists of the last 25 years – alongside bands such as U2 and Nirvana – and led to her being honoured with the National Organisation of Women‘s “Women of Courage Award,” presented annually to an individual for their contributions to the feminist movement.

Impressively, DiFranco has achieved these accolades without corporate backing, instead choosing to release her music on her own independent label, Righteous Babe Records. …

Her beliefs, though, are as radical as ever. Talking about the US presidential elections, she complains that the media “have turned politics into a beauty contest, completely devoid of content.”

Will she vote for the likely Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton?

“I’m not into Hillary at all, except as a door opener,” she says.

“In that, if she becomes president, it will be shown that it is possible to have a female president and this will open the door in the future for truly progressive women.”

She notes that Clinton “is very much a politician. The best I could hope for out of her is not too much damage is done.”

Although her political allegiances lie with her friend and fellow progressive, Democratic presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich, she notes that she is a “practical voter” and will vote for whoever becomes the Democratic candidate “in order to vote against the Republican. …

DiFranco explains: “Feminist, if you look it up in the dictionary, means ‘people who believe women should have rights and opportunities equal to men.’ I think it’s very telling that there is one word in the language that means women are equal and we won’t say it. We can’t say it and we don’t identify with it.”

For DiFranco, feminism, as a counteracting force against the imbalance produced by patriarchy, is relevant to both women and men.

“From patriarchy comes war, comes the destruction of the environment. It’s right there on page one of the Old Testament: ‘God created the earth and man to lord over it.’ There will never be peace as long as there is patriarchy.”

See also here.

Another DiFranco interview is here.

Catching Up With Ani DiFranco: here.

2 thoughts on “Interview with US singer Ani DiFranco

  1. Pingback: Women in rock music exhibition | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: United States singer Ani DiFranco interviewed | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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