told by the woman, both gendered idioms are articulated by her; she therefore participates in the patriarchal stereotype of a weak female dominated by a strong male. However, she is not a passive victim, but literally goads him into violence. By encouraging the gendered roles, lang appears to assert that the woman is partly responsible for this social interaction. If she wants to be powerless in relation to a strong male, then she must be held accountable, to some extent, for the potential results. Lang is certainly not saying that the woman wants to be beaten‒she weeps after the beating‒nor is she saying that the woman is entirely responsible for her social situation‒she is behaving as she has been taught to do ‒ but lang is saying that the woman's desire for a femininity that is defined by male domination can lead to abuse. By realizing the potential results of this "femininity," she reminds women that it is dangerous to accept a passive role. Lang also explores, in her critical interpretation of the song, music's power to reflect and construct the gender roles of our culture.
Earlier versions of this chapter were presented at the British Music Analysis Conference in Southampton ( Mar. 1993) and the conference on Feminist Theory and Music II in Rochester ( June 1993). I wish to thank John Armstrong, David Lewin, and Susan McClary as well as the editors of this volume for their thoughtful comments on earlier drafts.
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Publication information: Book title: Understanding Rock:Essays in Musical Analysis. Contributors: John Covach - Editor, Graeme M. Boone - Editor. Publisher: Oxford University Press. Place of publication: New York. Publication year: 1997. Page number: 111.
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