Default Genders – On Fraternity

Title: On Fraternity

Artist: Default Genders

Album: Stop Pretending EP

Year: 2013

Genre: Experimental, Indie, Noise Pop

James Brooks, the artist formely know as Elite Gymnastics, now goes by the moniker Default Genders (initally known as Dead Girlfriends but now changed due to someone else having that name), inspired by radical feminist Andrea Dworkin. On his Tumblr, Brooks cites a speech by Dworkin in which she says we should not measure the progress of women by where they’re now visible, but rather by lowered counts of dead women, battered women, and raped women. “That explanation will probably make most people feel even more unpleasant than the name,” Brooks wrote. “But that’s how living in the patriarchy makes me feel every day.”

This is a song about why it is worth fighting fearlessly against a patriarchal world where women are second class citizens. The track moves from explosive moments to more solemn ones, propulsive electro-pop that maintains a connection to grating noise.

“On Fraternity” is an indictment of social irresponsiblity and a critique of hypocritical pockets of “punk” that allow it. It sounds ideal in 2013– a white male artist with a direct feminist message that can speak freely with anyone, that will get under your skin if it’s not already there in less poetic terms.