Tell You What I Want: A Spice Girls Reunion
Photo by Constance7/Flickr Creative Commons
I admit I am a frequent visitor to and fan of Jezebel.com.
Yes, I'm a nearly 50-year-old man, but so what? I grew up in a time when Gloria Steinem was out there burning bras. My mama brought home the bacon and fried it up in a pan. I admired TV's fictional feminists like Maude, Florida Evans and Ann Romano.
I love women and things women are interested in. But the more I visit this femme-centric Web site, the more apparent it becomes it's hard out here for a woman in 2013.
Ann Ball (my favorite English teacher and a great, caring woman) taught me how to read for comprehension. What I've read on Jezebel and elsewhere this year is disheartening. Some sick bastard brutalized captive women in an Ohio home. A Texas congresswoman's important political position got reduced to a fashion statement. A phone app called Nenshou features anime male douchebags uttering phrases like "Go to the gym, cow" in a twisted effort to inspire overweight women to better fitness.
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These are real issues, so it may seem cavalier and possibly insensitive to suggest a little Girl Power might make things better, but that's what I'm about to do.
It's time for a Spice Girls comeback.
I know, you don't see how these major cracks in the foundation of women's issues can be pieced together with bubble gum. But just hear me out.
And yes, LL Cool J, I know you can't call it a comeback if they've been here for years. Individually, the women who formed the original icona-pop group have never faded away. They've lingered, like Bruce Wayne waiting on Commissioner Gordon to Batphone.
The call is in, ladies -- it's time for a full-fledged reunion. For one:
You're Kinda Popular Again The artist formerly known as Scary Spice -- Mel B -- is front and center on America's Got Talent, one of the country's biggest TV ratings winners. Millions tune in to see her twice, sometimes three times a week. She's much better doing what she does there than some others who have attempted the same move. (We see you, Nicki Minaj.)
Best of all, she's now a classier, more mature version of what was once pretty damn awesome. If all five of you have grown in similar ways, come back soon.
The Zeitgeist Is Calling You One of the Web's trendiest videos is Yanis Marshall's "Spice Girls." The half-million hits in a month the piece has accumulated speak to our changing gender landscapes. If you aren't buying that, it's at least generated some honest awe.
"Doesn't matter who you are," wrote one YouTube viewer, "if you can dance that well in heels that high: Wow. Respect."
Another wrote, "I prefer my gender stereotypes shattered to the tune of something less childish than Spice Girls."
True, the songs might not be on caliber with Dylan or perhaps Rage Against the Machine. But Girl Power is about more than just the music and the lyrics. I could explain it, but you'd rather watch these men in heels live it out for you than read more words, wouldn't you?
You Can Chisel at the Glass Ceiling It seems outlandish to cast Victoria "Posh" Beckham in the role of champion for equal pay for female professionals. After all, she likely never has to work another day in her life.
Her husband is one of the best-known athletes in the world, and she left music pursuits some time back to play second fiddle to him. But dude is retired now. What better chance for Posh to show some earning power and assume the role of breadwinner?
Let Becks stay home with the kids now while she goes out to conquer Spiceworld like Odysseus.
I know, it's a stretch. But Boardroom Neanderthals need every single example of intelligent and savvy women wearing the pants to consider that they too should maybe have some women in their own ranks fitted for the corporate trousers.
We Can Tell You're Already Planning It Just last week, several news outlets reported Mel C (used to be Sporty) saying the group is still very close. As they told us all those years ago, "Friendships never end." Next, Emma Bunton ( Baby) and Gerri Halliwell (Ginger) tweeted they would like to do some touring. All of them have recently recalled how much fun their 2012 Summer Games get-together was.
They want to do it. And I want them to. Get Sia Furler to write you a new album already and let's get things moving.
Your First Fans Are Adults Now The youngsters who first experienced Girl Power are young women now. Young women who might not admit it, now that they're too hip to spin Spice or Forever, but once they bought into you. And it helped them.
They embraced the message of Girl Power, molded it, made it their own. And now many of them (several of whom I know personally) are total fucking badasses.
Music snobs will say you're no Kathleen Hanna or Patti Smith. They're right. More of today's young, independent and upwardly trending women know who you are. They chose you over Patti Smith or Kathleen Hanna, then maybe went and found them later because you were there first.
The years have passed and you've dealt incredibly well with the kind of global success many people never will understand. The pressure of it all, those ups and downs, being in and out of the spotlight -- still, none of you are permanent residents at Betty Ford or eating-disorder poster children.
It's ridiculous to imagine we could undo the ugliness and injustices of the world with some songs, catchy as they may be. But try not to be too cool or jaded to admit that many young women first saw the reflection of their own awesomeness in the Spice Girls. It happened. It could happen again.
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