After reading Jessica Misener’s article in The Atlantic (“Jack White’s Women Problems”) I tried writing a detailed argument about how I disagreed with everything she said. I balked at her interpretation of his lyrics (Adele can sing about how a man upset her and her retaliation against him but Jack White can’t do the same about women who have wronged him—when probably most are only imagined or stories he’s created? After all, he remained friends and bandmates with Meg White after they divorced. He even kept her last name and made her his 'best man' at his wedding to Karen Elson. When he divorced Karen Elson, they threw a divorce party with friends and family to celebrate their friendship). I rolled my eyes at how she thinks “Girl, You Have No Faith in Medicine” is “patronizing”—it’s one of my favorite songs! “Acetaminophen? You’ll see the medicine!” I hate taking medicine, it’s my anthem! She says he tries to control the women in his life. You really think that he sought out Wanda Jackson, the "female Elvis Presley" and the "Rockabilly Queen" of the 1950s who obviously was capable and independent and strong enough on her own--and controlled her when he produced her album? You think he controlled Loretta Lynn? Watch any interview or footage of the two of them together and tell me who's controlling who. Is it even possible to control Loretta Lynn? His favorite musician of all time is Loretta Lynn, and he admired her because she was a pioneer for women in the sixties, teaching herself how to play guitar and writing lyrics that talked about her own personal struggles—(his words). He's said every band would be better if a woman was in it. He took Meg White’s last name when they got married and has said Meg was in charge of the band even though it was obvious she was not the most musically talented. He played with frontwoman Alison Mosshart in The Deadweather—the opposite kind of woman from the dress-wearing ladies he plays with in his all female band for his solo album (another one of Misener’s misguided points is that he likes to put women in boxes, based on a quote where he says the opposite).
Jack White has been a sort of creative template for my own creative projects. As I state on my "About Erin" page "My creative philosophy can best be described through the music of Jack White, especially The White Stripes—minimalism, do-it-yourself, and the idealism of a child.” I've always said, if I were in a band, I would be in a band with Jack White--NOT because I'm a woman, but because I love ROCK and his style is my style.
Jessica Misener wrote “(White) As a lyricist has been obsessed with women for more than a decade now, perhaps to a greater extent than any other rock star in his generation. Certainly, he's got more girl problems than any of his blues-rock contemporaries.” I think she says it all right there. Jack White has promoted and produced women musicians, collaborated with them, and played with them more than any other visible musician. I think he’s obsessed with women because, well, he surrounds himself with them. He loves them. But being around so many women, and being in relationships with women, is going to bring out the wonderful and the dark side of human relations. And when you play the blues, the real and the imagined, are going to be sung about. Perfect love isn’t interesting. Beng with a woman whose “spike heels make a hole in a lifeboat” is. So in defense of Jack White, I've decided actions speak louder than words. Here are some videos that show his respect for women, his words-in-action view that bands are better if they have women in them (his words!), and his admiration and obvious views on equality. Jessica Misener, maybe you should watch some of these.
Jack White and Rockabilly legend Wanda Jackson cover Dylan on her new album produced by White.
Jack White claims he's Loretta Lynn's number one fan. So he produced her album and did a duet with her.
It's violent, but Jack and rocker Alison Mosshart are on equal shooting terms.
When Jack wanted kids (before he had them). They even had two little girls play in the band with them.
Whew! Does rock get any better than this?? Just Jack and Meg, wow.
Jack White with his all female band for his solo album.
News from the Captain's Quarters.