I like to think of cover songs as a gift from a band. In the holiday spirit I decided to put together a whole mix of gifts, and to carry on in the tradition of a previous Bitchtapes, make a playlist of gender-bending covers.
Caster Semenya is fast and strong and far from dainty. When it came to light last week that an athletic organization was secretly testing her sex, the sports world and mainstream media got a refresher course on an important reality: while our society tries to strictly divide people in male and female, the science of sex is far more murky.
South African Semenya is shaping up to be one of the fastest runners in the world, but if the International Association of Athletic Federations' (IAAF) forced battery of tests (including a gynecological exam) find she's too "male", she could be stripped of her medals. The IAAF stopped mandating the outdated sex tests for athletes back in 1992 and the reasons for testing Semenya range from fairness to racism, depending on who you ask.
Over at the Huffington Post, Jane Devin points out that males whose genetics make them sports stars are groomed and applauded, not subjected to embarrassing tests. You have to ask—if Semenya had thinner shoulders and a more delicate chin, would her competitor's allegations ("Just look at her," sniped a fifth-place finisher at a recent race) be given legitimacy for even a second? I think not.
It's Friday, and that means BitchTapes! (Located on the sidebar to your right as well as after the jump, for you newcomers out there.) Today I thought it would be nice to visit the fabulous land of cover songs. Because this is BitchTapes, I thought it would be even nicer to hear some covers that incorporate a healthy dose of gender bending (they're good songs, too).
I have always enjoyed a good cover song, and to me that means that the artist doing the covering interprets the song in her/his own way, keeping the lyrics the same but altering the song's meaning through the performance. This happens especially when the coverer and the coveree are of different genders, and it can make for some pretty interesting listening.
Read on for the track list, and a little bit of background info as well. Enjoy!