Tomorrow, some people from OPB's "In House" are coming to the Bitch office to ask us about our top five favorite albums of 2009. This means that we have been spending a fair amount of time racking our brains to come up with a serviceable top five list that won't reveal to the public radio-listening public that at least one of us (hi, that's me) has been mostly jamming out to Linda Ronstadt records from the 70s for the past six months (I guess you can't submit a 2009 top five list unless the albums actually came out in 2009?). At any rate, today's B-Sides is a test run of our top five list, expanded into a top ten. Read on to give us your thoughts!
While I'm as guilty as the next person for snarking on diagonal-cut
bangs (how do you see??), I'm concerned that at the core of the "emo" label is a judgment of both the validity and the presentation of another person's strong emotional expression. These judgments echo some of the ways that people with mental illness, especially mood disorders such as depression or bipolar, find their emotions critiqued and dismissed by others. Also, because the vast majority of bands
classified as "emo" are made up of males and have male vocalists, this is an especially easy way to police men's emotional expression. This is particularly problematic as men are already significantly less likely to seek assistance for mental health problems, so these ideas may encourage them to continue to suppress or conceal problematic emotions.