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The Yoko Ono Appreciation Thread
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12 December 2017
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her_magesty
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I like both of these feminist analyses on the misogyny and racism that play a role in the vilification of Yoko. They're both good, but I find the first one particularly brilliant. 

http://imaginepeace.com/archives/5272

https://rebelgrrrl.wordpress.com/2007/04/20/feminism-friday-menheroeswomenvillains/

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13 December 2017
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Thanks for sharing, those are good.

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13 December 2017
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Beatlebug
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^ Glad I took the time to read those. Yoko is awesome heart

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her_magesty, Expert Textpert

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13 December 2017
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her_magesty
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8Thanks, you guys! I love the fact that her influence was able to help John find his way to feminism after a lifetime of misogyny. Her mere presence at recording sessions subverted the "old boy's club" mentality that pervaded the career of the Beatles. As dearly as I love their music and as much credit as I give to them all for growing up and evolving slowly but gradually towards being more respectful of women as they got older (like most men if their time), they were all pretty heinous to the women in their lives during the Beatles years. I feel like John evolved in his reformation more quickly because of Yoko. I like the parallel the first author draws between John's relationship with Yoko vs. Paul's with Linda; there were certainly similarities (equal power balance, female partner being included artistically and having a voice and say in artistic direction + finances), but Yoko received more vitriol than Linda, and I do think it was racially motivated.  I strongly believe Yoko is one of the primary people responsible for John making it to the age of 40. I also think May Pang was a good female influence for John to help him learn how to relate to women as people and also reconnected him to Julian and Paul. I feel uneasy about how the relationship between him and May played out, as well as the inconsistency between May's and Yoko's sides of that mysterious story. I think mistakes were made by recruiting May as more or less a babysitter for John and her eventual discard. I wish more care had been taken in regard to handling feelings and needs in that situation rather than Mary's involvement with John being handled as a disposable band-aid solution. It's easy to say that in 2017 when consensual and ethical non-monogamy (aka polyamory) is practiced more openly than ever before and gradually becoming accepted as just another way of doing relationships. Sometimes I speculate that had they a frame of reference for the compassion required by people in a non monogamy situation and regard for the need to be honest and transparent if that situation may have played out differently. I accept that we'll likely never receive a satisfying conclusion to that story since in the end it's not really our business...

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Also, I love the way the first author brings up the undercurrents of homophobia in the '69-'70 period. Looking only at the John-Paul relationship, the mere fact that it took Paul so long to admit that on a personal level he loved his best friend and was scared of losing their close bond since John was moving in a new direction in general is demonstrative of this. Platonic male bonding in Western civilization had to operate under so many constraints. This is heteropatriarchy at work, and such a sad example of it. I think Yoko or not, John wanted to move on, and I think had Paul felt like it was safe to show vulnerability to John and just say, "Hey, you're like family to me and I don't want to lose you," rather than be shitty to Yoko, they may have still grown apart but with far fewer hard feelings. Just my 2 cents. This sentiment seems to play out in a lot of Paul's present interviews when he talks of John, and the lyrics of "Here Today " indicate a regret that a necessary level of emotional intimacy between platonic male friends just was too taboo in the past.

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13 December 2017
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Great thoughts, @her_magesty, and welcome to the forum. I often find that among feminists (at least ones I have encountered on Facebook--and please don't take this as a strike against feminists), there tends to be more of a focus on early John hitting Cynthia and therefore being a horrible person than on later John, the feminist. For whatever reason, people tend to look at past transgressions and paint a person in their light, regardless of whether the person made changes later in life. It's a sad thing. I also notice that people of the past are unfairly judged by contemporary standards, when of course when they were living and behaving, different standards applied.

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13 December 2017
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her_magesty
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Expert Textpert said
Great thoughts, @her_magesty, and welcome to the forum. I often find that among feminists (at least ones I have encountered on Facebook--and please don't take this as a strike against feminists), there tends to be more of a focus on early John hitting Cynthia and therefore being a horrible person than on later John, the feminist. For whatever reason, people tend to look at past transgressions and paint a person in their light, regardless of whether the person made changes later in life. It's a sad thing. I also notice that people of the past are unfairly judged by contemporary standards, when of course when they were living and behaving, different standards applied.  

I tend to acknowledge change and give credit when a person is willing to take honest inventory and ownership of their past behaviors and actively work to be a better person. Since John was clearly doing that, I prefer to acknowledge his progress rather than focus on how he behaved as a much younger man. Even Cynthia forgave him for hitting her, emphasized that it happened only once in their relationship, and she has even said in interviews that her forgiveness of John took some time after the incident and that she made it clear to him that she'd never tolerate it again. She was a lot more powerful than she's given credit for in the public eye, I might add. She maintained that the hitting episode was a one-time event for the rest of her life, and something she was willing to forgive. I think his infidelity was more hurtful to her in the end. 

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17 December 2017
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Right, he just hit her once, and Yoko claims he never hit her--and yet people will argue up and down with you that he beat both of them all the time. I've even heard about how he supposedly kicked Yoko in the stomach while she was pregnant.

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18 December 2017
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Expert Textpert said
Great thoughts, @her_magesty, and welcome to the forum. I often find that among feminists (at least ones I have encountered on Facebook--and please don't take this as a strike against feminists), there tends to be more of a focus on early John hitting Cynthia and therefore being a horrible person than on later John, the feminist. For whatever reason, people tend to look at past transgressions and paint a person in their light, regardless of whether the person made changes later in life. 

What years are we speaking of where he became a feminist? I don't know dates and such of John during his post-Beatles years. 

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18 December 2017
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Ron Nasty
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Do you really have to, @Little Piggy Dragonguy? It just looks like you're trying to pick up the same disagreement that got another thread locked yesterday.

You know tensions are high between you and Ex-Tex on this subject at the moment. What point is there in not letting the dust settle?

It's that time of year for Peace and Love. heart

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The Beatles Non-Canon Poll List

19 December 2017
10.36am
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Zig
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Little Piggy Dragonguy said

Expert Textpert said
Great thoughts, @her_magesty, and welcome to the forum. I often find that among feminists (at least ones I have encountered on Facebook--and please don't take this as a strike against feminists), there tends to be more of a focus on early John hitting Cynthia and therefore being a horrible person than on later John, the feminist. For whatever reason, people tend to look at past transgressions and paint a person in their light, regardless of whether the person made changes later in life. 

What years are we speaking of where he became a feminist? I don't know dates and such of John during his post-Beatles years.   

Seems like a legit inquiry to me.

@Little Piggy Dragonguy , I won't pretend to be able to pinpoint the exact time in his life that he became much more sympathetic to what women were going through. I do know that he did, however, and Yoko was very influential in this. He credits the inspiration for 'Woman Is the Nigger of the World' (released in 1972) to things Yoko had talked about. On the other hand, that occurred prior to his "lost weekend" during which periods of debauchery occurred.

Not an excuse, but by many accounts John's experience with women in his life was never all beer & skittles. This would explain the dichotomy of his attitude toward women. There are others in this Forum who can timeline this a lot better, but bottom line, I think Yoko was good for John in this regard. At least she tried.

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19 December 2017
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Zig said 

He credits the inspiration for 'Woman Is the Nigger of the World' (released in 1972) to things Yoko had talked about. On the other hand, that occurred prior to his "lost weekend" during which periods of debauchery occurred.

Not an excuse, but by many accounts John's experience with women in his life was never all beer & skittles. This would explain the dichotomy of his attitude toward women. There are others in this Forum who can timeline this a lot better, but bottom line, I think Yoko was good for John in this regard. At least she tried.  

A good starting point...  Here's a classic Dick Cavett show where John performs the song and discusses some of the subject matter here, including their struggles to connect Yoko with Kyoko:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oxoxMuca-2s

 

...:-)

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19 December 2017
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Cavett clip also early '70s... 1971, I think ?

21 December 2017
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Little Piggy Dragonguy
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Thanks, Zig, for your response. I knew of the song Woman is the..., but I'd never heard that he became passionate enough about women's rights to where he could be labeled a feminist. 

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21 December 2017
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Zig
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You are welcome, LPD. apple01

Since this is a thread dedicated to the appreciation of Yoko, this will be the last post I enter here regarding John's feminism unless it relates directly to appreciating her. This article is interesting in that it compares and contrasts John's battle with misogyny to that of Donald Trump's and how each handled it...or did not. It was primarily an anti-Trump article written 1 month prior to the election, so take it for what it's worth. If anyone wants to continue the discussion about John's feminism, I'd rather it occur in a different thread. Anyway, you asked, you deserve an answer, so here you go...

https://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/john-lennons-journey-to-feminism-and-why-it-matters_us_57f9601ee4b090dec0e71412

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23 December 2017
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penny lane
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His actions of slapping Cynthia once and I think a girlfriend before her, was not totally unusual for a young guy of his generation, it's the same hard man  macho image that has him beating up Bob Woolton at McCartney's 21st birthday. These are events that he shows remorse for.

Credit has to be given to Yoko Ono for refusing to be subsumed by Lennon, but rightly  she consciously does not allow that. Late 60s and early 70s The Women's liberation was everywhere, along with Civil Rights and Anti Draft/Vietnam war. They dive right in to a lot of causes aound this time, for me, some of it doesn't come across entirely genuine or altruistic.    

This doen't make me either a Lennon or Yoko hater, just a point of view on one aspect of their life/work. 

The quote by Yoko, "Woman is like the nigger of the world" was given during the Knightsbridge Dentist appointment that Lennon had, you can see it on film in the Dutch t.v, show Red, White and Blue, it is December 1968. There were other press there too and Philip Norman in his book on Lennon cites the Nova  Magazine (featuring Lennon and Yoko on the front) piece as being from 1967 -  I think that might be a typo? 

Intersting similar quote by Zora Neale Hurston in her 1937 novel, Their Eyes Were Watching God ;  “De nigger woman is de mule uh de world so fur as Ah can see.” 

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Newsweek interview with Yoko

Here's one question and answer from the article.

Newsweek sent Ono a list of questions, which she answered by email.

How did it feel to re-create your historic Bed-In for Peace at Manhattan’s City Hall recently?
Ringo was exerting warmth, which everyone felt, I’m sure. He was the right person [to fill in for Lennon] because he gave everybody, and me, a laugh as well.

Yay, Ringo for participating in the event.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aH4gjRpFriQ

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