Default Genders

Last week, former Elite Gymnastics songwriter James Brooks released an excellent new EP as Dead Girlfriends. As Brooks wrote on his Tumblr, the name was inspired by the radical feminist Andrea Dworkin, who suggested in her speech Mass Murder In Montreal: The Sexual Politics of Killing Women that radical thinkers can measure the progress women are making in society by counting “the dead bodies.”

Dworkin said in that speech:

“We count the numbers of rapes. We count the women who are being battered. We keep track of the children who are being raped by their fathers. We count the dead. And when those numbers start to change in a way that is meaningful, we will then talk to you about whether or not we can measure progress.”

Brooks elaborated on his reasons for the name:

i kind of like that it is sort of an unpleasant name, i remember watching this episode of roseanne where darlene was having some friends over and dan the dad was DJing some classic rock and darlene’s ornery goth friends were like “this music sucks! play some hole!” and dan was like “WATCH YOUR LANGUAGE YOUNG LADY” like no shots but no ones’ parents would ever get offended by teenagers saying that they liked to listen to “beach fossils” or “animal collective” you know?

Yesterday Brooks updated his Tumblr saying he would be changing the name from Dead Girlfriends to Default Genders because it “had an effect he didn’t want.”

this is a post where i tell you that i have officially changed the name from “dead girlfriends” to “default gender”
the name sort of had an effect i didn’t want, and it took me a little while to think of another phrase i could use that contained words that start with D and G so the artwork with claire’s drawing would still make sense. it doesn’t roll off the tongue as easily but thematically it makes more sense i guess
i’m in the process of changing all the URLs and stuff that it’s possible to change, changing the name in the actual artwork and website header and stuff will take me longer and i can’t do anything about the press that’s already out there with the old name, but it will probably come out in the wash eventually
i apologize to anyone who’s inconvenienced by this but especially to anyone who was upset or offended or grossed out by the old name, and to the other band that was using the name first

Personally, I like both names and don’t mind which one he uses, I am just glad these songs exist. Hear the thought-provoking first Default Genders single below.

Comments (11)
  1. the saga continues.

  2. ~*TuMbLeR~*

  3. I’ll help come up with some cool band names for when he gets tired of Default Genders in a week. Here are some ideas:

    Dadaist Grundle
    Done Government
    Double Good
    Dark Green
    Diving Grotesque
    Derelict Granola

    Feel free to take any of these.

  4. Why not just cal yourselves “The Band You’re About To Hear”?

  5. Personally, I like the notion that if he ever wants to perform or talk to a woman again, he should have to read his full Deconstructing beforehand as a disclaimer.

  6. Way to stick to your guns and let the disgustingly politically correct feminazi indiesphere sway what you call yourself. I guess you’re one step closer to being a real deal feminist in that you now have a vagina.

  7. This guy is rad. I wish more men thought the way he did. That people are getting upset that he kindly changed the band name means he was right to do so. He’s part of the solution, not part of the problem.

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