I wanted to respond to some anger over the inclusion of The Mountain Goats’ “No Children” in this project, because it’s entirely justified, and our inclusion of this piece in our Table of Contents needs some explanation.
I am a big Mountain Goats fan and see John Darnielle as a paragon of pro-feminist men in music. Honestly, the topic worried me at first. But, while the guidelines quoted above were general suggestions for contributors, some have pitched essays that take a very different angle on the idea of misogynist art. I have seen an early draft of the piece, and the thrust is basically this: The author, B. Michael Payne, who is a man and a feminist, tends to “use” the song “No Children” when he is feeling angry about love-related things, which for him are necessarily woman-related things. Which is to say that the piece is about how we can instrumentalize art that is not inherently misogynist for misogynist purposes. It’s been a while since I’ve read the draft — and Payne may have something more or differnet to say on this — but as far as I can remember, in no place does it say that The Mountain Goats, Darnielle, or “No Children” are inherently misogynist.
But I absolutely understand why seeing the song in our Table of Contents would be alarming, and we needed to clarify. The Kickstarter TOC now reads: “B. Michael Payne on The Mountain Goats’ “No Children” and the way we interpret non-misogynist art in misogynist ways.” Niina and I sincerely apologize for any hurt or anger this incomplete description of the piece has caused and hope the new description makes the intentions of the piece clearer.