Tuesday, 13 May 2014

Hen-Jenny Update

I'm sorry about the recent lack of posts I am currently in the middle of my GCSE's but I have some exciting Hen-Jenny news that will hopefully keep you going till I'm back from hell. 

Firstly our latest song, Adolescent Cat, has been recorded properly here! This features a waltz-like verse and a lively chorus. It tells the story of a cat Lucy saw on her way to the Co-op.....Goes to show that lyric inspiration can come from very unlikely places. I hope you like it!

We have also done a cover of Peace's latest song Money and I really like how this one turned out. We added clapping, maracas and the rest of the band sang some of the chorus with me. 

We are currently working on a new song which I am really excited about. It's a bit different for us as it is much slower and very swung. Make sure to follow us on  soundcloud if you don't already to be notified when we post new stuff. 

See you soon!

Monday, 7 April 2014

Current Favourite Songs // April Edition

Caught Me Thinking - Bahamas

I first saw Alfie Jurvanen (otherwise known as Bahamas)  about three years ago supporting Noah and the Whale. I didn't think too much of him at the time but I have recently fallen in love with his relaxed, catchy songs. Caught me thinking is one of my favourites mainly because of the addictive, syncopated guitar riff.

Stuck On The Puzzle - Alex turner (submarine)

I have been told by many people to listen to the Submarine sound track by Alex Turner. I loved the film but for some reason never got round to it. I know I'm a bit late on the bandwagon but this song is just amazing.

SuperLove - Charlie XCX

A recommendation from my friend Immy this has quickly become one of my favourite songs for dancing (and running). It's really catchy and I love Charlie's powerful voice.

My Favourite Game - The Cardigans

The cardigans are a rock band from Sweden. Despite their questionable name their music is really good and I am obsessed with Nina's voice.

Rock City - Kings of Leon

This has probably been my favourite song this month. It's nothing like the classic, well known Kings of Leon songs but I actually prefer it. I love the swing in the chorus and the and the cool bass riff.

Schumacher The Champagne - The Wombats

I have had the wombats albums for ages but never really listened to this song because I was put off by the weird intro. Having given it a chance I realised just how much I have been missing out. The melody is simple and effective.

Sunday, 23 March 2014

Some Boys // Hen-Jenny

Our latest song 'some boys' has finally been recorded here! I wanted to take some time to explain the lyrics as they represent a very important issue; the objectification, sexualisation and sexual harassment of women in society.

The first verse ("if I say no I mean no that's all there is...") is about the importance of consent. Robin Thicke gets a mention as his song 'blurred lines' pretty much encapsulates how saying no is often misinterpreted. In this post I linked to an article showing quotes from rapists which are disturbingly similar to the lyrics of 'blurred lines'. When anyone says no it should be taken seriously and always respected.

The chorus ("why shouldn't girls just wear what they like? She's not asking for it just 'cos she's wearing something tight...") is about how rape and harassment is often blamed on a girls' appearance. Men often use the phrase 'asking for it' when a girl is wearing something deemed inappropriate. In the chorus we try to show that tight/short/low-cut/whatever clothes should not affect how someone is treated. People should learn to stop sexualising women so that we can get on with wearing what we want without fear of harassment.

The last verse begins by talking about slut shaming; an important issue but we don't go too in to it (lack of syllable space). We finish by predicting the inevitable female world domination (I'm joking) (or am I) ("you try to hold us back but it won't work...").

Please take a listen to some of our other songs while you're on our soundcloud page!

Monday, 10 March 2014


Lilly Allen recently announced the title to her new album 'Sheezus' which I initially assumed would be full of girl-power anthems and feminist messages. 'Hard out here for a b*tch' seemed to be trying to do these things although I think it was more of a publicity stunt. As it turns out Lilly Allen is actually against feminism for reasons which seem to me to be untrue and slightly naive.

This NME article about Lilly's views on feminism is very interesting but incredibly infuriating. She has been quoted saying that she hates the word feminism because she thinks 'it shouldn't even be a thing anymore'. 'Why is there even a conversation about feminism? What's the man version of feminism? There isn't even a word for it. Menanism. Male-ism. It doesn't exist'

I strongly disagree with her opinions on many levels; firstly her claim that sexism no longer exists. In the western world, among working, middle class women, it is easy for people to assume that sexism is no longer a problem as on basic levels we do have equal rights. We can vote, we can work; what more do we need? When you start thinking more deeply about the problems women face on a day to day basis (which I wrote about here) then you realise that there are still many obstacles which we need to overcome. Lilly Allen claims that there is no need for a 'conversation' about feminism. I think that this ongoing 'conversation' is a very good sign that things are changing and should be strongly encouraged. The rebranding of feminism is not being helped by people like Lilly Allen trying to give it a bad name.

The above argument excludes the obvious need for feminism in less developed countries where women are still suppressed; regularly being forced in to marriage, abused and denied education. Surely, if only for these women, we must continue to fight for equality. I do not know if Lilly Allen has forgotten these people or simply does not include them in her grand plans for feminist-bashing but I think somebody needs to remind her what is really going on.

On feminism; Lilly Allen also stated that she thinks 'women are the enemy'. She thinks that sexism is more of a 'competitive thing. It's weird. It's just really unhealthy and we're our own worst enemy.' The idea that really we are suppressing ourselves through jealousy seems ridiculous. Jealousy is not an emotion invented by women for the purpose of imposing its effects on other women. It is present within any group of people in the world. Furthermore the aesthetic competitiveness that Lilly talks about happens to be part of human nature which is massively exaggerated in women by the media (which, guess what, is mainly run by MEN). 

Sunday, 9 March 2014

Current Favourite Songs // March edition

Mesmerise - Temples 

I was told to listen to temples by Lucy (Hen-Jenny guitarist) and Mesmerise is my favourite of their songs. The syncopation and unusual rhythm makes this song really addictive. If you like Tame Impala you will love this.  

Riptide - Vance Joy

This is not the kind of song I would usually like. It is very upbeat with a country-style guitar rhythm and a catchy melody. This is perfect if you need cheering up as it is very light and happy. 

Can't stop - Red Hot Chilli Peppers

An old classic (released in 2002) but a great song. I rediscovered this a few weeks ago and became hooked on the guitar riff. The jazzy syncopation immediately makes you want to dance.

Love is to die - Warpaint

Yes the warpaint obsession continues and this time with what I would (in my current state) call the BEST SONG EVER. This song starts of slow and mystical with an eery hummed melody. The verse has an amazing drum beat and does a good job of leading up to the chorus. The chorus is literally the best thing I have ever heard. The beat, the melody, the bass line; it is perfect. 

Awkward - FIDLAR

This is simple but amazing. It has such a laid back, long haired surfer vibe. The repetitive melody should get boring but the drums and guitar solos help to keep it exciting.

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Super Cool Links

Here are some links to some things that are worth reading/watching:

I think this article on gender equality is genius. Natascha covers pretty much every one of feminist beliefs and argues them incredibly well.

I love this controversial article by Joan Smith about the niquab. I think it is very brave to publish this kind of article as inevitably it will cause a stir. I agree with most of Joan's arguments against the niquab particularly the repression aspect and I think she argues her case very well.

We have all heard of the infamous Blurred Lines (or as I like to call it; 'the rape song') and I think most people would agree that Robin Thicke is an all round creepy guy. This article showing rape victims quoting their rapists is great as it shows just how inappropriate the song is.

I love short, insightful quotes like this one by 'girls get busy' which is just SO UNBELIEVABLY TRUE.

Finally the video for Charlie XCX and Iggy Azelias new song 'Fancy' is just incredible on so many levels. I'm not obsessed with the song itself yet but the video just screams GIRL POWER (plus the 90's style clothes are pretty great). Love it.

P.S. Happy International Women's day

Thursday, 27 February 2014


The misrepresentation of women in media is a huge and difficult problem. From fairy tales to news rounds we are constantly presented with unrealistic role models. From a young age girls have always been fed stories of princesses and pretty young women who's only aspiration is to marry the man of their dreams. In fairy tales older women are usually presented as witches and evil stepmothers; jealous of younger women and determined to be seen as beautiful. These women are useless as they have lost their only redeeming feature; their beauty. 

Later in life girls are bombarded with images of sexualised celebrities and pop stars who use their sexuality to please men and make money. Unfortunately this usually comes at an important stage when we are thinking about what we want to do and who we want to be. Only having female role models who are successful because of their beauty means a lack of self confidence. Girls find themselves less determined to work hard and more desperate to look nice. 

In many films and on TV every female character (unless there for comic effect) looks perfect at all times while men can look average or worse as long as they are funny or charismatic. Even when there is an 'average-looking' female character in a film she will almost always get a makeover, take off her glasses or put on a new dress to reveal that she has in fact always been pretty and therefore worthy of a man. 

Of course this sexism does not occur in all aspects of media. There are many tv series and films which include successful, hardworking and talented women such as The Carrie Diaries (which happens to be amazing) featuring a young ambitious writer from Connecticut. The problem is that so much of the media does feature these negative aspects and therefore is encouraging sexist beliefs.

The consumption of harmful misrepresentations is impossible to avoid if you are a normal, tv watching girl. Most girls are able to look past it but unfortunately it can influence and mould many of us. It is difficult to know how we can finally reclaim the media when it is predominantly run by men. A good start would be to understand and acknowledge the problem before putting pressure on companies who currently think that they are giving us what we want to see. If they discover that gender stereotyping and causal sexism in media is not for us then maybe they will finally bring it to an end.

Luckily there have been signs of change in the form of Disney fairy tales with new heroines such as Brave where Merida aspires to escape from her mother and her role as a princess who must marry in order to be successful. New role models are coming to light in the form of Amy Poehler, Beyonce and other successful and intelligent women. Hopefully a new age of female celebrities will bring about more and more determined and aspirational girls.