KT Cloudbusting -- Kate Bush In Her Own Words


Kate doesn't feel that the music business is particularly difficult for women to break into. In fact she believes that, at the moment, record companies are pretty receptive to female talent.

Women weren't as determined in the past as they are now. The more female artists that get in, the more that will be allowed a chance. It's lovely to think that I could be an example to other girls. I don't feel that strongly about the women's movement. I think male chauvinism is just a gesture; men who are sure of themselves have no need to put women down. (1982, Nineteen)


Do you consider yourself a feminist?

I really react to that word, and I think probably the majority of women - but I don't know - would feel the same. Feminist is one of those words. When you hear ``feminist'' you go ``"ummgh!'' It's a ``concept'' You get all these terrible images - like women with hairy legs and big muscles. And I mean you just think of butch lesbians. I think the media's been playing around with it, but I also think there are an awful lot of groups that basically don't like men, and they tend to get quite a lot of publicity. And they are terribly aggressive and quite illogical: ``What have we got men for!'' I think a lot of women feel very confused by the whole thing - I know I do - where you've just got to get in there - that's the thing - and work!

There are a lot of women who - obviously - want the same opportunities, who don't want doors shut in their faces. But you know we should help each other, for God's sake, we shouldn't be fighting against each other. We should be working to help each other. And men have to be educated as much as women do. We have both been really conditioned. Okay, we are different, we have to recognise that, but we should be able to work together and help each other, and I think we can. We are all sort of sitting here feeling confused, both the women and the men! Or alternatively, the men are out there being chauvinist pigs and the women are out there being feminists. But there's a lot in the middle, a hodge-podge of people, just trying to adjust.

You have actually charted a very independent course yourself, and in some ways you'd offer a definition of what feminists would want women to be able to do.

I would like to think that there is actually a very strong force of women who believe we should have equal opportunities, be able to work, be treated nicely without any threat, all of that. And not necessarily come on with ``We hate men - Off with your balls!'' Do you know what I mean? And I think there are lots of women who are starting to really do it properly. Look at comedy. I think comedy in this country is incredible. The best. It really is, it's superb. I suppose a lot of it is negatively based, but it still is superb, and just streets ahead of anyone else in the world. But, I think women have been used so much in comedy. Either there's something really hideous and ugly that's meant to be attractive, and then when it's hideous and ugly everyone goes ``aah!", or there's Benny Hill's cutie-pies that don't speak. But now there's a revolution in comedy which involves women in a much more interesting way. They're not being used as women, they're not really pretty or really ugly, they're just people. I think that really says a lot. And it's nice to see that, because so often I think women are pandered to. Like: a couple of years ago there was a trend of these feminist programmes that were meant to be for women, and they were all basically anti-men jokes. And all the women I knew thought they were horrific. It was totally insulting and unfunny. Yet women were presumed to laugh at this. Women came on and told jokes just as sexist as the men's. But it seems to have changed. It's women - Victoria Wood, Jennifer Saunders, Tracey Ullman - it's women, real women. (1985, Hot Press)


What sort of comedy are you into?

Well, I love all the Comic Strip stuff. Ben Elton's writing is superb. I think all those people are just so inspiring. It's exciting! There should be something like that happening in the music business, too. There should be a real centre of inspired, talented people, putting out stuff that makes you think, that re-educates people. I think they have done a lot for women with their comedy. They can be women without being used as some sex object, or something to be made fun of. Women are actually women in their comedy, and I admire that.

I think it's all right for women to be a sex object, if that's what they want to be.

Absolutely. Yes.

Are you a feminist?

Yuck! God, I hate that word. It's like calling someone a Sadist! I think it's really unfortunate that word has been so associated with very extreme... extremist persons. Radical behavior. And I think although it probably had to be put in a bit at the beginning, I think all women are rather offended by that term now. What really has power is when you get people like Jennifer Saunders and Dawn French up there doing something really good, as women, being people, just being women. Women just getting on with it and doing it, and doing it well. Which I think a lot of women are doing now. And there's not such an alienating process going on between men and women. (1989, Greater London)


Gaffaweb / Cloudbusting / Subjects / Feminism