Were you making a joke—saying something ironically—that flopped? Was it a cry for attention?
Or were you simply making a heartfelt expression of pure nastiness?
Just what were you trying to do, Michelle Shocked?
Shocked is a feminist folk-singer whose songs champion strong, independent women. “Anchorage,” the break-out single from her 1988 album “Short Sharp Shocked,” is still regularly heard on Pittsburgh’s WYEP (91.3), and she came to town in June 2005 to record a concert at the Andy Warhol Museum that was broadcast on the nationally syndicated public radio show “The World Cafe.”
Plus, she rocks a gender-bending look, and was active in the Occupy movement, so it was natural for us to think she was on our side. (Which hasn’t been true for a while, as we will soon find out.)
Shocked is currently touring to mark the 25th anniversary of “Short Sharp Shocked.” On Sunday (March 17), an audience in San Francisco was … well, OK, shocked … when she announced during a concert, “I live in fear that the world will be destroyed if gays are allowed to marry,” adding, “You can go on Twitter and say ‘Michelle Shocked says God hates fags.'”
See, Michelle, now’s the part where you should wink, OK? It’s sarcasm, right?
Um, no, not according to the SFist website: One witness watching backstage says it “seemed clear that she designed the show to deliver this message.” (The website speculates the message was timed to draw attention to upcoming Supreme Court decisions on the Defense of Marriage Act and California’s Proposition 8.)
This isn’t the first time Shocked has lashed out at the LGBTQ community. At a music festival in North Carolina in 2011, she told an audience, “Who drafted me as a gay icon? You are looking at the world’s greatest homophobe. Ask God what He thinks.” The same article notes that Shocked has “in recent years publicly rejected her lesbian fan base.”
According to SFist, Shocked, who was raised in a Mormon household, once considered herself a lesbian, then became a born-again Christian, then said she was “honored” to be considered an “honorary lesbian.”
Whatever else she is, she’s doing a darn fine job of wrecking her career. USA Today reports that concert venues are under pressure to cancel her upcoming appearances—and some already have.
So far, she’s not responding to requests for comment, but it’s hard for me to see how she can walk this back.
Good luck getting back onto “The World Cafe,” Michelle. I think next time, you should try “Focus on the Family” instead. (Edited to fix flow, grammar)