Tori Amos is an important artist, but not necessarily an enjoyable one. Uncomfortable intimacy is her forte. How hard her music makes you squirm depends on how intensely you relate to it. Deliberate anathema to dudebros who resent being reminded that women have dimensions beyond sexual receptivity, Tori’s songs were an early torchlight of nascent feminist awareness for a generation of girls. Her ideal audience is young women in flux, making the journey (as described on this track) from being their mother’s possession to being their own. Like baby turtles scrambling unguided for the relative safety of the ocean, girls must reach fully realized personhood without falling prey to the many, many (mostly male-inflicted) dangers that would hinder their growth and liberty. Tori Amos serves as a guide, teaching the impressionable that romantic love can be a trap or an open door, depending on your luck and your judgement; parental relationships can nourish or hinder you, depending on same; learning to be yourself takes years of trial and error; and oh yeah, getting raped sucks, but you can survive it. Mapping her own journey, Amos (now a mother of girls herself) helped others understand their own, like a helpful older sister pointing out to the likes of ten-year-old me what lies ahead.


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