Who Needs Abby? 35 Advice Column Tunes Spun From Womanly Wisdom

On a recent Women’s History Month post I denoted that as a Queer CIS Male, from an early age I took most of what I’ve learned about dealing from men from women. One large area where I took that advice from was from music.

tell me what to doTherein lies the big root cause why my tastes in vintage music lean heavily into the music sung and/or written by and for women listeners. I don’t think this is particularly uncommon for queer men in general. Granted the more of the traditional camp sensibility slides into the “strong” yet oft solitary “Diva” that pines in unrequited lovelorn lane. This archetype is as old as Sophie Tucker and Judy Garland and continues unabated to win Song Of The Year Oscars for Lady Gaga.

I definitely took more inspiration (and still do) in the co-conspirator aspect of girl groups of the early 60’s and beyond. Solidarity against scheming men trying to hit it and quit it? Check. Don’t be the fool I’ve been (and might be again?) Check. Keep your hands off my man lest you wanna get cut? Check. The inevitability of infidelity and open relationships? Okay sort of because after all, we’re talking about the 1960’s, so the infidelity is true, but it’s not like explicit polyamory was discussed on girl group records some 50+ years ago.

Nevertheless, the pragmatism alongside romanticism is why the Girl Group Sound is my favorite genre of music. Of course, these tunes are all heavily steeped in heterocentric toxic masculinity, strict gender roles and absolute bending one’s will to masculinity. Of course all of this falls under our puritan, hypocritical society based on patriarchal white supremacy. I do believe we continue to chip away at day by day by queering and questioning existence.

r-6399696-1480340448-2306.jpegTil then, there’s wisdom in looking at the morality that still informs mainstream ideas of courtship and intimacy, no matter how much of a intimacy anarchist you claim yourself to be. We still center patriarchal white supremacist masculinity as an ideal to aspire to, perhaps moreso for Queer Men these days. What did we learn way back when and carry forth that makes us still cling to it.

Underneath it all, the validation of love and bonding we crave pushes a host of these tunes through their 2 and a half minutes, and I still look at them and recognize the trouble with boys I still find myself in, even as I approach my late 30s. So for you too, as we head into Spring Cleaning Season, take a little advice around how to deal with the boys a little bit better.

  1. Patty Lace & The Petticoats – Girls Don’t Trust That Boy
  2. The Society Girls – Society For The Prevention Of Cruelty To Little Girls (S.P.C.L.G)
  3. Maxine Brown – If I Knew Then (What I Know Now)
  4. Damita Jo – Hands Off
  5. The Orlons – Keep Your Hands Of My Baby
  6. The Charmers – Looking For Trouble
  7. The Cookies – Foolish Little Girl
  8. The Femm-eles – When The Cat’s Away, The Mice Will Play
  9. Little Eva – The Trouble With Boys
  10. Lesley Gore – That’s The Way Boys Are
  11. The Bootleggers – Don’t Count On Tomorrow
  12. Marva Josie – Don’t
  13. Dionne Warwick – Get Rid Of Him
  14. Timi Yuro – You Can Have Him
  15. The Sequins – He’s A Flirt
  16. The Jaynetts – Vangie, Don’t You Cry
  17. Dusty Springfield – Needle In A Haystack
  18. Martha & The Vandellas – You’ve Been In Love Too Long
  19. Ruth Christie – What Fools Girls Can Be
  20. Dean & Jean – Silly Little Girl
  21. The Ikettes – Sally Go ‘Round The Roses
  22. Barbara Lewis – (Better Not Believe Him) Sorrow
  23. The Ronettes – Keep On Dancing
  24. Anna King – Sally
  25. The Softiques – Two Kinds Of Boys
  26. Anita Humes & The Essex – Just For The Boy
  27. The Foxes – Get Him With A Wink
  28. The Velvelettes – He’s The One
  29. The Chiffons – Keep The Boy Happy
  30. The Fascinations – Girls Are Out To Get You
  31. Reparata & The Delrons – You Can’t Change A Young Boy’s Mind
  32. Honey Cone – Girls It Ain’t Easy
  33. The Supremes – The Sha La Bandit
  34. Ella Washington – Stop Giving Your Man Away
  35. Laura Lee – Rip Off
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