Cake’s “Short Skirt/Long Jacket” is a wildly underappreciated feminist anthem. The lyrics celebrate the desirability of a strong, self empowered woman. The singer expresses a common male desire, a woman who’s got her shit together. A woman who has her life in order, a plan of action, and the will to conquer anything she sets her mind to. The song’s unnamed female protagonist is taking control of her own identity by dropping a diminutive version of her name in favor of a mature standard. She is determined, in charge, competent and confident. The song subtly fetishizes the idea of the dominate woman and one could argue that this detracts from any feminist message of the song, but in a world of constant submissive imagery, it’s a welcomed change of theme.
“We will meet accidently when she asks to borrow my pen”. The subservient male dreams that one day he will meet this powerful woman and will somehow be able to fulfil a need of hers. That’s the hardest thing for the male ego to swallow about the dominate woman. She does not need you, so you must find a way for her to want you. It wouldn’t be a stretch to presume that the male preference for a submissive woman stems from the primal human need to domesticate animals they need. Powerful women are hunters, they are not easy animals to tame. There’s not much you can offer her that she could not obtain herself. What does she need you for? Not safety. Not shelter. Not food. She doesn’t need your love to feel fulfilled because she loves herself. No, all you can offer her is the comfort of partnership. Take a few items off her checklist if you want to find your way into the dominate woman’s heart. She doesn’t need a knight to save her from the dragon, she is the dragon.
This song says a strong, dominate woman is sexy, desirable, preferable. It’s a song about a guy desiring a woman that I am ok with my daughter loving. It is a power song for every interview I walk into. I wonder if Billboard will ever have room for the women in short skirts and long jackets. Other than Beyoncé.