Yoko Ono

I was involved in a discussion about Yoko Ono on my favourite messageboard yesterday. Some people were asking if we thought that Yoko was involved in John’s murder. After all kinds of unfounded accusations based on opinion rather than fact, I decided to jump in on the side of Yoko.

I’m going to stick up for Yoko here.

I’ve noticed that it’s mainly the women who have said they never thought anything bad about Yoko… I think women see Yoko in a different way. We see Yoko as a woman who was madly in love with a man who was madly in love with her. Many of us search for years and never find that person, many of us make do with the man we’ve ended up with, dreaming of someone who encourages us, wants to spend time with us, doesn’t want to be apart from us, thinks we are wonderful and clever and admires and looks up to us – instead many of us are stuck with someone who only wants to drink beer, watch football and fart. We look at Yoko and see a woman who was hated by the world because of the ‘she split up the Beatles’ negative PR put out about her and think ‘And John stuck right by her. He didn’t dump her and go running off with his friends. He chose to be with her instead of his friends.’ That, to most women, is true love.

Men, I think, see women like Yoko as their worst nightmare – when I say men, I mean most men who either haven’t met the woman of their dreams OR who will never meet the woman of their dreams because underneath it all they are simply misogynistic, so treat the women they go out with very badly and wonder why women ‘always’ become gibbering wrecks.

I also think that because Yoko is Asian AND strong she goes completely against our preconceived ideas about how Asian women should behave. People want their Asian women quiet and subservient. Would she have been better liked if she stayed in the kitchen and tried to fit in to the ‘rich wife in the suburbs’ lifestyle that Cynthia fit into so well? John didn’t want that. He wanted an equal.

I genuinely think that John Lennon found everything he was looking for in Yoko. I think that there were problems in the Beatles before Yoko came on the scene and that she did not cause them.

If anyone has been in a long-term relationship that has ended in a split, you will know that the split doesn’t just suddenly happen one day, it’s a long, slow process. The Beatles was John’s life, his family, his everything. But for whatever reason (and I can honestly think of many) he wanted to leave… but how would he go about that? In a relationship that someone wants out of but are afraid to leave, do they not often take the ‘easy way out’ by subtly starting to become a complete and utter bastard until their partner chucks them out? Maybe John insisting that Yoko never left his side and ‘infiltrated’ the sanctity of Abbey Road (how dare SHE sit in on a Beatles studio session!) was his way of getting the others pissed off enough to chuck him out cos he was too scared to leave.

I then got embroiled in a big discussion. A few people taking my side, but others jumping on me.

Here are some other points I made. (Edited)

I am simply standing up for Yoko here. I think she’s been a victim of a lot of unfounded criticism. I pointed out that in this thread (and actually generally in my own experience IRL) women never feel there’s very much wrong with her and it’s men that are the ones violently opposed to her. There tends to be a split between genders, like it or not. Read back through the thread and have a look. Tell me who said they couldn’t imagine her being involved in John’s murder and tell me who said she was involved in his murder or that they hated her. There’s a gender split, right?

Yoko was an accomplished artist before she met John – if you ever get a chance to go to one of her exhibitions, do. She has an amazing talent. She wasn’t just some bimbo with nothing to give to the world. I do believe, however, that the Yoko character she became to the public was a result of racism. Remember that when Paul dumped Jane Asher for Linda Eastman, the English hated Linda because she was a crass ‘Yank’. Well, Yoko was a ‘Jap’ and World War 2 was still a reality to Europeans (in fact, it’s still a pretty big deal here). In ‘The Rutles’, the ‘John’ character marries a Nazi woman. The British hated the Japanese as much as they hated the Nazis – even in the late 60s the Japanese were still the evil enemies. And John had dumped his lovely blonde English wife for this evil ‘Nip’. Of course, Americans’ opinions of the Japanese weren’t much better – think of the camps that Japanese-Americans were put into during the war, think of how Americans felt after Pearl Harbor.

Yoko is Japanese aristocracy and a modern artist. And IN HER 70s. Think of that one moment.

Today in modern Japan, girls go off travel ‘round the world, colour their hair, dress wildly, all the while knowing that they will go back to Japan, get married and be a subservient wife. The only thing that’s changed from traditional Japanese society is that now the girls get to travel around a bit before getting married. What kind of a woman must Yoko have been to do what she did when she did? Powerful, strong, intelligent, demanding, focussed and unperturbed by what anyone thought.

Yoko was a strong, independent, successful woman artist from the early 60s when most American women were put on Valium by their doctors, were prevented from going to college by their fathers, prevented from going to work by their husbands and lived in a drugged out Stepford Wives world from which there was no escape. And then along comes this Japanese woman, BEFORE women’s lib, and makes her mark in a man’s world.

Think of the problems that women still have now that things are supposedly ‘equal’. Think of what we as a society think of women who aren’t maternal. Think of what we think of women who are tough businesswomen. Think of what we think of women who continue to fight for equal rights (feminism is, for most, a bad word)… It’s still tough out there for women, but incredibly easier than it was for an Asian woman in the 60s.

Name another famous Japanese woman. Can’t, can you?

Yoko is to be seriously admired.

Then the discussion was locked by the moderator (male, who hates Yoko) with a comment stating that he was not ‘anti-women’ but that the discussion had turned into a battle of the sexes rather than a discussion about Yoko.

A discussion about Yoko IS a ‘battle of the sexes’!

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