Last week, Haley Fohr a/k/a Circuit des Yeux released a video for her the most explicitly feminist cut from her forthcoming album, In Plain Speech. In the video for “Do The Dishes”, Fohr navigates a pristine, well-kept home on her own, mashing ground meat with her hands, making the beds, doing the dishes, running on a treadmill. The most powerful moment of the video comes through a shot where she’s running naked on the treadmill, eventually collapsing over herself onto the ground. The video is a urgent meditation on the enduring internal struggles that women face when their days revolve around cooking and cleaning; it’s full of blunt and unshakable images of the isolation attached to so many women’s day-to-day routines.
“There is something deep inside of you / something that’s worth reaching into,” Fohr sings on the track. “It makes me tremble/ It makes me shake/ It’s a risk I’m willing to take.” The overall message of the song and video is reminiscent of feminist dialogues that have been ongoing for decades, but its a message that continues to be unsettling relevant. Housework remains centrally a female experience (and that’s not to say it cannot be fulfilling; that’s not to erase that housework is real and often undervalued labor), but women in 2015 continue to disproportionately report leaving behind career goals in order to tend to such familial responsibilities. If you need the stats, they exist.
Circuit des Yeux’s In Plain Speech is out tomorrow on Thrill Jockey.