Janis Joplin and the Fallacy of the Mule Fable


Janis Joplin said in an interview that her song “Move Over” was about men. She asked the interviewer if he knew what a mule cart was… He nodded, and she went on to explain that the dumb mule is motivated by the carrot on the stick and the mule will run all day in pursuit of that carrot.

Women are the mule, she said, and the carrot represents that men hold up something more than they are prepared to give. You could hear a bit of the pain in her voice as she said this.

While Janis may not have been Stable Mabel, she knew what she was talking about in terms of hurt and abandonment; it colored her entire life and it fed her addictions.

What this meant to me, was that it’s easy to take on the mentality of the mule and think men are dangling more than…

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