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Promotion of Feminism Through Music

In: Social Issues

Submitted By figgish
Words 2388
Pages 10
Introduction
“If I have to, I can do anything. I am strong, I am invincible, I am woman.” Though simple, these lyrics from the song “I am a Woman” contain a powerful message of female empowerment. Songs like this challenge the traditional devaluation of women as incapable and weak. With the rise of feminism, many more female artists have started to include feminist ideas in their songs. Thus, the topic on how popular music has helped bring forth the idea of feminism is of great relevance to our world today.

Literature Review The personal struggles and triumphs that female artists portray in their songs and lives, relates to and in turn empowers females in patriarchal societies. Nelson (1993, p. 77), a rap music journalist, commented that female rap artists in the 1980s had to fight harder than their male counterparts in the industry and yet never replicated the male artists’ success. (As cited in Keyes, 2000, p. 265) Similarly, Madonna worked hard to prove her worth as a female artist in the male dominated pop music industry. (Lugo-Lugo, 2001) The struggles of these two female artists in their respective male dominated trades are parallel to the struggles of females in patriarchal societies. These females desire gender equality and look to female artists and their songs as a source of hope. Female rap artists use rap as a medium to advocate gender equality and in turn created spaces for themselves and other ‘sistas’ as well. (Keyes, 2000, p. 274) In the song lyrics of "The Intelligent Black Women Coalition National Anthem" and "Sisterland" from Make Way for the Motherlode (1991), Yo-Yo speaks on female empowerment and independence. (Keyes, 2000, p. 270) Similarly, Riot Grrrl bands wrote songs that touched on issues that were very personal to females. (Schilt, 2003, p.7) All these songs give hope to females who are eager to break away from their expected…...

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