Feminism is a key feature in modern-day society. the google definition is, ‘the advocacy of women’s rights on the basis of the equality of the sexes.’ There are many different ways to express this. One way is through music. Here we analyse one writer’s most prolific feminist songs.
Mans World – MARINA
‘Man’s World’ represents how no matter how hard we try for equality, it’s always going to be a man’s world. The patriarchy will -sadly- always exist. This shows in the lyrics ‘If you have a mother, daughter or a friend/maybe it’s time, time you comprehend/that the world you live in ain’t the same as them/so don’t punish me for not being a man’. This shows that when men say that it’s equal, that we live in the world with the same difficulties, they’re just saying to not fight for actual equality. They are just saying that because they prefer it like that, they prefer that men are still in charge. A man’s life is hard, no doubt, but women have to deal with so many problems that men don’t have to deal with. Some you can’t change but some you can, just by trying.
Labour – Paloma Faith
‘Labour’ is a song which represents how some men still treat women like their servants, how some women have to do free ‘labour’ just to keep them (and their marriage) happy. This is shown in the lyrics, ‘nurse than a servant/just an appendage, live to attend him/so that he never lifts a finger’. This represents how some men believe that women should stay in the kitchen, and how some believe that they should only marry to serve them. It also shows how women are taught that is their purpose. How they ‘should’ ignore their needs and the things that they would like to do for the man/husband’s needs.
Money, Money, Money – ABBA
‘Money, Money, Money’ represents the money gap between what women and men make (especially at the time when it was written). Lines such as ‘All the things I could do if I had some money/it’s a rich man’s world’ are standing up to how people say that we are equal, even though, most of the world is a patriarchy, women still get laughed at for applying to certain jobs, how they still get paid less and how there are still manual labour and science fields where its just men because the women are frightened to go in a job where it’s just men. They’re frightened of what’ll happen to them. And they’re taught that those types of jobs are just for men and that they should pick a more ‘feminine’ job instead. They are also scared in case the men do anything to them or take advantage of them.
The Schuyler Sisters – Hamilton
‘The Schuyler Sisters’ is about Angelica, Eliza and Peggy Schuyler in Manhattan, New York, when they are ‘hit on’ by Aaron Burr. Angelica doesn’t stand for this, she states, ‘I’ve been reading common sense by Thomas Paine/so men say I’m intense or I’m insane/you want a revolution? I want a revelation/so listen to my declaration/we hold these truths to be self-evident/that all men are created equal/ and when I meet Thomas Jefferson/I’ll compel him to include women in the sequel!’.
Men think she’s intense or insane just because she reads, which not only reflects men’s mindset back then but it also applies now. This is because, if a man spends hundreds of pounds on sports tickets, that’s fine but if a woman spends the same amount of money on concert tickets to a celebrity she enjoys, she’s insane. Or if she wears a celebrity’s merch outside, she’s obsessive and crazy but if a man wears a sporting team’s uniform, that’s fine and completely normal. In addition, she wants to convince an important government figure (Thomas Jefferson) to change this and get women the right to do anything without being judged and to be taken seriously instead of as obsessive airheads.
The Man – Taylor Swift
‘The Man’ is about how the music industry, and life in general, will always be sexist, even if you try your hardest to change it. Some people label Taylor Swift as a woman who only writes songs about her ex-boyfriends meanwhile Ed Sheeran and many male artists are doing the same with their ex-girlfriends yet they don’t get labelled like Swift has. ‘The Man’ also represents equality in one of the lines by saying, ‘I’m so sick of running as fast as I can/wondering if I’d get there quicker if I was a man’. This shows how unfair everything is because no matter how hard women try, no matter how hard we fight for equality, it’s never going to be fully fair, they’ll always be at a disadvantage.
Another line that sticks out is ‘What I was wearing’. This is about how female rape victims are always asked what they were wearing as if it was their fault for wearing what they want. Just as important are the word ‘They say that I hustled/put in the work/wouldn’t shake their heads and question how much of this I deserve’ which relates to how terrible and unequal the media is. It could be considered that they praise men for just showing up but when a woman tries their best, they’re still criticised because trying still isn’t enough. They are also questioned about what they did to get there, whether they cheated or bribed the way to the top. |It never comes into anyone’s head that they worked hard and earned it.