Tag Archives: pink

Fighting Abuse Through Music

By Hannah Sherman, JWI Intern

Gloria Gaynor (Photo by Docklandsboy, via Wikimedia Commons)

There is a unique phenomenon that I have experienced at every Bar and Bat Mitzvah I have ever been to in my 21 years of living. From the booming first note, Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” seems to send out a magnetic pulse, causing women and girls of all ages to converge on the dance floor. While at first it may be the groovy, disco beat that attracts us, what keeps us singing along is the message of empowerment. The song quickly turns into an anthem, allowing all women to celebrate our independence.

Recently, The Pixel Project compiled a list of 16 songs about violence against women and staying strong and positive in the face of abuse. Songs from popular music sensations Pink and Christina Aguilera, just to name a few, promote dialogue about the subject of violence against women, something that is often considered a “private matter” and left out of public discourse.

February is Teen Dating Violence Awareness and Prevention Month, and with powerful lyrics and catchy tunes from these 16 songs, hopefully teens will feel more confident standing up against abuse and seeking help when needed. To teenagers, popular musicians are figures to be idolized; with their heroes coming forward and publicly raising awareness to the issue and celebrating women’s empowerment, teens can realize that it is important to discuss, in the public sphere, violence against women.

Can popular music bring us one step closer to ending the cycle of abuse? Only time will tell, but for now, I will look at my favorite songs with a new lens, recognizing the potential impact such songs can have on the end of violence against women.

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A Girl Power Playlist

Since a piece of our mission at JWI is to empower women and girls, I thought a list of girl power songs would be appropriate. I delved into my mental list of all songs (yes, every song ever written is filed away in the rolodex in my noggin) and with a little help from youtube compiled this list.

To start us off, a cute little song by cute little Kellie Pickler: “Don’t You Know You’re Beautiful.”

Now I know you’d give anything just to fit in
But your worth ain’t a pricetag, it comes from within

Any song by Pink could be on a girl power playlist. But I’ve chosen her two most recent hits “Raise Your Glass” and “F**kin’ Perfect.” “Raise Your Glass” is a celebration of individuality. Pink wants to party with the nerds, the outcasts, the freaks and weirdos. She tells us it’s okay to be different. Pink even strikes a Rosie the Riveter pose. And who screams girl power more than Rosie?

So raise your glass if you are wrong
In all the right ways
All my underdogs, we will never be, never be
Anything but loud
And nitty gritty dirty little freaks

In “F**kin’ Perfect” Pink sings…

You’re so mean, when you talk about yourself, you were wrong
Change the voices in your head, make them like you instead
So complicated, look happy, you’ll make it!

Next is  Jimmy Eat World’s “The Middle,” an anthem to a girl on the outside who’s trying to find where she fits in. Jimmy says that it’s okay to be different than everyone else, that you’re better as yourself than as part of the sheeple.

Hey, you know they’re all the same
You know you’re doing better on your own, so don’t buy in
Live right now, yeah, just be yourself
It doesn’t matter if it’s good enough for someone else

I saw No Doubt in a concert in 2002. I knew their music but was never a big fan. Man, that changed after I saw Gwen Stefani perform. She is a performer to the hilt and fully embodies girl power. With obvious disdain and sarcasm in “ Just A Girl,” she sings…

I’m just a girl all pretty and petite
So don’t let me have any rights

What’s your favorite girl power song? Who’s your favorite girl power artist?