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Med332 women and pop


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Med332 women and pop

  1. 1. #med332 Women and pop
  2. 2. Popular music = primarily a male experience “The women who have been successful in rock history … have tended to masquerade masculinity”
  3. 3. Alabama Shakes – ‘Hold On’ (2012)
  4. 4. Histories of popular music rendered women invisible Role as singers but marginalized as instrumentalists
  5. 5. Beyonce – ‘Single Ladies (Put A Ring On It)’ (2008)
  6. 6. Madonna – ‘Justify My Love’ (1990)
  7. 7. ‘women in popular music have twisted the voyeuristic masculine gaze into the pleasure and power of being watched. Such a strategy is often temporary, a frozen moment when an empowered woman and popular music align’ - Brabazon, 2012: 212
  8. 8. ‘for women to be heard, they must temporarily assume the expert position normally held by men in the formation. That is, they must talk like a man, or more accurately, as if they were men’ - Norma Coates in Swiss et al, 1998: 83
  9. 9. Rock and feminism: an uphill struggle Golden age of rock (1960s) <-> Second wave feminism Women in music playing ‘catch up’
  10. 10. Otis Redding 1965 Aretha Franklin 1967
  11. 11. ‘gender is central to the ways in which popular music is used and tastes are organized’ - Christenson and Peterson, 1988: 282
  12. 12. ‘The pictures which adorn bedroom walls invite […] girls to look, even stare at length, at male images (many of which emphasise the whole masculine physique, especially the crotch). These pin-ups offer one of the few opportunities to stare at boys and to get to know what they look like. While boys can quite legitimately look at girls on the street and in school, it is not acceptable for girls to do the same back. Hence the attraction of the long uninterrupted gaze at the life-size ‘Donny Osmond Special’ - McRobbie, 1991 p. 23
  13. 13. 1967 #62 pop chart 1968 #12 pop chart Masculinity rebuked
  14. 14. Salt N Pepa ‘Push It’ (1986) ‘Ain't Nuthin' But A She Thing’ (1994)
  15. 15. TLC – ‘No Scrubs’ (1999)
  16. 16. ‘there were very few “ways into” the music scene for a woman, and being a girlfriend was still the easiest’ - Cohen, 1991: 210
  17. 17. Music as an authentic popular voice, as a means for argument, as a way to combine verbal and emotional elements are discussed ... Music can function effectively as an authentic voice for women as a marginalized group - Sellnow, 1999: 66
  18. 18. Girl groups The Chantels – ‘Maybe’ (1958) The Shirelles – ‘Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow’ (1960) dense harmonies expansive orchestra pensive and evocative lead vocal Phil Spector’s Wall of Sound -The Ronettes -The Crystals Motown -The Supremes -Martha and the Vandellas
  19. 19. Pop/girl group: often a derogatory term The Andrews Sisters The Ronettes The Supremes The Pointer Sisters Destiny’s Child The Spice Girls Girls Aloud The Pussycat Dolls Little Mix
  20. 20. Girls groups = transitory ‘Girl groups bounce into popular culture, look beautiful, sing well and dance smoothly. They gain an audience of tween and teen young women and often thirty-something gay men. Then the groups break up, caused by either a decline in sales or the individual success of one of the performers’ - Brabazon, 2012: 214
  21. 21. Girls groups = finite ‘They rarely provide a foundation or basis for extended fame and fortune. For every Beyonce Knowles, there are hundreds of wannabes who have neither the talent nor the trajectory for a musical career. This affirmation of girliness, rather than womanhood, is contradictory to many contemporary goals of feminism. Girl groups are an attempt to stop the biological, ideological and chronological clocks. In affirming adolescence, without any desire for womanhood, this is a way to keep femininity in a subordinate role’ - Brabazon, 2012: 214
  22. 22. ‘most of us scream ourselves silly at a concert at least once, although many refuse to admit it later, because like a lot of female experience, our teen infatuations have been trivialized, dismissed and so silenced’ - Garratt, 1984: 140
  23. 23. There’s a “truth” of pop music to be found in the wet seats at Beatles or Stones concerts – as much as in the pantheon of Lennon’s songwriting or the vicissitudes of the counter culture’ - Reynold, 1990: 45
  24. 24. "I find it kind of insulting that I can't have any ideas on my own because I'm a female, or that people from undeveloped countries can't have ideas of their own unless it's backed up by someone who's blond-haired and blue-eyed.” - M.I.A, Pitchfork, 2007
  25. 25. ‘We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality … It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes’ - Beyonce, 2014
  26. 26. ‘It wasn’t just one journalist getting it wrong, everybody was getting it wrong. I’ve done music for, what, 30 years? I’ve been in the studio since I was 11; [Arca] had never done an album when I worked with him. He wanted to put something on his own Twitter, just to say it’s co-produced. I said, “No, we’re never going to win this battle. Let’s just leave it.” But he insisted’ Bjork in Pitchfork, 2015