“Being Your Own Person is Better Than Needing a Man”: A Look at Female Hip Hop Artists Ana Tijoux and Rebeca Lane
The importance of women's existence is more than just being a woman. Ana Tijoux and Rebeca Lane connect through their love of music to show the world the power of feminism. With their lyrics, the audience gets an idea of what it is like to live as a woman. Lane and Tijoux are both icons of feminism that have worked hard to bring women together. They create music that travels throughout the foundations of independence and hard work. In this paper, I will compare Tijoux's "Antipatriarch" and Lane's "Lunar Woman" to showcase the ways these hip hop artists uphold the ideals of feminism because feminism is for everybody.
Some say that women are just as strong as men, or even stronger. Ana Tijoux and Rebeca Lane both have created strong and meaningful songs that show the empowerment of all women. The title of the songs gives audiences the iconic “girl power” message. On the one hand, Tijoux’s “Antipatriarch” gives the reader and listener a sense of how sisterhood should be a priority to women. On the other hand, Lane’s “Lunar Woman” is diverse. The lyrics to the song give the title meaning as it is a deeply personal view into Lane’s experience as a woman. “Lunar Woman” has to do with the female body. The lyrics give details as to why the female body is far more important than making men happy. In both songs, women are the top priority and the main characters throughout the whole video. Both song lyrics have a deep meaning to them and they are a portrayal of a bigger movement for women. Thinking of what women go through and the different obstacles that pushes them to become stronger, gives the songs the potential to change minds of what others think about regarding women as being objects. Ultimately, as feminism grows all around the world, these female hip hop artists make the point that being “your own person” is better than “needing” a man.
Becoming more than a “flower,” to be something more than what society paints women to be, that is the example given in “Lunar Woman.” The lyrics explain that women choose and strongly want to be more than an objectified ornament. Lane sings, “Since my mother birthed me into this world they marked pink the color of my path. But mom I like purple, I like poetry and melancholy. I don’t believe in fairy tales or in fantasies. I don’t want to belong to nobody, I want to be my own…” The impact that is shown throughout the quote is important realizing how being “your own person,” as a woman, means becoming independent. Focusing on what makes someone feel fulfilled is the key to happiness.
Tijoux relies on the repetition of the lyrics, “You won’t…” to rise into the climax of the song.
Being a strong independent woman can be difficult. However, the hardships women endure becomes motivation. For example, Lane uses menstruation to symbolize the literal life of the world even as it gives women pain. Lane shares the lyrics of how women’s menstrual cycle is the origin of birth. She sings, “From my uterus all the people were born, my monthly blood is menstrual from where life is born, not from your rib. I didn’t come into this world to make you happy nor for your blows to leave me scarred.” In this context the whole population is here, living because of the power of women’s bodies. With a single egg, a woman conceives, a new life is made. Tijoux on the other hand, spreads a message of having a strong will power and of being strong in general. The chorus of the song gives out the main ideas and topics that are important in this category: “You won't humiliate me, you won't yell at me. You won't put me down, you won't hit me. You won't denigrate me, you won't force me. You won't silence me, you won't shut me up…” The words themselves are motivating as the song continues. Tijoux relies on the repetition of the lyrics, “You won’t…” to rise into the climax of the song. She effectively motivates her audiences to list out all the ways women suffer under the rules of the patriarchy.
Overall even though both songs have strong messages, the point of view in each song is different. Tijoux’s “you” is aimed at the male gaze while Lane’s song is deeply personal. The visuals showcase the influence of the songs’ points of view. For example, Tijoux’s song focuses on femmes around the world and builds the idea of community through various representations of women. Tijoux rarely makes an appearance in her own video. Meanwhile, Lane is the sole person in her video. She sings towards an empty room in a lavender skirt. Furthermore, Lane and Tijoux prioritize what women find important. Not only does sexism affect women, it affects men and many young adults. As both songs and videos make viewers question the validity of machismo and the patriarchy, the lyrics become more impactful. Tijoux sings her song with an enlightened tone that gives the listener a better sense of what really should be taking place. Because of the way she sings, the lyrics stick. “Lunar Woman” has power with a serious tone providing the narration.
Women from all over the world have the power to liberate themselves. Machismo is not an option for these women and combat it by strengthening themselves. The women, both Tijoux and Lane, have expressed themselves in the making of these songs to show their pride and the flaws that women have that are perfectly fine. They show how with a woman: the world is made. Through time women have been looked down upon with the making of this song they important to women is prioritize and is important for people all over the world to understand that women are not just women. Women are the foundation within the population and are just as strong as any other human being. The strength that women have is in the two videos that educate.
In conclusion, society plays a big role when it comes to women being a part of men’s everyday lives. Men are not superior and they should face stronger consequences for hurting women. That is the point that both Lane and Tijoux make, which is why their music videos have a big impact on women themselves. The importance of women's existence is more than just being a woman. Ana Tijoux and Rebeca Lane connect through their love of music to show the world that they are powerful women themselves. This is inspirational for young women everywhere who see them as role models. Lane and Tijoux are both icons of feminism that have worked hard to bring women together. They create music that travels throughout the foundations of independence and hard work.
Lane, Rebeca. “Mujer Lunar.” Canto, YouTube, 25 Oct. 2014, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XO7GZmwQCb8.
Tijoux, Ana. “Antipatriarch.” Vengo, YouTube, 29 May 2015, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RoKoj8bFg2E.