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Feminist Music: Deconstruction of the Patriarchy Through Women’s Voices
Unformatted Document Text:  2 Savage, 2003). When feminist musicians do break into the industry, other institutions, like the media, still attempt to silence their political impact. Silencing occurs by trivializing the musicians’ voices in terms of their feminist activism (Parker, 2002), positioning them as ‘merely’ a girl (Carson, Lewis, Shaw, 2004), stubbornly wanting to force the musicians into a box of femininity (Carson, Lewis, Shaw, 2004; McClary, 1991; Reynolds and Press, 1995), or by denying their existence and focusing on “the only male in the band, which, it could be argued, constitutes a concomitant effacement of the groups gynocentered themes and investment of the group with phallocentered” imagery (LaFrance, 2002: 98). Despite the ways in which institutions deny the voices of women, there is a strong trend among feminist music analysts that claim that feminist music opens up a space for women’s voices and women’s general concerns (Carson, Lewis, and Shaw, 2004; Collins, 2000; Davis, 1998; O’Brien, 2002; Marcic, 2002; McClary, 1991; Pope, 1994; Raha, 2005; Reynolds and Press, 1995; Quirino, 2004; Savage, 2003). Music, sung from a woman’s perspective, opens a form of fluidity that constructs a female voice and language (Dunn, 1994). Feminist “artists came to the music scene in an effort to, consciously and unconsciously, create and provide their own symbolic representation” (Savage, 2003: 24). The listeners then, because of the feminist artists’ politics, are able to find identity within the songs – by identifying with a lesbian theme, gender continuums, descriptions of sexual assault, everyday discrimination against minorities, etc. (Collins, 2000; Davis, 1998; O’Brien, 2002; Quirino, 2004; Raha, 2005; Savage, 2003). The importance of this identification is seen when listeners of feminist music reject those that they believe are

Authors: Murray, M. Geneva.
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Savage, 2003). When feminist musicians do break into the industry, other institutions,
like the media, still attempt to silence their political impact. Silencing occurs by
trivializing the musicians’ voices in terms of their feminist activism (Parker, 2002),
positioning them as ‘merely’ a girl (Carson, Lewis, Shaw, 2004), stubbornly wanting to
force the musicians into a box of femininity (Carson, Lewis, Shaw, 2004; McClary, 1991;
Reynolds and Press, 1995), or by denying their existence and focusing on “the only male
in the band, which, it could be argued, constitutes a concomitant effacement of the groups
gynocentered themes and investment of the group with phallocentered” imagery
(LaFrance, 2002: 98).
Despite the ways in which institutions deny the voices of women, there is a strong
trend among feminist music analysts that claim that feminist music opens up a space for
women’s voices and women’s general concerns (Carson, Lewis, and Shaw, 2004;
Collins, 2000; Davis, 1998; O’Brien, 2002; Marcic, 2002; McClary, 1991; Pope, 1994;
Raha, 2005; Reynolds and Press, 1995; Quirino, 2004; Savage, 2003). Music, sung from
a woman’s perspective, opens a form of fluidity that constructs a female voice and
language (Dunn, 1994).
Feminist “artists came to the music scene in an effort to, consciously and
unconsciously, create and provide their own symbolic representation” (Savage, 2003:
24). The listeners then, because of the feminist artists’ politics, are able to find identity
within the songs – by identifying with a lesbian theme, gender continuums, descriptions
of sexual assault, everyday discrimination against minorities, etc. (Collins, 2000; Davis,
1998; O’Brien, 2002; Quirino, 2004; Raha, 2005; Savage, 2003). The importance of this
identification is seen when listeners of feminist music reject those that they believe are


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