Song can be viewed at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r_3Vqu0_mQ
Lyrics:"Not A Pretty Girl"
I am not a pretty girl
that is not what I do
I ain't no damsel in distess
and I don't need to be rescued
so put me down punk
maybe you'd prefer a maiden fair
isn't there a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere
I am not an angry girl
but it seems like I've got everyone fooled
every time I say something they find hard to hear
they chalk it up to my anger
and never to their own fear
and imagine you're a girl
just trying to finally come clean
knowing full well they'd prefer you
were dirty and smiling
and I am sorry
I am not a maiden fair
and I am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere
and generally my generation
wouldn't be caught dead working for the man
and generally I agree with them
trouble is you gotta have youself an alternate plan
and I have earned my disillusionment
I have been working all of my life
and I am a patriot
I have been fighting the good fight
and what if there are no damsels in distress
what if I knew that and I called your bluff?
don't you think every kitten figures out how to get down
whether or not you ever show up
I am not a pretty girl
I don't want to be a pretty girl
no I want to be more than a pretty girl
I stumbled across this song because my girlfriend recommended to me. She is a huge Ani Difranco and when I told her about the assignment, her eyes widen and she yelled: “Ani Difranco, Ani Difranco!!!”. She was so excited that some of her enthusiasm rubbed off on me and I decided to go with Ani even though I had never heard of her before. Moreover, this is about a woman coming to grips with living in a male center society. The woman in the song is tired of being talk down to her entire life and tired of people thinking that she needs help, and can’t do things herself: “ I am not a kitten stuck up a tree somewhere”. The song also addresses the fact that all women do not want to be what society and the mainstream media tell them to be as seen in the title of the song and recurring lyrics of: “I am not a pretty girl”.
I can’t really say that this song makes me feels empowered as a female because I am not a female. However, I feel that I can identify with that the artist is saying and how she feels about her situation. The song does not really suggest ways to fight the powers that be, but rather, encourages women to not let other people and the media set their standards of living and what it means to be happy. Again, the song is not really about fighting oppression, but more about changing the way you approach society so that you may be immune to its rash and meaningless tendencies.
I cannot really say that if there were more songs like this that it would change how feminisms is viewed and understood. The reason I say this is because most people won’t listen to this song over and over again trying to uncover the hidden medium. I think feminism would be better served if it tried to communicate in a difference venue other than music (I think entertainment/movies/theater would better serve feminism). Lastly, I feel that this music and this song communicated effectively what the artist was trying to say. The sharp play of the guitar coupled with the dissonance of the lyrics and drums create an internal tension in the song that effectively portrays the artists’ concern and feelings.