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The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The Student News Site of Quinnipiac University

The Quinnipiac Chronicle

The music that’s all the rage right now

Alex Kendall

On June 24, 2022, the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, a 1973 ruling that guaranteed women the right to an abortion. Last Tuesday tens of thousands women in Iceland refused to work, as a form of protest against the ever-persistent gender pay gap. In 2017, Russia decriminalized domestic violence, unless it is so severe it results in a hospital stay. And I can keep going.

It’s the 21st century and yet it’s like the years of fighting from the women who came before us didn’t happen. It’s a fact every woman is painfully aware of. Consciously or not, it’s ever present in the back of our minds.

Years of gender roles did not allow women to express themselves in the same way men could. So they found their own little way through art.

That’s where the term “feminine rage” comes in. It has been explained as an ancestral and inherited response to the struggles, oppressions and wrongdoings that women have been subjected to.

It is not a new concept. It’s been here as long as we have. It was just in the background, ever persistent but brushed aside. Until Paris Paloma’s “labour” emerged through TikTok, unknowingly creating its own genre.

With a powerful chorus and even stronger bridge, “labour” garnered over 1.5 million streams in the first 24 hours of its release.

The lyrics, “All day, every day, therapist, mother, maid / Nymph, then a virgin, nurse, then a servant / Just an appendage, live to attend him / So that he never lifts a finger / 24/7 baby machine / So he can live out his picket fence dreams / It’s not an act of love if you make her / You make me do too much labour,” combined with the background vocals of little children screaming the song, created an enormous emotional response — and it just picked up from there.

Paloma’s other hit “the fruits” — which ironically came before “labour” and yet blew up after it — took a slightly more aggressive turn if you look closely at the lyrics.

I could dissect every single line and write an entire article on that song alone. It has become an unofficial anthem for wronged women in the media via TikTok.

While the first half of my favorite verse of “the fruits”: “Devil you call me / But seem to be enjoying / The fruits of my labour that came to me too young / When he stole my virtue / I’m glad it seems to serve you / That I was born a daughter not a son” is powerful on its own, it’s the latter half that is the most important.

“Screaming birds sound an awful lot like singing / And I will tell you now / That I’m not even singing / There’s no escape for some.” In my opinion, this explains the entire phenomenon of the feminine rage music genre.

These lyrics show that music can be more than a set of lyrics combined with a melody and rhythm behind them.

Women are tired and angry. Do I really have to spell it out?

And it is not just about the very obvious sexist laws and issues that are still persistent in our society. It’s about the tiny things, things that someone who wasn’t raised as a woman would not even stop to think twice about. Women have been expressing their frustrations for years, but it either went unnoticed or ridiculed. Just listen to Jennifer Lopez, Marina or Halsey, for example.

Paloma’s angry lyrics seemed to have opened a damn, releasing new songs and suppressed emotions.

You don’t have to listen to Paloma specifically to understand what I’m talking about. Ever yelled out loud the lyrics to Taylor Swift’s “Would’ve, Could’ve, Should’ve?” If your answer is yes, you get it.

Some feminine rage songs can get rather graphic. “Us and pigs” by Sofia Isella released in January of 2023 spells it out without sugarcoating anything. No metaphors, no blank spaces for you to fill. Only pure and unfiltered frustration.

“In nine months, we’ll have a kid you won’t care about / And if the kids not straight, white and male / We guarantee a living hell / Murder in the name of a loving god / Our women are cattle, there’s blood on our kids / Are you being paid to not pay attention? / Does it have to happen to your mother, to your sister or your daughter / For you to take it personal?”

And I’m just listing a few examples here. I could sit here and list all of them out, comb through every decade, every genre of music to give you so many more examples and we would be here forever.

Isn’t that sad? Why is there still a need for this? You might think it’s just a reaction, just women releasing generations of repressed rage. It’s so much more though. Because no matter how much we scream, nothing really changes.

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Alexandra Martinakova
Alexandra Martinakova, Editor-in-Chief

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