I chose the song Young Woman’s Blues by Bessie Smith to represent some of the feminist ideas of the time. In the twenty’s, there was little to no freedom for the everyday woman. I like this song as Bessie describes how she doesn’t want to marry and settle down. For these reasons, she’s an outcast to society, as it was very uncommon to see a woman not wanting to marry. Marriage was an aspiration for women as it was the only job they could acquire. But Bessie makes it clear that she can get plenty of men and be independent without worrying about settling down. And in doing so, she is just as good as any other woman in society.
I chose to compare this song to Flawless by Beyonce. The feminist icon Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie is featured and she mentions that “I am expected to make my life choices always keeping in mind that marriage is the most important. Now marriage can be a source of joy and love and mutual support. But why do we teach girls to aspire to marriage and we don’t teach boys the same?” Although women have so much more to aspire to then marriage now, it is still not completely accepted if a woman doesn’t get married. However, it isn’t the same for men. If it is still taught to women that marriage is a crucial rite of passage, then it should be taught to men as well. And, even still, we need to teach young girls and women of today that your life isn’t defined by finding a husband, and that your worth is not dependent on your relationship status.