Welcome to another Feminist Friday, that time of the week where we head into the weekend by fangirling over our favorite videos of the moment. This week it’s all about music videos with themes of female empowerment, activism, politics and resilience.
First up we have Christina Aguilera and Demi Lovato’s new music video for their duet ‘Fall In Line’ which they recently performed to rave reviews at the 2018 Billboard Music Awards. The track is all about speaking to young girls, promoting female empowerment, telling the listener they do not have to be beholden to the world’s standards that can often make us feel trapped, especially as women.
Both artists are known for shunning the typical path for female artists, stirring up controversy, and owning their own identity and strength. It’s ridiculous to think that a woman being truly authentic and making her own rules is still seen as a threat to society and power structures, which is why we love when artists encourage others to do the same.
“It’s just the way it is / And maybe it’s never gonna change / But I got a mind to show my strength / And I got a right to speak my mind,” the vocalists proclaim on the chorus. “And I’m gonna pay for this / They’re gonna burn me at the stake / But I got a fire in my veins / I wasn’t made to fall in line.”
The second video we’re featuring is from Hurray for the Riff Raff, whose new music video for the track ‘Pa’lante’ is off their album ‘The Navigator’. The band, fronted by a Puerto Rican girl from the Bronx, Alynda Lee Segarra, is using this 8 minute video to draw attention to the plight of people in Puerto Rico who are still suffering the fallout from hurricane Maria, among other injustices.
According to Richard Villegas from Remezcla, the song references colonialism, the history of the mass sterilization of Puerto Rican woman through the American health system, but also the strength of the Puerto Rican people despite the hardship.
The term “pa’lante,” is a Boricua mantra of perseverance and resistance, and this is portrayed in the video through the stories of two protagonists, Manuel and Milagros, both struggling to make ends meet, provide for their families, and deal with the problems brought about after hurricane Maria. The video was directed by Kristian Mercado Figueroa, who says “Pa’lante” is a strong term within Puerto Rican culture signifying forward momentum.
“[It’s] a philosophical idea that if something bad happens, you still need to move forward. That runs across Latin America but I feel like Puerto Ricans have always carried that in their vernacular. If someone tells you pa’lante, you instantly know what they mean,” he told Remezcla. The video was shot over 9 days in both New York and Puerto Rico, and Kristian’s own aunt who was displaced after the hurricane became part of the production, adding personal stories and authenticity to what is seen on screen.
The final video we want to share is from Scottish artist Elle Exxe, whose lyric video for ‘Queen’ we shared in a previous Feminist Friday edition. She has now released the music video, and we couldn’t help but revisit this female empowerment anthem, especially because of who is featured on screen.
The video pulls together homemade footage from her female fans, which includes famous athletes, gold medal winning paralympians, Olympians and TV personalities such as Clare Balding, Beth Tweddle, Gabby Logan, Rebecca Adlington, Hannah Crockfort, Menna Fitzpatrick, Jennifer Keho and many more all celebrating their empowerment and success along to Elle Exxe’s triumphant pop anthem.
The song is an all-female produced feminist anthem, it was mastered by Katie Tavini (Skepta, Sonic Boom Six, The Charlatans) and mixed by Olga Fitzroy (Dua Lipa, Coldplay, Sophie Ellis-Bextor). Less than 15% of radio music is written by women and less than 2% is fully produced by women. Elle Exxe is looking to highlight this point and showcase the incredibly talented women of the world with the ‘Queen’ video.
Elle Exxe’s track is getting rave reviews in the British press, and it’s not hard to see why. We’re going to end on a high this week, giving a shout out to all our “Queens” out there!