One blog to rule them all
"Barrel of Monkeys" | Day 4
"Sit Still, Look Pretty"
from Daya EP (2015)
This is another one of those songs (like yesterday's) where the actual date can be a bit misleading because it was first released in 2015 as an EP, with the song re-released as a single and included on a later full album. I included this song on my list because songs about female empowerment are something that I really enjoy listening to, especially now that I have a daughter.
In one interview, Daya said, "I think [this song] is just about not being an accessory for someone else. Just having your own dreams and goals. Going after them and not having to always try to please someone else." In another interview she also said, "It's important for young girls to know that they don't have to act a certain way or depend on someone else for happiness."
Messages like these are important because there's so much pressure in society to do things a certain way, or be someone that you're expected to be, and it's been really damaging to young girls in particular to set expectations from a young age of what their life should look like or be like in order to be considered acceptable. My family and I were swimming at our apartment community's pool just yesterday and two women were talking about their goals in life. One of them literally said, "All I want to do is find a guy who will take care of me so I don't have to work or do anything." And don't get me wrong, this wasn't someone saying, "I aspire to be a devoted housewife" or, "My dream is to be a mother and raise children." I don't think there's anything wrong with having a goal of being the best spouse or parent you can be. But this woman was very clear in articulating that she wanted to just lay around all day, no goals or no desires of her own, just have a rich husband to literally take care of her every need so she could spend her days by the pool.
I don't want my daughter to grow up to be someone who aspires to be taken care of by someone else. Especially since, in my experience, that rarely comes with no strings attached. Where I live in Orange County is rather famous for having trophy spouses to successful men (and women!), and in a lot of cases it's very clear that there are expectations that come with "being taken care of" by someone else, even if it's just a posture of deference and a power imbalance. If my daughter grows up and wants to be an amazing homemaker or mother, that's just fine. But I want it to be because she has developed that as a goal for herself and not because of societal expectation or feeling like she has a lack of options.
So I look forward to continuing to listen to songs like this, and hopefully the messages in many of them (along with the rest of the things we're doing to be good parents trying to raise well-adjusted kids) will help my daughter realize that she needs to be who she is, and not who anybody else tells her she should be. And it's going to be important for my son to realize that women need to be accepted for who they are and not who society expects them to be.