Can't Stop the Grrrls: Confronting Sexist Labels in Music from Ariana Grande to Yoko Ono (Hardcover)
"This is a convincing call to action." Publishers Weekly Words and labels can hurt us all. And for many female musicians, the wounds are everywhere. From stars like Britney Spears and Mariah Carey to classic icons like Yoko Ono, female musicians have long been the target of double standards and toxic labels in the media and pop culture: liar, crazy, snake, diva, slut, b*tch. These words hurt--the popular expression "sticks and stones" is wildly wrong. Lily Hirsch confronts the full range of this sexist labeling as well as the repercussions, concentrating on the experiences of Yoko Ono, Courtney Love, Britney Spears, FKA twigs, Taylor Swift, Kesha, Mariah Carey, and Ariana Grande, among many others. While men can make outrageous backstage demands, women like Carey are punished as "divas." A sign of supposed genius for men, "crazy" is a word of condemnation for many women--with legal ramifications in Spears' case. Hirsch dives into the world of these women, looking at their personal lives, relationships and breakups, music, media coverage, public reception, as well as the origins of these toxic labels and how they have caused serious damage. Can't Stop the Grrrls reveals the inner workings of misogyny and invites us to think about these remarkable women on their own terms--showing us how women have fought back too, sometimes reclaiming these words and their own stories through music.
Lily E. Hirsch is the author of Weird Al: Seriously. She has written five books on topics ranging from Jewish music's history to music in criminal law. When not teaching or writing as visiting scholar at California State University, Bakersfield, Hirsch blogs at insultingmusic.com. She lives in Bakersfield, California.