19 Nov …Because I was born a girl
I would like to firstly acknowledge that it was with the support of four men that the production of this song was made possible (the irony of which is not lost on me, I assure you). The lyrics are definitely not about pointing the finger at men, it is the challenging of a system that limits human potential and holds us all captive to a past system that is long overdue for change. I view the dismantling of this system as having as many benefits for men as women for that should be the point of equality.
What this song is about then is bringing into the general consciousness the fact that our societies are still predominately organised within the *realm of a patriarchal system of doing things. Women may have won equal rights in some places but we are yet to win equal treatment.
Our modern version of the patriarchal system may sound different from the past, however this only acts to silence any challenge to its power. With the framing of deceptive language that creates an illusion of equality rather than a reality of equality. We are confronted by this illusion everyday that passes and fails to break through the wall that is the gender pay gap.
The patriarchal system still prevails in our laws even when they tell us women have equal rights, these laws are enforced in a way that makes sure we experience them from a position of disadvantage. Take for example the Shared Parental Responsibility amendment under the Family Law Act of 2006 in Australia, on the surface it declares itself as equal with words such as “shared”. In action though what these words do is deny the lived experiences of women, which tell us that for the majority of mothers when it comes to parenting they fulfil the bulk of the caring duties. This is an extremely important fact to note when deciding on parental rights but it becomes irrelevant with laws that aim to distract us away from the significance of caring duties. The implication of laws such as these is that they keep women in a position of subordination and at worst put their lives and lives of their children at risk.
So this song is referring to the realisation that the patriarchal system still exists within our culture and that it is a system that not only limits women’s opportunities but it is a system that is limiting human potential as a whole. It is very empowering to be able to recognise what you are up against because it provides the the opportunity to question it and ultimately challenge it. Women hold the power to change the patriarchal system of doing things and this song is just as much about recognising that power.
(Note: the realm of the patriarchal system within this context just means we organise our societies based mostly from the perspective of the lived experience of men, the consequence is the benefits are directed to a greater degree towards men compared to women whether consciously or unconsciously).