Denise Sullivan

Author, Journalist, Culture Worker

Happy International Women’s Day

Scottish songbird Annie Lennox wrote “Sisters are Doin’ it For Themselves” with her musical partner Dave Stewart of Eurythmics with the intention of the song becoming a feminist anthem. Nearly 30 years later, the song stands as a female-positive statement, bolstered by the vocal accompaniment of Aretha Franklin, the unheralded originator of feminist song. Before the women’s movement officially started to roll, in 1967, Franklin famously cut the Otis Redding tune, “Respect,” and turned it on its head when she sang, “all I ask for is a little respect when you come home.”  Sitting in with Lennox on “Sisters” was a sly way to acknowledge Franklin’s pioneering status as a strong, statement-maker in song. The accompanying video is visual verification of the idea that as women, we move forward together, or not at all. According to She’s A Rebel, The History of Women in Rock & Roll by Gillian Gaar, Lennox initially approached Tina Turner who reportedly called the song “too feminist.” Too bad:  “Sisters Are Doin’ It For Themselves” hit Top 20 and did no harm to Franklin whose Who’s Zoomin’ Who album brought her back after a long absence from the airwaves and yielded another high charting hit with “Freeway of Love.” Sisters did it again. Amen.

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Filed under: video, Women's rights, , , , , ,

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