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They Say I’m Different

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                                                   They Say I’m Different

  As women/transgender women, we must deal with the media organs directed by white men every day. Magazines, news, music channels are all under patriarchy. We see a lot of women and transgender people whose names haven’t been heard because of the pressure of the male-dominated society. In the article in the New York Times, we have seen significant successes, but because of the oppression of the male-dominated society, we see a lot of women and transgender people whose names are unheard of. Recovery project is the concept of telling the story of women who are forgotten in the dusty bookshelf or never even heard because of the social pressures in the history. This helps the new generation to learn about the true history while also helping us to see how everything is similar in case of patriarch pressure like the old days and how can we make more improvements in our lives. In my essay, I write about a talented but unheard funk musician Betty Davis. She is not related to my study area, but I wanted to tell her story because she affected me with her beautiful voice and amazing soul in one day.  

  “I ain’t nothing but a nasty girl.” As a millennium generation, I learned about this magnificent woman from the canceled Netflix show Nasty Gal. Far away from the TV show reality, Betty Davis’s story started when she born. Intertwined with art and far from popular culture this funk genius born at July 26, 1945, in Durham, NC. In her grandmother’s farm, she started to discover funk music. When she wrote her first song she was only the age of 12. At age 16 she left her house in North Carolina and went to New York City for a fashion institute of technology.


  After moving to New York, she started to develop her beautiful voice and artistic moves in the man’s music world. She found herself instantly at home in the Greenwich Village of the late 60s, she becomes friends with Hendrix and The Family Stone and becoming part of Manhattan’s cultural moveable movement. She has entered this wild world with her own artful, erotic and bold style. She sang bluntly about sex on her own terms, she shows the world that punk is not only for men indeed women can do it better. When she saw Miles Davis playing she apparently didn’t think much of his jazz, but she thinks he was cool and told him so. This to inspiring artist get along well quick. This unusual couple married in 1968 although it didn’t last long .Miles, who was by that time in his 40s, terrified of losing the meaning of his work was introduced to many of the cultural influences that would block his work and inform his electric period by his much younger, hipper wife; while he persuaded her to become a performer and not to settle just for basic songwriting . Davis messed hard with the very stratified gender roles of the day when it came to sex and she did so with humor and appetite, as well as confidence and usually with passive aggression.


  But what was the problem of this bold, fashion icon funk singer? Why she is not a popular icon anymore? Her refusal to be molded by a white patriarchal record industry, which cost her a career and the clear links to the #Me-too movement via her involvement with the violent jazz musician/ ex-husband Miles Davis. She was way ahead of her time. Misunderstood and originally nasty gal herself Davis tried to survive in the patriarchal industry.  In the 1970s her albums failed to find the audience they deserved, and she was laid low by depression after the death of her father at the end of the decade, she retreated from the music business altogether. Her message wasn't that different from Bessie Smith who was two generations earlier from Davis. Those two bold women tried to expose the message for working-class black women deserved respect on their own terms and what’s more, they had a birthright to independence in general terms and should also enjoy the kind of sexual license that men usually take for granted.



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