Published Dec 18, 2013Although the relationship between feminism and music is a constant, evolving conversation, 2013 was packed with important events that prompted even more discussion than usual. From written manifestos to the twerk seen around the world, these were some of the highs and lows for women in music this year.
Don't forget to head over to our 2013 in Lists section for more Year-End fun.
Grimes takes feminist manifestos from zines to Tumblr:
Taking a page from the Riot Grrrl handbook, Grimes wrote an impassioned manifesto on her Tumblr decrying sexism in the music industry, calling out everyone from the media to male peers for disrespecting and discriminating against her.
Chvrches call out nasty online commenters:
Similarly, Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches wrote a piece for The Guardian speaking out against online misogyny. After being bombarded by an onslaught of threatening and sexually offensive messages, Mayberry struck back, stating that the behaviour is not something women should have to settle for and "deal with."
Female prominence across all genres:
From pop to R&B, female artists made a prominent impression on music — from Lady Gaga and Katy Perry's spotlights on the mainstream charts to Sky Ferreira, Janelle Monáe, Marnie Stern and Neko Case, women helped shape the musical landscape of the year. Even in Canada, we had remarkable releases from Braids, Austra, Sarah Neufeld, Zaki Ibrahim and Lindi Ortega.
Kathleen Hanna returns with the Julie Ruin:
After a nine-year absence from the music scene, Riot Grrrl icon Kathleen Hanna returned to music with new/revived band the Julie Ruin. A film documenting the life of the feminist activist also premiered this year at SXSW, revealing that Hanna actually took time away from her career because she was diagnosed with late-stage Lyme disease, but has chosen to focus on music once again.
Rising pop stars embrace feminism:
Newcomers Haim and Lorde both enjoyed mainstream success this year with their debuts. But where pop giants like Katy Perry and Kelly Clarkson have publicly denied being a feminist, this crop of new artists are embracing the powerful F-word and its empowering ideologies.
Find the negative aspects of the Year in Music for Women on the next page.