The day that Halsey’s song “Nightmare” came out, I was ecstatic. A song in which a woman was an unapologetic female. Female in all the versions that one can be female, and not necessary the stereotypical side. I showed the song to friends, to family and to everyone I knew. Almost everyone responded positively to the song. All genders and sexual preferences knew what the song meant. The song is an anthem for all the women that are tired of trying to be controlled by the people in their lives, by complete strangers, and even the government. But there was one person (a man) who was unamused and told me, “This is just an angry song. Don’t you think that it doesn’t have a message?” I didn’t know how to answer. I was dumbfounded by his response. With all of my thoughts running at 200 mph, I just left without saying a word… and I wish I didn’t. That is why I am writing this.
Yes, it is an angry song. A song that we needed. We need to express that women are not just a piece of meat or property or an incubator. I would’ve asked him the following questions to get him thinking and make him notice the message behind this song:
- Have you ever been harassed on the street?
You could be wearing absolutely anything: jeans, skirt, dress, long-sleeve, short-sleeve, sweater, etc. Be of any age: a child, a teenager, a grown woman. You could be alone or with your family/friends. You just get called out for being female.
Do you know how that makes a person feel? It feels as if you are in danger, you feel dirty and ashamed, with your dignity being stripped away even though it is not your fault.
- Have you ever been ridiculed to the point that your self-esteem is lowered to the ground, hindering you from growing personally or professionally?
This is the tactic many people use to keep you close to them as their property. Because by playing with your mental health, it lowers your self-confidence and that way you can only depend on them.
It is such a tough task to get out of that situation. Even when you physically do, your mental and emotional state is recovering at a snail's pace. It is slow, but sure.
- Have you ever been subjected to hearing other people’s opinions (that act more as judgements and demands) on what to do with your body?
It is wrong that you have sex, but it is also bad if you haven’t. It is bad to not want to be a mother, as well as to want to be one. It is bad if you don’t want to be pregnant because you're is not ready, if you were raped, if you're sick, or even if you just don’t want to.
It is her choice because it is her body.
Why do people want to control women? Scratch that. Why do people want to control other people?
Women are not just your mother, your sister, your daughter… we are human beings. We know what we are doing. We are conscious of the world that we live in. We know that we have the power to change the world, we just need to believe in ourselves first. That is why songs like this are perfect. This way we know we are not alone. Once we hear other stories, we unite as one. We are bigger than our insecurities. We break down and put ourselves back together again without any help and way too often. We don’t owe anyone anything, we owe it to ourselves to provide a better living situation for everyone.
Who is in control?
We put up and endure too many uncomfortable situations daily. We can get tired and angry. We are feeling that with the injustice that is being lived. Somebody should be angry about it, everyone should be. We are moving on; we are fighting back.
I am recognizing what I am and what I can be, that is why I am learning to speak up and join my fellow human beings that are tired and angry at any kind of injustice that is occurring worldwide. I am done playing nice and being complacent in an unfair world. And I am not sorry. Don’t play with me.