Female empowerment in music: Halsey’s “Nightmare” draws upon personal experience to reject the patriarchy


   Ashley Frangipane, also known as Halsey, is a 24-year-old singer who has been gaining a lot of traction in the media recently. Throughout her career, she has witnessed discrimination as a woman and a member of the LGBT+ community. “Nightmare,” her new single, takes her rage towards sexism and homophobia and transforms it into a head-banging track. The bridge between each verse takes the idea that women need to be cordial 24/7 and crushes it:

      “‘Come on, little lady, give us a smile’

         No, I ain’t got nothin’ to smile about

         I got no one to smile for, I waited a while for

        A moment to say I don’t owe you a goddamn thing”

   Although female empowerment has come a long way in the last few years, there are still steps that society needs to take towards the acceptance of women who are unapologetically themselves. In the past, it was expected of women to have little originality or opinions. Halsey flips this idea and argues that she’s allowed to have her own feelings and emotions without pandering to men. By calling herself a nightmare, she’s reclaiming derogatory names and slurs she’s been called throughout her career.

   The track’s lyrics don’t draw upon her identity as a member of the LGBT community, but the music video which was released in conjunction with the single features an all-female cast and portrays romance as well as feminist themes. This track is a perfect “angry-anthem” in a wave of upbeat pop-music.