When Dr. Angela Merkel was elected the first woman chancellor of Germany after a hard-fought campaign in which she was called a wallflower, an untested soufflé, and a bookworm, German musical groups dusted off the works of women composers and began playing them. What a difference a woman chancellor makes! Let’s encourage San Jose and Silicon Valley to follow these good footsteps without waiting for an American woman to be elected president, by putting out WELCOME MATS FOR WOMEN COMPOSERS.
It is an interesting fact that (1) the failure to promote and sponsor women composers and lyricists, (2) Don Imus’s ugly words on April 4, 2007 on Rutgers Scarlet Knights, and (3) the first decline in American’s women’s health— 20 percent—since 1918, are intertwined. When Opera San Jose singer, Barbara Lymberis, asked, “When are composers and lyricists going to create life-giving women’s roles in opera, instead of demeaning and depressing ones?” ( Dido and Aeneas for instance) she asked the right question. This same question must be asked, too, about songs of woman denigration in hip hop and rap.
Why are women being given such short shrift that there are few unmasochistic roles for women in operas and musicals, and few protests over the bigoted woman hatred one finds in some popular songs? Is there a significant difference between the 1791 lyrics in Mozart’s opera, The Magic Flute, which say of the Three Ladies, “These women profane our station./Condemn them to death and damnation…” and Don Imus’s 2007 “nappy headed whores”?
Sexism in America now must be seen as a public health menace, just as FGM is in Africa & the Middle East. The UN is fighting FGM, and Americans must fight the gender discrimination that underlies these new health statistics.
In this spirit ask all who have access to choirs, choral groups, bands, opera companies, etc., to put out the WELCOME MAT for women composers and lyricists. Women’s musical work holds up with the best, so we must feature it. Dr. Jennifer McDowell has created a strong musical resource that will help end gender discrimination in librettos, musicals/opera plots and single songs. Her work has been praised by Janet Gray Hayes, the Nobel Peace Prize winner—Dr. Shirin Ebadi—the Norwegian Nobel Institute, and Dr. Angela Merkel.
Visit the Martin Luther King, Jr. library and check out McDowell’s pro-woman, award-winning CD, SHE, A Tapestry of Women’s Lives, which features 12 singers and 18 great songs from a variety of sources. Hear the award-winning “Money Makes a Woman Free!” (track one), “Cinderella with a Ph.D.” (track 3) and “Jonathan’s Harem” (track 7) which is part of McDowell’s revue Jonathan’s Harem and the Harem Fights Back. The SHE CD received a CSU-ERFA grant.
Visit Abbie & Dolley Records, at www.abbieanddolleyrecords.com for a first look at The Women’s Basketball Songbook, that says “no” to Don Imus, and “yes” to women.
For further information contact Dr. Jennifer McDowell at 408.251.6775, E-mail email@example.com. Dr. McDowell is listed in Whos Who in America, and in The Gifts of Music.
Monday November 28, 8:33 am ET - SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 28 /PRNewswire
If you ask popular-music composer, Dr. Jennifer McDowell, whether having women in high office makes a difference, she will answer "Absolutely!"
Germany's first woman chancellor, Dr. Angela Merkel, was in the midst of a hair-raising battle for Germany's top spot, fighting off Party barons determined to sink this upstart female from East Germany, when she received a warm letter of support from McDowell in Dec. 2004, enclosing words and music for the opening song in her musical revue, "The Burkas' Can-Can."
This song, "Multiculturalism Died of Despair," makes fun of mindless multiculturalism while defending women's human rights and indicting anti- Semitism, issues close to Merkel's heart. McDowell was deeply touched by Merkel's speeches insisting on equal rights for Germany's Islamic women, and for an end to anti-Semitism, so she wrote her a letter of appreciation.
When on Feb. 1, 2005, Merkel answered McDowell with a letter of "heart- felt thanks" for her support, saying, "[Women's] human rights will stand at the very top of my agenda." She made a good friend in America.
Excerpts from McDowell's song are: "Multiculturalism, women's rights/ Are far apart like day and night/ Bride burning, honor killings, violence at home/ Things like this turn hearts to stone. You have to choose, you have to choose, you have to choose, choose, choose." Also "It is fashionable to say today 'Anti-Semitism's cool/ The Middle East grows it in the schools/ But East or West cruel is cruel."
This song compares favorably with John Lennon's "Woman Is the Nigger of the World."
Highlights of the gender prejudice Merkel experienced in her campaign include Frank Schwemmer's opera "Angela," with Michael Frowen's libretto, in which an eight-voice choir sweeps Merkel back into the kitchen to make plum cake, crooning she "can't make it [become chancellor]. She'll never be able to now." Famous last words.
Like Sandra Day O'Connor, McDowell believes women must hold positions of authority throughout society. In O'Connor's words, "citizens can have more confidence...in...government[s] that [have] representatives of both sexes." Having the brilliant, idealistic Merkel in the top office of the world's third most powerful country is a breath of fresh air, and an asset for Germany and the world's women.
McDowell's multiculturalism song is part of an award-winning project McDowell wrote titled "She, a Tapestry of Women's Lives." This powerful celebration of women has an 18-song, multi-genre CD released by Abbie & Dolley Records. The project has eight musical revues with 37 songs.
CD singers include Pamela Polland, Barbara Lymberis, Teresa Baker, Georgann Gaines, JoAnn Koobatian, and Mark Purcell. David Dumont, known as "Mr. Piano," plays in several songs including "Cinderella with a Ph.D."
"She's" revue "The Burkas' Can-Can" sizzles with "Airplane I and II"-type humor as an honest Muslim woman turns her upside-down world right-side up by calling for reforms East and West.
In another "She" revue, "Four Young Women of Valor," the Pearly Gates Judge, Barbara Jordan, asks Arlen Specter and Alan Simpson why they preferred America's son, Clarence Thomas, over America's daughter, Anita Hill. Monica Lewinsky notes that the media defended America's erring son, Bill Clinton, but humiliated America's daughter.
"She's" CD and revues received an award from the Calif. State University - ERFA Foundation.
Janet Gray Hayes, the first woman mayor of a major U.S. City, San Jose, said "She's" songs are "original, unique, timely." Anne C. Kjelling of The Nobel Institute commented "She" is "impressive" and "enjoyable." Rita Skillman, AAUW official, said "She" is "thought-provoking and remarkably brilliant."
Stanford University's Debra Gore-Mann, Assoc. Athletics Director, Title IX defender, supports "She's" women's sports songs. McDowell has written 18 altogether, the first and only collection of women's sports songs ever made.
Dr. McDowell is listed in "Who's Who in America," and profiled in "The Gifts of Music" along with Whoopie Goldberg, Judy Collins and Yo-Yo Ma. Her next book is "Jousting with the Russians Over Stalin's Secrets."
Abbie & Dolley Records is the only record company with music collected by both The Smithsonian and The Nobel Institute.
For further information, and photos, go online to the homepage of www.abbieanddolleyrecords.com.
This release was issued through eReleases. Press Release Source: Abbie & Dolley Records
SAN JOSE, Calif., Nov. 13, 2005
Dr. Angela Merkel, Germany’s new chancellor, wrote a letter of “heart-felt thanks” to America’s composer of popular music, Dr. Jennifer McDowell, because a song she wrote, “Multiculturalism Died of Despair,” exposes deep flaws in the concept “multiculturalism.” The song recounts how multiculturalism is papering over violations of women’s human rights, and is ignoring anti-Semitism and the rights of minorities in general. Merkel wrote McDowell that, “the observance of human rights will stand at the very top of [my] agenda.”
McDowell’s song opens her musical revue “The Burkas’ Can-Can,” which is part of an award-winning project McDowell created titled “She, a Tapestry of Women’s Lives.” This internationally-recognized project consists of an 18-song CD and eight musical revues which embody the same call for reform for women as one finds in John Lennon’s masterpiece, “Woman Is the Nigger of the World.”
Two of McDowell’s verses go like this: “Multiculturalism, women’s rights/Are far apart like day and night/ Bride burning, honor killings, violence at home/Things like this turn hearts to stone./You have to choose, you have to choose, you have to choose, choose, choose./Fashion is a cruel rule/It’s fashionable to say today ‘anti-Semitism’s cool’/The Middle East grows it in the schools/But East or West cruel is cruel, is cruel.”
This revue stars an Islamic woman who calls for reforms East and West, while the burkas she and the other revue dancers wear are transformed into garments of liberation by revue’s end. McDowell plans to make these reconfigured dresses available for women to buy, with a part of the proceeds going to the women of Afghanistan.
McDowell is the first woman composer to have her work collected by both The Nobel Institute and The Smithsonian. She is the first American composer to be acclaimed by a German chancellor. Germany is a major music country with the world’s third most powerful economy.
Songs in “She’s” CD include “Money Makes a Woman Free!” “Cinderella with a Ph.D.” and “A Heart Full of Love.”
To learn more about “She, a Tapestry of Women’s Lives,” its five song samples and eight revues, go online to www.abbieanddolleyrecords.com
Abbie & Dolley Records is the only record company in the world with work collected by both The Nobel Institute and The Smithsonian.
Dr. McDowell is a composer, lyricist, foreign policy expert and George Orwell specialist who has published the largest Orwell bibliography in existence and has written one of the 100 best articles on Orwell. She is listed in “Who’s Who in America.” Her next book is “Jousting With the Russians Over Stalin’s Secrets.”
- Reuters Press release
San Jose, Calif., Nov. 29, 2004
If you travel to Oslo, Norway and visit THE NORWEGIAN NOBEL INSTITUTE, you will find a pleasant surprise awaiting you in the library: an award-winning CD titled SHE, A Tapestry of Womens Lives written by composer and lyricist, Dr. Jennifer McDowell. On July 21, 2004, The Institute collected this Abbie & Dolley Records release for their 2003 Peace Prize winner, Iranian human rights attorney, Shirin Ebadi. This San Jose-made, 18-song CD featuring 12 top singers is in Norway now because of its dramatic tribute to Shirin Ebadi, and its overall artistic quality.
This release was issued through eReleases.