In this essay, the discussion will start with the jazz women’s “masculinity” and “femininity”. Then, I will analyze how “women” as the identity of inferiority may also be helpful in getting advantageous position in the jazz world. This differs from the traditional feminists’ hypothesis which women are always in the suppressed position as they could reverse such kind of fixed power relationship by women identity. Two jazz women are selected as the samples in the discussion:

--Mary Lou Williams, a popular female jazz musician from the early to middle time of last century in USA

--Bianca Wu (胡琳), a female jazz/pop singer in Hong Kong since 2006

Their use of the “marginalized” women identity as the road to success will be articulated and analyzed. Williams’s “black” identity will not be a main concern in this essay because her major competitors in the jazz world were the black men. In addition, “race” may no longer be a key variable in the case of Bianca. Hence, this paper does not choose to tackle the aspect of race. Since the essay will focus on the two jazz women’s career development, any positive influences on their career/work may treat as the empowerment for them.

Recommended Citation

WU, Sai Kwan, Kenneth (2010). Jazz women power : “marginalized” identity as a tool of empowerment. Cultural Studies@Lingnan, 21. Retrieved from http://commons.ln.edu.hk/mcsln/vol21/iss1/11/