this week i’m going to talk about halsey’s new song, nightmare, and subsequently, the massive crisis happening in the united states right now. i was planning on writing about the abortion crisis last week, as it was a newstorm as the time, but then nightmare came out. i was sidetracked by the incredible song and music video for the weekend, but as it came to a close, i realized nightmare is so much more than an incredible song and video. it’s a fight song for females, and female-identifying people, through this time of strife.
to give some context to this, right now, for those of you who are not following american politics, there’s a ton of crap happening. in eight different states, severe restrictions are being put on rights to abortion. “heartbeat bills” are being put into place, and it is becoming increasingly more difficult to have a safe abortion in these eight states. whether women are pro-choice or pro-life, they are speaking out against the legislation of the female body. it’s not about whether or not one chooses to have an abortion. it’s about body autonomy, and that’s something that should not be taken from us.
now for nightmare. nightmare is iconic, and i’m not just saying this because i would die for halsey. the song is an anthem, and absolutely perfectly timed for the occasion. it talks about femininity in the most raw way. with “trusted lies and trusted men/broke down and put myself back together again,” she is vulnerable with her fraught relationships, something we can all relate to. “i’ve pinched the skin in between my two fingers/and wished i could cut some parts off with my scissors.” is so visceral and real. my favourite part is the pre chorus, with some life changing lines.
“come on little lady, give us a smile/no, i ain’t got nothing to smile about.”
“i don’t owe you a goddamn thing.”
as women, i feel like many of us feel indebted to the world for some strange reason, like others are owed something from us. we push too hard and give too much and forget to care for ourselves until we crash and burn. by halsey acknowledging that we don’t have to smile, and that she doesn’t owe anyone anything, i feel i can acknowledge it too. it’s like a shared anger experience, with my feelings being screamed so i don’t have to.
speaking of feelings being screamed: “i’ve been polite, but i won’t be caught dead/letting a man tell me what i should do with my bed” and “i’m tired and angry but somebody should be.”
these lines understand the idea of being angry, and frustrated, and passionate about things that can’t seem to be changed. when she sings them, it’s an explosive fire that resonates so damn hard. she is a legend.
nightmare talks about women. fiery women. fiesty women. women with hella loud voices who want to share. these are the women of the future. sure, the abortion bills are awful, and already are causing negative effects in the united states. but us women, the nightmare women, will make it through.