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I Will Survive: How a Disco Hit Defined the Year 1979

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  1. Introduction
  2. The attitude reflecting the feelings
  3. The political battles
  4. The songs 'YMCA' by the Village People and 'We Are Family' by Sister Sledge
  5. Conclusion
  6. Bibliography

The oil crisis continued, unemployment remained high, Jimmy Carter's presidency suffered blow after demoralizing blow, disco was the popular music, movies were breaking new ground and television continued remained the number one form of entertainment and relaxation. America was faced with hostages being held in Iran, a near nuclear melt down at Three Mile Island in Pennsylvania, and the auto industry was losing profits and cutting jobs due to unprecedented foreign competition. Among the many songs that made it to number one that year was Gloria Gaynor's ?I Will Survive.? This song quickly climbed to the top of the charts to hit number one in January. A popular song in the discos, it also became a sort of anthem for the gay rights movement and was adopted by women in their continued struggle towards equality.

[...] It seems the only thing to survive into the 70's from the 60's was the drugs, and rock n' roll.? Yet among the turmoil and cynicism, many still strove to realize the dreams of the earlier decade. Gloria Gaynor's song, Will Survive? was the cry of millions of those who still sought equality and a better life. Those who sought to attain the happiness we supposedly had the right to pursue. Equal rights is still an issue today in America as a culture where women are statistically and socially unequal, and gays [...]


[...] It was only in 1979 that Mississippi ratified the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote. Despite the progress opposition was fierce and the patriarchal attitude of American culture deeply engraved on the nation along with homophobia as well. Terrorist attacks on abortion and family planning centers killed several doctors and destroyed many offices. That year, Dan White was convicted for the killing of San Francisco's mayor and a supervisor of his staff who was gay. Yet White was given the most lenient sentence of manslaughter and only sentenced to eight years. [...]

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