It’s not just rap

Why don’t pop and indie get slammed in the media like rap does? Why are boys allowed to fantasize about rape and allowed to tell girls they’ll “never stop trying” in other genres of music? It’s a poorly disguised form of racism. Predominantly black genres are criticized while the rest are excused or just ignored.

Robin Thicke recently copped heaps for his Blurred Lines – and rightly so – but as he was one of the first white men to really get called out on this publicly in recent history, we don’t think it’s enough. 

Pink Floyd’s song: Don’t Leave Me Now reeks of misogyny. 

Don’t leave me now.
How could you go?
When you know how I need you 
To beat to a pulp on a Saturday night

Waters promised his fans that the lyrics had nothing to do with his personal life and that his relationship with his real ex-wife were “much more cordial”. This seemed to satisfy the public.

The Kooks Jackie Big Tits is appallingly misogynistic. 

Jackie Big Tits, is hiding in the corner
Respect is the word she shouts, as I implore her
Speaks her mind not me, cause I was only speaking freely
Interrupt me once more, I’ll take you to the cleaners

The pattern of misogyny in indie rock, pop and country music being ignored and allowed by society just perpetuates the problem, and the preoccupation with rap’s sexism has caused the issue to become racist as well. 

In order to fix the problem, we need to hold white artists to account just as much as any other.

Don’t let racism define sexism.


– Lily


2 thoughts on “It’s not just rap

  1. thediscriminationisproject

    I think this is a very valid point and it is not something I had considered earlier in terms of music. Although I am far from excusing this behaviour I think a large part of the difference between the way rap music and indie music is perceived is the fact that rap videos often glamourise the objectification of women whilst the average indie tune will feature a skinny ‘non threatening’ white man crying in the rain as the object of his affections walks by ignoring him. Making him look the victim even though the lyrics state otherwise. In rap and indie, the lyrics can be much the same but it is the visual representation that is key. ‘Blurred Lines’ only generated the public outcry that it did because the music video was so misogynistic. If he had taken the Justin Timberlake route and just danced in a black room with strobe lights I highly doubt the backlash would’ve been as harsh regardless of lyrical content. Sadly, people don’t listen to lyrics very closely, nor regard them with particular thought, and stick to the beat or where applicable, the video. After all, people use ‘Every Breath You Take’ by The Police as a Wedding Song. Need I say more?

  2. Music For Ears Not Eyes

    I think it’s fair to say that sometimes true musicians may be misinterpreted as misogynists simply because their songs are attempting to critique certain misogynist tendencies of society.
    Take Nirvana’s Polly as an example

    Polly wants a cracker
    Think I should get of her first
    Think she wants some water
    To put out the blow torch

    Got some rope, you have been told
    Promise you, have been true
    Let me take a ride, cut yourself
    Want some help, please myself

    Now was Kurt Cobain a misogynist? He doesn’t strike me as one, but I guess we’ll never truly know. What’s certain is the distinction between this song and say Robin Thicke’s blurred lines is the subject position. Listening to Nirvana, The lyrics are cold and disturbing as the listener is given the sense that someone is being held captive. It’s not a glorified sexualisation of women, but rather the dirty dark side of abuse that people would rather not talk about.
    As for Thicke, he sings about the ‘domestication’ of women, parading around as a pimp, who women supposedly love. So yes his music is of the misogynist variety, yet I think we should be careful about what music we label misogynist because there are many songs out there which would appear that way lyrically, yet are in fact critiquing society’s unfair treatment of women.

    But I guess the more pressing issue surrounding Robin Thicke’s Blurred lines is not the oppression of women, but rather the oppression of my eardrums.


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