Tag Archives: popular music

Who Needs Feminism?

Who needs feminism? The music industry does for starters. The launch of the brilliant new blog ‘Who Needs Feminism?’ Has sparked women to hold up pieces of paper to share why they need feminism. These sum up why we started this cause:

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tumblr_mewc7ojkoY1rmnjg6o1_500We need feminism because there is no such thing as ‘Blurred Lines’, no means no.

We need feminism because women should be treated as equals in music videos not play things.

We need feminism because women in music should be judged on their talent and not just their sex appeal.

Why do you need feminism? Tell us below.

-Rocheen.

Sex, Power, and Music

Warning: lyrics and content may offend.

This is a compilation of lyrics I’ve taken from various artists on the current Billboard hottest 100 chart. It’s all about sex, power, and objectification. As far as I can gather women are ‘bitches’, ‘hoes’, and are just there to, excuse my crude language, shake it, suck it, or snort it. Women are portrayed graphically as sex objects to be used and then left. They are called derogatory names like hoes, and are mostly seen as the less powerful sex. Their appearance is commented on constantly especially in a sexual manner.

Yes I know women objectify themselves. Yes I know that Britney Spears has a song in the charts titled Work B**ch. Yes I know that sex is a massive part of the industry because it sells. Yes I know that this represents a select songs out of the list. Yes I’m sure I’ll get called prudish (again) in the comments section. But is it so wrong to expect better out of male artists in 2013?

What do you think of the lyrics?

-Rocheen

How To Complain About Misogynist Music

When I was 7 I wrote to Kelloggs complaining that there weren’t enough female characters on their cereal boxes after wondering why Snap Crackle and Pop from the Rice Bubbles pack were all boys. Admittedly, all it got me was some free Simpson water pistol style toys that they were promoting and a letter in the mail, however it felt good to voice my concerns. A feminist from a young age, a thought entered my (now damp thanks to the water pistols and my little brother) head: I wonder what they would do if it wasn’t just me that complained? Would they put a girl character on the front? Years later and it feels like I’m fighting the same battle, only this time with the music industry.

End Violence Against Women has recently launched a campaign challenging sexist and racist music videos. Joining forced with Imkaan and Object, this post outlines what they want to achieve and how you can help complain about sexist and racist music in various ways. This campaign has, unfortunately resulted in criticism with people crying censorship. However it does have some great ideas on how ordinary people can fight misogyny in the music industry. Therefore I’d like to build on the good parts of their post, and add some of my own.

How to Complain About Misogynist Music:

1. Twitter, Facebook, & Blogging

“Tell them how the videos make you feel, and let them know that you’d be more likely to buy their music in future if they change the way they portray women.” I definitely agree with EVAW on this front. Don’t be shy to tell artists and record companies how you feel about their music,  on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media sites. Blog, tweet, share. Be loud & stand your ground as the more complaints they get the more they’ll have to take notice.

2. Parody Videos & Comedy

Humour is always a good way to diffuse a situation, and get your point across. As many budding passionate comedians racking up the views on YouTube have learnt, parody videos are the way to go. Why? It allows a creative way of showing the world that the objectification of women in these videos is so completely ludicrous, and sexist that the musicians that are creating them are a joke. Reducing a musicians career to a laughingstock (ala Sarah Palin & SNL but in music) means that maybe they’ll think again when making their next album or music video.

3. Protest Signs & Traditional Media

Have you ever seen those masses of groups outside morning  talk shows with protest signs? If you live near a talk show studio, like the Sunrise one at Martin Place here in Sydney, and you know a misogynist musician will be playing on their show make some creative signs, grab some passionate friends, and protest. You’ll get televised to a large audience and more often than not the hosts come outside and interview people. Protest outside the offices of the record company, protest outside a musicians concert, or anywhere they will be. Just be sure to email a few journalists to come get some exposure! The more you get the conversation started, and make the record execs feel under pressure; the more likely they are to rethink their choices.

Oh and just one more:

4. Don’t buy their music. 

 

Any more ideas?

-Rocheen.

It’s Not a Love Song, It’s Sexual Assault

Let’s talk love songs, and songs about relationships. There are some songs that might be mistaken as being romantic music about unrequited love, however when you actually listen to the lyrics they have alarming undertones of sexual assault and domestic abuse. You listen to it twice and realise that the song is about a poor girl being stalked, or about some poor girl with a boyfriend hell-bent on conforming to gender stereotypes to the point that he makes degrading comments about her. These songs aren’t limited by genre either, here is a list of songs that I feel have sexist and violent undertones, and perpetuate ideas that stalking and sexual assault are acceptable because it’s ‘love’.

Warning: Some content may offend.

Rock/Pop:

Nickelback- Follow You Home

‘You can slap me in the face/You can scream profanity
Leave me here to die alone but/I’ll still follow you home’

So basically the female in this song doesn’t want the male to keep harassing her, but he keeps persevering. The song goes on to say that she can yell at him, swear, put a bounty on his head, kill him etc. and he will still follow her home. It’s creepy, and perpetuating the idea that if a male keep harassing and stalking a female then he will have her eventually. She’s not playing hard to get when she takes out a restraining order or tries to kill you she’s that scared.

Country:

Brad Paisley ‘I’m Still A Guy’

‘But when you say a back rub means only a back rub/ Then you swat my hand when I try
Well, now what can I say at the end of the day/Honey, I’m still a guy’

Apart from all the grossly exaggerated gender stereotypes this song feeds into I find the words ‘but when you say a backrub is just a backrub and swat my hand when I try’ the most alarming lyrics of this song as it has undertones of sexual assault. That and he called the female love interests dog a sissie, and is feeding into traditional masculinity through clearly showing his ideas of a ‘real man’. He perpetuates the idea that males are the dominant gender and, to him, a male doing anything he considers feminine is equivalent to removing his testicles. It is reinforcing gender stereotypes and shows women as weak, unimportant, and manipulative.

Dance/Pop:

Cobra Starship- It’s Warmer In The Basement

‘This is what you get/When you’re talking back baby
I never bounce a check/So give it up, baby
Open up your eyes/I want to watch you cry… No one hears you in this room’

Another incredibly creepy ‘love’ song about a male who has a female love interest trapped in the basement. The dissonance between the upbeat music and the torture, sexual assault, and kidnap style lyrics is astounding. In this song the male sings about how no one will hear her cries as he has her trapped. It also has incredibly violent disturbing undertones about how he is filming her pleas, and that locking her up was some sort of punishment for talking back to him.

What do you think of these lyrics?

Any more to add to the list?

-Rocheen

Misogyny, Sexualisation & Popular Music

Music should be expressive. It is a creative outlet that allows topics to be discussed and raise awareness for issues in a unique way. However more and more we’re seeing a worrying trend of misogynist lyrics, and music videos featuring the degradation of women as they are overly sexualised and used as nothing more than props. The last few years has seen artists such as Robin Thicke creating songs that accept rape culture, and perpetuate the idea of ‘blurred lines’. In 2013 these lyrics should not be so widely accepted by the public as songs that are clearly misogynist in nature continue to climb the charts. The goal of this blog is raise awareness of how damaging the acceptance of music like this can be to the fight for equality, and how it can negatively influence the way society sees women, and perpetuates rape culture. This type of music should not be so easily accepted. We’re here to start the conversation to shift the culture.