Tag Archives: sexist

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.

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Shit people say to female musicians

recent HuffPost blog entry by Steph Guthrie has shined a light on crappy things men say to women who play music. A post pocked by tens of contributions by female musicians on Twitter, Guthrie’s piece shows that sexism in the industry is still wide awake and teething. 

The comments range from “Girl bassists are hot.” and ”Oh, you’re IN the band!” all the way to ”You must’ve dated at least half your band.”

For those who would like to suggest that women are not facing prejudice in the music biz, we’d like you to think again. 

“You should specialize. People don’t like girls who do too much,” is a cringeworthy example of women being told they must be appealing as females in order to have a decent audience. If people like Sinead O’Connor, Amanda Palmer, Dolores from the Cranberries and countless other multitalented women can’t convince society that there is an enthusiastic following for women who DON’T “Just shut up, smile and sing, honey,” that’s a really big problem. 

Steph Guthrie’s personal website contains so many more jewels dealing with feminism, music, politics and technology. 

Do you think these comments are sexist? Are you offended by the lack of respect women receive in the music industry? Do you think we’re overreacting? 

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

Feminism and Nakedness

An excellent article by Peter Robinson at the Guardian about naked women in pop music videos and where this all might lead. 

“Robin Thicke, Justin Timberlake and Calvin Harris have all used topless women in their videos. But is it art or are record labels exploiting women and cashing in on YouTube revenues?” writes Robinson.

The author talks about music videos and their explicit representation of women in the public forum and how it affects society. He argues that the biggest problem in these horny, white-boy hits is cynicism and laziness. How do we get more youtube views? Put some tits in it! 

He also points out the difference in view between Thicke’s idea of the film-clip of Blurred Lines and Diane Martel’s (the director), is alarmingly broad. 

The video’s experienced and well-respected director, Diane Martel, defended the promo against instant accusations of misogyny, explaining that the performance of model Emily Ratajkowski is “very funny and subtly ridiculing” – which is true – and that the models were directed to look into the camera, putting them “in the power position”.

Thicke, however, spoke at length about exactly why he thought it was ok to degrade women in his song. Robinson writes:

“People say: ‘Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’ I’m like: ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.'” This was news to Martel. “That’s crazy,” she fired back. “Maybe he wasn’t thinking when he said that.”

Maybe he wasn’t thinking. But maybe he should have been. With so much energy spent on scrutinizing Thicke’s clip, one might imagine he could put some thought into his response. The only problem with that idea is that, when he did think about it, he decided that he was actually starting a feminist movement

This article, written by Elizabeth Plank, reports on Thicke’s extremely misguided idea of feminism and his backward view of how he claims to be helping. 

After saying that he went out of their way to do “everything that is completely derogatory towards women” in the video, he’s now purporting that the song is actually (and I quote) a “feminist movement in itself.”

And if that’s not an alarming prospect, I just don’t know what is.