We all know that there is a lot of misogyny in the media. Music, television, on the internet. It’s everywhere. The worst part is that some of it is so deeply embedded and hidden that you don’t even notice it’s there. Masked by catchy melodies and lyrics that you can’t understand until you read them, sexism lies in the songs we hear everyday on the radio.
Ironically, some of it exists in songs performed by women. Female groups. These people advocate for girl power, but fail to acknowledge the sexist words they are even singing. Here are some songs guilty of promoting misogny:
1) Work From Home – Fifth Harmony (feat. Ty Dolla $ign)
Okay, I’ll admit that this song is extremely catchy. And I’ll jam to it when it comes on the radio. But this is the exact trickery I am speaking of! Even I, a huge feminist, am guilty of enjoying this song and neglecting the horrible message within it. It wasn’t until I was at the gym with headphones in and this song came on that I realized what it was preaching. Basically, these women describe a situation in which a girl is “sittin’ pretty” at home all day and night, naked, sending pictures to her man who is at hard at work. She spends her days alone, doing absolutely nothing, waiting for her man to come home and have sex with her. Then Ty Dolla $ign comes in and sings about how the only “working” she is doing is seducing him, and in return, he will buy her expensive things, like “Céline” products. THIS SCREAMS PATRIARCHY IN EVERY. SINGLE. WAY. IT’S NOT THE GODDAMN 20TH CENTURY ANYMORE, PEOPLE. These gender roles should not be infiltrating our media any longer. What’s even worse is the music video for this song. Ripped white males walk around doing hard, manual labor while the Fifth Harmony ladies just twerk. It’s degrading (not the twerking, but the situation itself). And I’m ranting. Next.
2) Blurred Lines – Robin Thicke (Feat. T.I. & Pharrell)
Do I even need to go into detail about this one? We all know it’s about a good girl who is NOT interested in these sexually aggressive men, who are forcefully telling her “I know you want it” over and over again. This song has date rape written all over it. Pharrell especially suggests extremely sexually explicit things to her. And then the uncensored music video. Don’t even get me started. First of all, it shows these two men, fully clothed, chasing naked women around. This imagery is so, so disturbing.
3) Loyal – Chris Brown (feat Lil. Wayne & Tyga)
I think you know where this is going just based on the people performing this song. We’re talking about Chris Brown here, who assaulted his girlfriend Rihanna; Tyga, who gives Kylie Jenner a new car each birthday and captioned his Instagram post of her when they got back together: “They always come back…”; Lil Wayne, who only raps and sings about having sex with sexy women. Anyways, the three of them clearly paint women as gold diggers who only want money and nothing else, ready to ditch their man when a better deal comes up. “Why give a b*tch your heart when she rather have a purse?” It’s time to stop calling girls b*tches. He claims these hoes ain’t loyal, acting like women are the monsters here, but then sings: “Black girl with a big booty. If she a bad b*tch, let’s get to it (right away).” Not only is he claiming that women are horrible people who just want money, he is sexualizing the female body and objectifying women. Also, look at the cover photo…Chris Brown looks as if he’s staring into my soul. Stop. It’s scary.
4) Wiggle – Jason Derulo (feat. Snoop Dogg)
The song begins with Snoop Dogg saying: “Hey, yo, Jason, say somethin’ to her. Holla at her.” YES! PLEASE ENCOURAGE CAT CALLING! The ladies love it…Yikes! We are already off to a bad start, and the singing hasn’t even started. The entire song is literally just about a girl’s butt. He literally does not sing about anything else. Besides this girl’s ass. Shaking. What about her amazing personality, Jason?????? C’mon. “You know what to do with that big fat butt.” Actually, we don’t, Jason. Thanks, though.
5) All About That Bass – Meghan Trainor
I’m sure it is surprising to you that this song made the list. I am very aware that Meghan Trainor is trying to combat female body-shaming and fat-shaming here, but there are just some lyrics that I cannot agree with. I absolutely love and appreciate some of the things she says, like: “Yeah, it’s pretty clear, I ain’t no size two. But I can shake it, shake it…” and “Cause every inch of you is perfect from the bottom to the top.” Yes! That’s great! But then she goes on to say that boys only like girls for their big butts, which not all of us have, quite frankly. “‘Cause I got that boom boom that all the boys chase. And all the right junk in all the right places.” What? You literally just said that every body is beautiful and now you’re saying that boys chase you for your big butt and by having a big butt, YOU have the “perfect” body. She’s sexualizing her own body… Then she says: “Boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” Yeah. We know that. Refer to the songs above. However, I don’t have a big booty. So, thanks a lot Meghan Trainor for telling me that boys will not like me now. She also says: “You know I won’t be no stick figure silicone Barbie doll,” as if there’s something HORRIBLE about being skinny. Some people are born skinny, and they can’t help that. None of us can help the way that our bodies are shaped. There’s no need to shame skinny girls, or any girls for that matter. It is very clear she is skinny-shaming when she says: “I’m bringing booty back. Go ‘head and tell them skinny b*tches that.” She follows this line by saying she’s “just playing,” but imagine if the roles were reversed. What if the whole song was about being skinny and the line had said tell them fat b*tches that? There would be SO much outrage. Neither should be said, because every body is beautiful and we should not even be discussing which one is more desirable [to men].
6) Baby, It’s Cold Outside – So Many People Have Sang It, I Don’t Even Know The Original Artist
I know this is a dearly beloved Christmas classic. I’m not sure if this was the intention of the artist, but this song screams date rape. It describes a situation in which a woman really, really wants to go home and a man repeatedly tells her it’s too cold for her to go outside and demands that she stays. Some of the lines are frightening.
(I ought to say no, no, no) Mind if I move in closer?
(At least I’m gonna say that I tried) What’s the sense in hurting my pride?
This girl is trying to say no, and he is completely ignoring her, moving in closer. At one point she even says, “Say, what’s in this drink?” as if he’s perhaps drugging her or something.
(I simply must go) Baby, it’s cold outside
(The answer is no) Baby, it’s cold outside
No means no, buddy! This woman is BEGGING to leave the entire song and his replies suggest that he has other plans in mind. Scary, right?
7) Blame It (On the Alcohol) – Jamie Foxx (feat. T-Pain)
Okay, not gonna lie, but this is a fun song that I’ll certainly dance to. It’s catchy as hell, but there’s some messages here that can’t be ignored. First of all, Jamie Foxx begs us to blame it on the alcohol. As in, if he rapes this girl, it’s certainly not his fault. It was the alcohol, man! Try that in court. Foxx follows this by saying: “Ay, she say she usually don’t. But I know that she front.” You know what? She probably actually doesn’t, and still doesn’t want to. Leave her alone. “She don’t wanna seem like she easy.” Ah, yes! ‘Cause us girls are so easy and we’re just trying to hide it most of the time. Maybe we’re just not interested! “Just one more round and you’re down I know it.” So now he’s saying that if he intoxicates her, he can easily have sex with her. This is a great message and I am so glad that he is advocating the use of alcohol to seduce a girl. This sounds a lot like Brock Turner’s theme song.
And there you have it! People ask me constantly why feminism is still relevant. Well, here it is, folks. Our favorite artists are sexualizing and objectifying women, as well as redefining gender roles and patriarchy. It’s 2016. We’re working towards closing the gender gap, so it’s time that our music and media reflects that. It’s time to empower females, make them aware that they are SO much more than their bodies and looks, and promote the idea that women do not need anyone else to make them feel beautiful and worthy.