While our history books may make it seem like Mass Misogyny and the oppression of women was a long time ago, the fight for equality was not that long ago. While we have progressed and changed many things throughout history that were harmful to women, there is still a deep stitch of misogyny in our society and the worst part is, it goes so unnoticed that people will do anything to make sure that women feel ridiculous or overdramatic for pointing something out that doesn’t feel right to them.
A prime example of misogyny is often shown in the music industry as well as social media. One of the main problems that people have is how women express their bodies through art and in a way that makes them comfortable. What usually happens is a female artist will show her body and make a statement with her art and explain the issues in our society as well as the pressure and judgment that is put on many women.
The exact thing happened when female rap artist, Cardi B released her music video for her single, “WAP” featuring Megan Thee Stallion. Many people decided to take it to social media with their opinions on the music video, commenting on how revealing it is and how explicit the lyrics are. Here lies the misogyny, when male rap artists continue to rap about women, degrading them, only using them in their music videos to sexualize them and treat them as trophies, it is praised by the media. But when a female rap artist decides to do the exact same thing to reclaim her power, to own her own body, and to show other women to be confident, powerful, and creative, she is shamed for it and told that she is being inappropriate and that “the children are watching.”
The problem with that statement is that many parents today will blame the media and artists before thinking about their parenting. It is important to remember that these artists have no obligation to anyone’s children. They shouldn’t have to censor their work to please anyone or to “protect” their children. It’s really just the parent’s responsibility to monitor what their children watch instead of shaming female artists for doing their jobs and releasing their art.
Another female artist that has been facing misogyny in the industry since she was 16, Taylor Swift. After rising to stardom, she became known for writing a number of heartbreak songs as well as love songs. As she moved on and used her heartbreak to inspire her, the media seemed to always have a problem with what she was doing or how she was doing things. No matter what she did, someone in the media always had something to say about her.
After watching her netflix documentary titled, “Miss Americana,” I had realized that she is a prime example of a female in the industry that has been given the short end of the stick for a long time and a lot of people seemed to be used to her being the butt of the joke when talking about relationships or even fame for that matter. What’s misogynistic about the hate she has received is that she is attacked for songs that have been written about her past relationships when a million male artists have done the same thing and gotten praised and thanked for it. However, when she does it, she is labeled as a “snake,” a “drama-seeker,” and “crazy.”
What these women are doing is taking the hate, the disrespect, and sexualization that’s been thrown at them and using it to benefit themselves, to empower other people, they are turning their hardships and pain caused by the world, into art.
These are just two examples out of thousands, of how women get treated in the industry.
A most recent example of a male artist being praised for sexualizing women in their lyrics is the song titled, “Cry Baby” by a male rapper who goes by, ‘Dababy.’ The thing about this song is that Megan Thee Stallion is featured on this song as well so it could lead people to think, how can this be misogynistic if a woman is featured on the track? Well this has been happening for ages in the industry. And it just shows how normalized the sexualization of women from men in music is. It can be argued that some lyrics from males can be seen as praise rather than sexualization but it is important to know that there is a great difference between recognition/praise and sexualizing and degradation. I am not saying that Dababy is the main problem and is causing all of women’s problems but I am saying that we have reached a point where a man can degrade, sexualize, and disrespect women in their music and all they have to do is add a catchy beat to it so that it gets praise. Not only that, but if your favorite male rap artist can only write music that degrades women and objectifies them, then that just shows how limited they are as an artist and how influenced they are by the misogyny that’s accepted in our society.
It is important to remember that misogyny doesn’t end here, it doesn’t stop at double standards in music, like I said before, it is stitched into society and the only way we can be allies to women of color, trans women, and women in general, is to listen to all of their stories, give them a voice, and help them battle the hate, sexualization, and hypocrisy they recieve on a daily.