“I know you want it, you’re a good girl,”
That line is from the now infamous song, Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams. After a barrage of criticism, it has now become one of the most controversial songs in recent memory. Mixing sexist views and underlying rape tones, it’s easy to see why this song got so much hate. But in reality, was this song only a part of the larger misogynistic paintbrush, which tarnishes the music industry?
The main crux of this song lies in the music video, in which three naked women are paraded around three fully clothed men. And this here is where we begin to see the true nature of how a large proportion of the music industry perceives women as sexual objects, rather than actual human beings. Time and again, we hear of singers and rappers correlating success to making lots of money and getting good-looking girls. Look at Chris Brown’s “Loyal” in which he criticises women for being disloyal to their man, when the entire music video is in fact going from woman to woman.
And these double standards aren’t just limited to the Hip Hop Industry. It is often the view that rap is extremely women-bashing, when in fact rappers such as Lupe Fiasco are often advocating the young men of today to treat women with respect. He may not be the norm, but it’s definitely a start. In many other genres, the portrayal of a woman is nothing more than a sex object for a man’s pleasure, and she can be found in abundance. Take Michael Jackson’s “The Way you Make Me Feel” video, in which we see him harass an attractive women in the street.
Some may argue that this is liberation for women, as (and I agree) a woman has the right to express herself however she wishes to. But when this freedom of expression is manipulated by male singers who are trying to appear more masculine and successful, it’s wrong. Women aren’t an accessory to a lavish lifestyle nor are they indicators of how prosperous a man is.
It’s sad to see female singers also contriving to this idea that a sexualised image sells. Take Nicki Minaj, a talented singer who unfortunately feels the need to be provocative in her music videos in order to gain attention. This is seen widespread across the Top 40, with more recent female singers feeling the need to be scantily dressed and move around sexily at every turn, in order to be successful. I get it, sex sells, but surely if you’re an artist, you should have some faith in your musical abilities and that it will get you more noticed than a bathing suit will.
It’s time we stop using our eyes to judge female singers. The power the music industry has to make a difference on society is immense, and if the message that they are blaring out is that you’ll only ever find happiness by treating attractive women as mere objects, then something has to be done to change this.
Words: Savena Surana