Comments

  1. says

    Have you ever listened to country music? Rap? Quite a bit of music, fandom and the industries that support both are quite misogynistic and have been for decades. The only thing new here is that the internet makes it much easier to be open about it.

  2. Antiochus Epiphanes says

    0,o
     
    [hip check]
    Everybod knew about misogyny in music months ago.
    [/hip check]

  3. Alverant says

    What do you mean “now music”, it’s been tainted with raving misogyny for decades online and off.

  4. left0ver1under says

    Gregory in Seattle (#1) –

    No kidding. The sheer number of songs from the past that insinuate or make light of violence or rape is near uncountable. Some very popular performers of the past were some of the worst; I can name at least five Spike Jones songs that “joke” about violence against women (e.g. setting a woman on fire and cutting out her eye in “My Old Flame”).

    Did you see Anita Sarkeesian’s take on distubing christmas songs? It’s good, but it barely scratches the surface of what’s out there.

    http://www.feministfrequency.com/2011/12/top-5-creepiest-sexist-christmas-songs-2/

  5. John Small Berries says

    From what all my female musician friends tell me, trying to set up at a gig (or even walking into a Guitar Center) with two X chromosomes is a sure-fire recipe for being condescended to, mansplained at, or just outright ignored.

  6. lambdacalc says

    Seems like another post in a string of articles this year. At least with respect to musicians I’m aware of
    Grimes posted about this back in April – on her tumblr .

    And Ohbijou, also a Canadian indepedent group, recently cited issues concerning race they were experiencing.

    While a lot of this comes from the fanbase, it does seem like the industry and critics play a role in pushing certain kinds of narratives onto the artists – eg. Grimes’ frustration with other musicians and some of the critical emphasis on Ohbijou’s multicultural composition.

  7. says

    @Gregory in Seattle #1

    Not just country music and rap. Rock, pop, alternative, oldies, traditional, classical*. Singling out those first two seems a little classist and racist to me.

    PZ @ OP
    I know you said it was a rhetorical question, but truth is, it’s not every industry that goes online. It’s not even just every industry. It’s just plain everywhere.

    —-

    Slightly off topic. Here’s a song that recently came up in my iPod**:

    You tell me you love me, you say you’ll be true
    Then you fly around with somebody new
    But I’m crazy about you
    You butterfly

    You treat me mean, you’re makin’ me cry
    I’ve made up my mind to tell you goodbye
    But I’m no good without you
    You butterfly

    I knew from the first time I kissed you
    That you were the troublin’ kind
    ‘Cause the honey drips from your sweet lips
    One taste and I’m outta my mind

    I love you so much I know what I’ll do
    I’m clippin’ your wings, your flyin’ is through
    ‘Cause I’m crazy about you
    You butterfly

    Oh, I’m crazy about you
    You butterfly
    Oh, I can’t live without you
    You butterfly

    I knew from the first time I kissed you
    That you were the troublin’ kind
    ‘Cause the honey that drips from your sweet lips
    One taste and I’m outta my mind

    Oh, I love you so much I know what I’ll do
    I’m clippin’ your wings, your flyin’ is through
    ‘Cause I’m crazy about you
    You butterfly
    You butterfly
    You butterfly

    That lovely tune is from 1957. Two versions reached #1 on the Billboard chart.

    *Didn’t I just read about some asshole who said women couldn’t be conductors because the baton was too heavy or the manly men of the orchestra just couldn’t be expected to treat a woman seriously because they’d all be focused on her ladybits?
    **my aunt sent my mother a few folders filled with oldies/pop music of the 50s and 60s and I imported them all indiscriminately so I get surprises

  8. Friendly says

    left0ver1under:

    I can name at least five Spike Jones songs that “joke” about violence against women (e.g. setting a woman on fire and cutting out her eye in “My Old Flame”

    I’m sure there are a few Spike Jones songs that are legitimately skeezy and misogynist, but I wouldn’t include that one in the list. It was originally written (without any ugly lyrics) by Johnston and Coslow in 1934 to be performed by Mae West in “Belles of the Nineties” (backed up by Duke Ellington’s band. BTW) and became a jazz standard that was performed “straight” for over a decade before Spike & Co. got hold of it. Spike Jones’ version is sung in a Peter Lorre impression and rewritten with the conceit that the song’s narrator is a psychopathic obsessive and killer like those that Lorre played in “M” and “Mad Love.” Jones is actually parodying that kind of character here, in the same way that “Weird Al” Yankovic parodies a stalker in his song “Melanie”; the lyrics to both songs can be discomfort-inducing in a “too close to home” way, but I don’t think either of them are genuinely misogynist.

  9. says

    There is no reason to expect music to be any different, or ‘cleaner’, than anything else when it comes to the net. Society doesn’t hold back its prejudices and bigotry for specific areas; they will surface every time society is given a forum to comment. If hopscotch suddenly became a hot topic, we’d see bile-dripping comments on how women ruined the noble art of hopscotch, which is usually done on pavement laid down by heroic men anyway!

    I saw a lot of that back in journalism school, where people would get disillusioned seeing how conservative/patriarchal/corrupt the media was. “Shouldn’t it be better than the rest of society?”, people would ask. Except that being part of society, of course it has the same issues as the public it draws from and caters to.

  10. Colin Fox says

    Is it just me or is anyone else not surprised that there are assholes within every group of people? Nothing surprises me anymore.

    Oh and Chvrches new album and Janelle Monáe’s new album’s are fecking awesome! I find it amazing that they are not more mainstream popular… to hell with Miley Cyrus! Give me Janelle Monáe, or Sharon Jones and the DAP Kings for positive role models!

  11. burgundy says

    I just bought the new Chvrches album a couple of days ago, and have been contemplating getting a ticket to their show in November. Feminist singer who calls out indifference to the constant barrage of sexism and misogyny faced by women in the public eye? Now I’m even more excited to have found them, and more likely to see them live and continue supporting them.

    John Small Berries @5 – oh yes indeed. I was in a band in my late teens. Female + young = icky comments I still remember 15 years later.

  12. says

    Lauren Mayberry is awesome. She’s a great singer and songwriter, and she’s articulate and damned smart.

    And that CHVRCHES album is SOOO GOOOOD.

  13. Alverant says

    Sometimes I wish I would have stayed ignorant about the sexism and racism and all that other BS that lurks under the surface of some groups. First it was fandom at sci-fi cons. I thought everyone was there to have fun and enjoy the company of ones fellow nerds, a place where the phrase “a stranger is a friend you haven’t met yet” was true. That stopped when I joined a con staff and saw the politics involved. I thought about the video gaming community. Sure there might have been a few immature jerks but I thought most people were adults. All that should count is how good you are at the game right? Well apparently not. Then the Atheist community where we are supposed to be rational and above those sorts of things.

    At least we’re working on improving ourselves and striking out against it.

  14. ck says

    Good for Chvrches for standing up to this nonsense.

    A little off topic, what the hell is wrong with rock music in North America these days? It seems you can either choose a station that longs for the return the 1970s, or one that is misty eyed for the 1990s. I’m listening to a band from LA (HAIM) right now, that apparently only charts in Europe. Or is it just that bands with women can’t make it domestically anymore?

  15. Tony! The Immorally Inferior Queer Shoop! says

    Alverant @14:
    I’m with you.
    Sometimes I wish I hadn’t taken that damn pill. Waking up and seeing the sometimes subtle, sometimes overt, but always present sexism and misogyny is so often disheartening, frustrating and enraging. There is some small part of me that wishes I was ignorant of this crap again. But on the rare times this thought occurs, I remind myself that my ignorance combined with my privilege supported the existing status quo. I do not want to support a status quo that marginalizes women (or anyone, really). I also remind myself that whatever unease I feel is nothing compared to the struggles women face daily.

  16. says

    Add Tech to the list too (ok, we fit under science, sort of). Got a jackass on twitter to delete his tweets yesterday that were claiming that one person’s experience being assaulted by another in the tech community doesn’t mean there’s a problem with Tech. Yea that whole 4-5 males per female ratio isn’t going to concentrate an existing problem in the general population.

  17. rnilsson says

    @ ck #15:

    A little off topic, what the hell is wrong with rock music in North America these days? It seems you can either choose a station that longs for the return the 1970s, or one that is misty eyed for the 1990s. I’m listening to a band from LA (HAIM) right now, that apparently only charts in Europe. Or is it just that bands with women can’t make it domestically anymore?

    I don’t listen much to the radio but just the other night as we were going to bed, the talk channel (SR P1; north Europe) featured a female group with that name, three sisters singing unusual harmonies. Nice synch!