Sexism in Our Music

Sexism in Our Music

Rayner Reinhardt, Staff

Turning the radio from ’80’s Pop to Today’s Hits is a big shift—and not just because we go from Steven Tyler’s raspy, all-natural voice to the synthetic hip-hop beats of the 2000’s.  

Music has always revolved around love and relationships, but the way that we address women and sex in today’s music is much different. And this isn’t to say that artists shouldn’t write about these topics—music is the freedom of expression.  

However, the repetitive degrading of women and sex in our music is sexism that often goes unnoticed. It’s become normal for rappers or singers to reference their “bitch” or “shordy.” It’s become normal for sex to be something that women should do for men. It’s become normal to label women with derogatory slurs because of their sex lives, that men like to encourage and then discourage.  

Of course, male rappers or singers love to idolize a sexual woman in their song, but they also like to shame a sexual woman for doing things with anyone but them. 

I often find myself listening to a song and asking myself, “Is the stuff he/she is saying right?” More times than not, the answer is no. But, I find that the popular justification for listening is “it’s just a song.” 

It’s just a song. A song that we pay no mind to. A song that we sing along to with our friends. But nonetheless, a song that degrades women, and once again, speaks to the ingrained sexism in our culture.  

For example, Rick Ross’s lyrics: “Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it, I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.” 

This isn’t just degrading women; it’s rape culture. Songs we’re supposed to enjoy are not just suggesting rape, but blatantly condoning it. It’s not just a song. It’s a sign of misogyny.  

Of course, we can’t demand that artists stop writing songs. But what we can do is be aware of the music we listen to, and how it may continue the inferior image of women.