Let’s be clear: misogyny in music isn’t new. But 2013 has introduced a new kind of misogyny, a deliberate and task-oriented degradation and objectification of women that’s far more disturbing than the casual, inherent misogyny of generations past. In the last few months alone, men have released songs about raping women (Rick Ross’ “U.O.E.N.O”), knowing women “want it” (Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines”) and sticking dicks in our mouths to shut us up (Kanye West’s “On Sight”).
This isn’t satire, post-post irony or freedom of speech. This is war.
Ross thought it was totally fine to rap about drugging and raping a woman: “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.”
The outcry and backlash about the verse Ross contributed to Rocko’s “U.O.E.N.O” was deafening, and rightly so, but a few weeks later when Robin Thicke released the music video for “Blurred Lines,” all anyone seemed focused on was the full frontal nudity, the goat and its kickin’ beat. It’s a catchy song, but that video, which has been described as rape-y by a number of women recently (including me), is a disturbing wonderland of male privilege, with Thicke whispering in a naked woman’s ear, “I know you want it,” over and over and over again. The censored version is actually more disturbing, wherein the women aren’t naked but wrapped tightly in clear plastic wrap like the disposable dolls Thicke thinks they are.