Objectification In Music – Male Vs. Female

31 Dec

So earlier this week, my homegirl had a facebook status that said the following:

Amber is laughing at how guys hate the songs ladies love: why must you bash “Single Ladies” and Jazmine Sullivan songs? LOL.

This started a discussion under her status. Here’s the gist of the conversation:

Me: These songs are objectifying men – either men ain’t shit, or you don’t need a man. Most popular female R&B is man-bashing. That’s why men bash those songs.

Her and her friend: The songs are just about female empowerment, and that they’re giving props to the ladies. They’re not male-bashing, but they’re only dogging the men that need to straighten up. Besides, men objectify women with their music all the time. Direct quote: “”Men are being objectified”. lol that makes me laugh.”

Me: Whenever a man bashes women, it’s considered misogynistic; whenver women bash men, it’s considered empowering. A lot of songs, especially in rap, objectify women, and I’ve never justified that – I’ve always just explained that it’s their expression, and it’s a problem that’s mirrored from the black community. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that popular female R&B lacks a lot of depth – the idea that women “don’t need a man” is driven into their head so much that the ideas of finding a good man and avoiding bad ones, making your relationship work the best for you, real lost love are rarely sang about. If you look at many of the men’s R&B stars right now – Ne-Yo, Chris Brown, T-Pain, Robin Thicke, John Legend, Musiq, Usher – their music is more about impressing women and talking about their relationship woes. i.e. “Let me buy you a drink,” “The Year of the Gentleman,” etc. … A lot of women have gotten so frustrated about the misogyny in rap (or don’t care about it at all) that they’ve more or less accepted it, but that doesn’t mean that they should, and it doesn’t mean that men should accept the male-bashing in female R&B. Of course, there are female singers that have depth, but they don’t get the attention that they should.

But then my other homegirl offered an interesting perspective: These male R&B stars aren’t any better than the rappers or women that are naysaying; they’re singing about trying to get them in bed for a night or so, not about getting into a relationship with them or genuinely romancing them. Plus, while men have both rap and R&B to express themselves, there aren’t very many women in rap, so R&B is the only musical forum that they really have to express themseves. Plus, women are able to relate to the anger these songs talk about, because they’ve been played before.

What do y’all think?

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6 Responses to “Objectification In Music – Male Vs. Female”

  1. Britt December 31, 2008 at 3:56 pm #

    think of it in a sense of majority vs. minority

    we know that most companies are caucasian-owned (or foreign lol), and no one can do anything about that. so, in response, we have what we call black-owned businesses (BOB), so that we can level out the plane a bit. i think that’s pretty fair.

    majority of mainstream rap/hip-hop/r&b is made by men, and women are usually objectified when mentioned. so the minority, the women-empowering music, fighting against the objectification of women, are wrong for “male-bashing”?

    also, men usually bash the songs just because they are girly… not b/c of the content. most guys are homophobic and don’t want to be associated with Beyonce songs. yup, that’s most of it. =] lol

    p.s. you know i hate beyonce so don’t go there. lol.

    p.p.s. you mentioned that men objectifying women is looked at as extremely negative — maybe by matters of personal opinion, but it can’t be looked at to be that bad if they still sell the most records, honeybun! they’re not feeling this “negative effect” financially, so it doesn’t send that message. people buy, so they continue to make it.

    good post tho ❤

  2. ketchums December 31, 2008 at 4:08 pm #

    Women are wrong for man-bashing, same way men are for misogyny. I’m not saying that female R&B doesn’t have a right to say what they want, because they do – same way rappers and male R&B singers do. But you’ve still gotta be held accountable for what you do, that’s how I see it.

    And I don’t think men bash the songs because they’re girly – cuz a lot of girly shit, they’ll just dismiss as being for the ladies and leave it alone. But when it’s songs that they feel are disrespectful, they speak up – as they should, and as women should about songs they dislike

  3. Britt December 31, 2008 at 4:29 pm #

    well women do speak up… all the time… b/c a lot of women care about how we are portrayed in the media and to music that our kids listen to. men don’t care to speak up about male-bashing, cuz they simply don’t care lol… they just won’t listen to it and write it off as a nagging female… but women choose to speak up and women are bashed 500x more than men. lol. so you will be hearing the women speak up forever and a day, so be prepared. ;P

  4. ketchums December 31, 2008 at 5:06 pm #

    Oh I know that some women do speak up. But if a man *does* speak up against male-bashing – and they do, which is why this was even posted, lol – then it’s considered as insensitive or naive. That’s all I’m sayin.

  5. Britt January 2, 2009 at 12:42 am #

    that’s like rich white ppl complaining about black-owned businesses. you just cant do it. lol.

  6. bananaclipse January 4, 2009 at 12:33 pm #

    women empowerment = man bashing. men are gonna make misogynistic music, and women are always gonna make some “empowerment” and “independent” music (although the next song on the cd is cater 2 u [destiny’s child was so confused]). thing is men will admit it. and women will find a justification for the man bashing.

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