Debate Magazine

Misogyny in Music

Posted on the 24 June 2011 by Mikeb302000
Three recent music posts have had a common theme, the same theme as many of our other news-related posts, misogyny.
I'm opposed to censorship in music, to Parental Advisory labels and all that nonsense, but I'm also opposed to passively receiving the messages in these songs with a type of apathetic acceptance. I find that some rap music, with its in-your-face message of violence, can be easily recognized for what it is and enjoyed without subconsciously taking the lyrics to heart. The suggestion that music like that is responsible for violence is absurd.
Main stream and classic rock and roll, however, with its incredibly pervasive and pernicious message about women, goes largely unnoticed and accepted. Take this one for example. Neil Young is actually singing about having shot his woman for cheating on him. Everyone knows the Jimi Hendrix version of the ballad Hey Joe. Same message there, shoot the offending woman. But, did you realize that even The Beatles sang about this?
One interesting difference is the U.K. artists refer to a generic killing while their North American counterparts specify doing it with a gun.
It's interesting that male-dominated rock and roll music is shot through with this ugly message. More interesting still is that it is largely unrecognized for what it is.  It's no wonder that domestic violence is as widespread as it is. And like all types of violence, gun availability makes it worse.
What's your opinion? Please leave a comment.

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