The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

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The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Does neo-feminism lead to prostitution or sexual freedom?

The effects of female ‘liberation’ in popular music remain to be seen

Even if most of us cannot remember the days of bra burning and women’s liberation, it is easy to understand what those symbolic acts meant.

In recent years though, where has feminism gone or what form is it taking?

In a day and age where music is dominated by male’s derogatory comments toward women, which are generally rife with language about sexual dominance among other forms of self-promoting superiority, the voice of women would seem to disappear.

This, however, is not the case.

Women have been making a steady march against this kind of language or at least have matched it blow for blow.

When Rihanna belts phrases like “rude boy can you get it up,” there is no hint of a woman’s subservience to a man or any sort of need for a man to support her whatsoever.

Instead, there is a prevalent presence of women pursuing men for sexual gratification as opposed to the predatory relationship often promoted by many male artists.

Britney Spears has epitomized this in her song “Hold It Against Me,” where she actively pursues, assumedly, a man. The song itself is largely one long “pick-up” line. This is exactly the sort of theme that is prevalent in the music produced by male artists today.

Female music artists like Britney and Rihanna are beginning to exemplify a “new” feminism.

That is not to say that female sexual liberation/feminism in music is new. Quite the contrary. It existed before, especially in songs like Madonna’s 1984 smash hit “Like a Virgin.”

These artists defy typical gender roles in their music by reversing the traditional and antiquated sexual roles of men and women.

It is not the fact that women have not expressed their rights and power as sexual beings in music previously, but the utterly mainstream, marketable, and prevalent theme of liberation in recent songs is increasingly noticeable.

There are many people in American society that deplore such provocative songs that are sexually liberating, especially those made by female artists. If violent video games and music can make young boys into violent people (not that I am saying they do, I am only speaking hypothetically), then it seems just as likely that young girls would be influenced by the glorification of female sexuality in music.

Whether this creates a problem for society remains to be seen, but there is a definite trend in the language and themes of music made by female artists today.

It might be a double edge sword, changing traditional gender roles of women, promoting control over their own sexuality and in turn their own body, while parts of society perceive this idea as spawning sexual immorality.

This was something I noticed recently in pop music and began to mull over the influence this kind of music has on society, good or bad.

If anyone has any ideas, comments, or further ideas on this topic, please contact me or the opinion editor. It would be very interesting to see whether or not this sort of explicit sexuality in music is either freeing or demeaning to women. Is this a new wave of feminism in a different form? I would love to hear what readers have to say.

Michael Dearman is a first year majoring in the pursuit of truth and the overthrow of systems. He can be reached for comments or questions at [email protected].

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