CHAMPS Charter High School of the Arts

Op-Ed: Last Friday Night — Mainstream Music Degrades Women

It was a Friday night, actually a lot of Friday nights, in which I usually sit in the back of my cousin’s Honda Civic on our way to Norms and, like always, she turns on the radio. As likely as it is there are always two options when it comes to the radio, it is either “New Rules,” by Dua Lipa or a song that usually has to do with degrading women. The radio goes with option two.

According to a study done by the Harvard Health Watch, the average person will spend 37,935 hours of their lifetime in a car. Why should we allow those 37,935 hours to be ruined by songs that are considered bops but do nothing but degrade women?

We live in a very liberal society, where women and men can confront others; we speak up, we stand up, we advocate for a better tomorrow. And yet artists, especially men, are still allowed to talk about beating women, and making them their “hoes.”

As provocative as that sounds it is seen as totally okay. Men are not condemned for their horrible lyrics, but actually praised for it. It sad to say, but it is true.

Anyway, I am in the backseat of her Civic and “No Limit,” an option two song comes on, my little brother is in the front seat, my sister in the back, and they are bumping. They sing every lyric, pretty much recite the whole song.

“Hey, do you even know what this song is about?” I asked them.

“No, but I like Cardi B, and this is a good song,” they said

Any song with a good beat can easily be considered a “hit,” if it is a bop and you can jam out to it in the car then it qualifies.

But here is my problem: all these songs with explicit lyrics are out and about in the world, going to one ear and coming out through the mouths of individuals who clearly do not know what it is they are saying.

The first lyrics of “No Limit,” by G-Eazy featuring Cardi B, are “If I hit it one time I’ma pipe her/

If I hit it two times then I like her/ If I f*ck three times Imma wife her.”

Being referred to as “it,” and the idea that one can simply put a ring on a woman and make her his wife, his property, is not what women have been fighting for.

Throughout the song women are referred to as “bitch” and are alluded to prostitution for receiving money after having sex with a certain someone.

“No Limit,” has been on Billboard’s top ten chart for more than 19 weeks.

Why is it that songs that do nothing but refer to women as property or objectify women by degrading their bodies end up on the charts?

For instance, take “Despacito” by Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee featuring Justin Bieber. If you were to understand Spanish, you would realize how degrading this song is to women.

Translated into English, “Come try my mouth and see if you like its taste/ I want to see how much love fits in you/ I’m not in a rush I want to experience this trip/ Let’s start slowly, then savagely/ Step by step, soft then softly.”

There is nothing better than when a man tries to use words of affection like “love” to not ruin the experience. But he is talking about something a lot more physical than love. The people who love singing this song are allowing this kind of mindset in lyrics.

In the 2018 Grammy performance of “Despacito,” the trio is centered on stage with multiple women who are hardly wearing any clothes. They dance around Luis Fonsi and Daddy Yankee with sensual movements as the two men thrust their pelvis into the direction of the women dancing around them.

A music video has a huge impact on generating buzz for a single; it can either raise more attention or just kill the whole thing. In most videos women are seen as objects who are put into small articles of clothing that grab the viewer’s attention. Women are more than their bodies and they should be valued for their worth. 

I think the big issue in the music industry is that they do not understand how music and videos have such a long lasting impact on the world.

I know that for some guys, it will help them gain a sense of ownership, this power that runs through their veins into their menatlitlies which causes them to think they are superior to women.

This mentality allows them to call women “bitches,” call them “hoes,” not see them for their worth but how an object can make them feel good for five minutes.

For women on the other hand, it makes them feel worthless, they do not see why a “hit” is worth a ripple in a movement causing so much empowerment. So much strength, so much value, being thrown out the window when you are told one day that you are strong and powerful. Then the next you are called a“bitch,” a “homie hopper,” who does not see any importance in life but to have sex.

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