A Sexist Industry

“Wondering if i’d get there quicker if I was a man,” an iconic quote (if you ask me) from Taylor Swift in one of her recent songs The Man. In her song she talks about how hard it can be to be a woman and how at times it just seems like life would be easier if you were a man. Taylor Swift, among the many people in the music industry, can account for the sexism and objectifying nature that is the music industry. She has talked about its nature multiple times, from in interviews to a movie made earlier last year. Artists from across the world have made songs objectifying women from in the lyrics to the music videos. Yet, no one is speaking up about it.


The music industry has normalized this form of music, over the years we have even seen an increase in the quantity of these songs. Studies researching the {A} “intensity and frequency of sexual content in music [found that] sexual content in music has increased over time. In fact, researchers have estimated that between 37% and 75% of music lyrics and videos contain sexual references.” This objectification and sexualization of women can have a long term negative effect on women, nearly the same as the model industry has inflicted. The model industry has continuously had women of the same look and body type. So, when a woman looks into a magazine and all they see is that, it will eventually cause them to feel as if they must have that same look and or body because that's all they have seen. The same goes with the music industry, if someone continuously sees or hears music and music videos of people sexualizing and objectifying women's bodies, it in turn will cause negative effects on the woman and what they think of their bodies.


But the negative effects of this music does not just harm women, it also hurts the male population that listens to the music. {B} “[In a study conducted by The University of Central Florida, they discovered that] males [who] were exposed to sexist rap music versus music that contained few to no sexual references...were more likely to behave in a sexually aggressive manner towards females than those who were unexposed.”


But a debate comes into this, is a song empowering or objectifying? Me and my family had this conversation while sitting in the middle of SushiCafe once but talking about W.A.P by Cardi B (a wonderful conversation to have in the middle of a restaurant) To some, they may find a song empowering, while to others the exact same song may be objectifying. But where does this line of objectifying or empowering stop and begin?


There is a fine line between whether a song is objectifying or empowering. Empowering is meant to build up someone, while being objectified tears them down. Understanding the song, its lyrics, and even music video can help decipher this.

The music industry is far too deep in the rabbit hole of music that tears women down. Music is supposed to be a creative escape and for many is a way to convey their emotions. Yet, many artists are using their platform to release songs that discriminate against women on multiple levels. Even worse, it isn’t largely discussed. These artists continue releasing this music and never face the repercussions of it.


A change of heart has to occur in the music industry. By rewriting and setting a new precedent of songs to be created they can finally build up women with their music, rather than tearing them down.



{A} https://www.apadivisions.org/division-46/publications/popular-music-sexualization.pdf


{B}https://stars.library.ucf.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?referer=https://www.google.com/&httpsredir=1&article=1005&context=honorstheses



Much love, Kayleigh

@kayleigh.langston


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Kayleigh Langston

Cabot, AR

Cabot High School Junior



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