On the heels of my post about Beyoncé’s Beyoncé and its feminist theme, I came across this quote from the 16 year old Lorde who in a way addresses my internal conflict head on. But before I get in to that, let me take you back and give you some quotes that ignited the whole feminism dialogue with Lorde:
After being asked about Selena music during an interview:
“I love pop music on a sonic level. But I’m a feminist and the theme of her song [Come & Get It] is, ‘When you’re ready come and get it from me.’ I’m sick of women being portrayed this way.”
Now she has been quoted on her sexual views, she said:
“People like to paint me in a certain way, but I’m a hugely sex-positive person and I have nothing against anyone getting naked. For me personally I just don’t think it really would complement my music in any way or help me tell a story any better. It’s not like I have a problem with dancing around in undies—I think you can use that stuff in a hugely powerful way. It just hasn’t felt necessary for me.”
The section that I italicize basically illustrates how I feel about this whole “Feminism” in Music topic. Sexuality, and sensuality are natural and beautiful things. They are not inherently exploitative, albeit it I feel like when artists are running around half naked (in everyday life, and not just on stage) flashing their vaginas, and shaking their asses,it turns a corner. I get that that can feel empowered, all eyes are on them (mainly because they have no clothes on) but in truth manipulation is empowering, and sexual manipulations feels super powerful, ask any stripper, or porn star- the reactions they get in and from their lines of work make them feel like gods. That having been stated, there is an element of such behavior that smacks of the “Girls Gone Wild” syndrome, where all of the sudden when a camera is on, and guys were around, girls can be coerced to (at first) flash their boobs, (then) make out with their drunk girlfriends (finally) have sex on camera with almost any one…all to be considered hot…They were not empowered, they were fucked up and insecure and seeking attention and acceptance. They are doing it because some dude will think they were Hot, or Cool, or Sexy…They were not doing it because they, independent of that situation..chose to. They act out of weakness, the very opposite of what they profess is the reason for their behavior.
I feel that the industry creates the same scenario for young women, it pulls out a camera and holds a check in the air and says “What are you willing to do to be, Hot, or Cool, Or Sexy, or IT? Ok take off your close, bend over, crouch down, and spread your legs, oh can you put a finger in your mouth as you do that please?”. S0 for me what Lorde says in terms of how she is willing/unwilling to use her body and its exposure is more in keeping with the way I would see feminism working in the music industry. *Lorde is not even a toddler in the game and is still under age so it’s a waiting game to see how this turns out…
I will say that one artist that I appreciate in relationship to this feminism and music topic is P!ink. I have always felt that she is completely cognizant of the way in which she presents herself, and though she wears the flesh toned, bejeweled unitards and such, it never feels like she is trying to sexually manipulate us, (at least I feel that way) it feels (to me) like she is saying “I am sexy, sensual, powerful and a bad ass and if you think you can handle this take a step closer”. P!ink has throughout her career presented herself consistently. So I think there is a way be in the industry and not be of it, and yet still “sell”. But I think it has something to do with what you authentically believe in, and not chasing down what is “Trending” , or for that matter, setter Trends.
Just something to think about!