Boycotting Misogyny: Will It Really Make a Difference?3/06/2013
“I only came for the bitches and the drinks…” “All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe…” ...
“I only came for the bitches and the drinks…”
“All I want for my birthday is a big booty hoe…”
“Now gon’ pop that p***y for a real n*gga…”
Every day, our radios, TVs, and other media are flooded with misogynistic lyrics like these.
It’s become so par for the course that we’re not even surprised to hear it everywhere anymore. This is not to say that we’re not fed up and disappointed with it. In fact, I’ve heard many women, and especially black women, express concern over the fact that we are oversexualized, objectified, and we’re generally sick and tired of being called bitches and hoes.
I’ve discussed this issue among friends and other women of color at my alma mater, and when asked for a potential solution to the misogyny so prominent in music today, the first response was always “boycott!” Boycotting is the go-to answer, presumably because it makes the most sense and packs the most potential for change.
After all, groups of people standing together against a product, company, institution, etc. have proven to be effective in the past for a variety of reasons. One, it allows a group to be represented en masse and to have their voices heard. Two, boycotting often hits where it hurts most: the wallet. If lots of people all of sudden yank their almighty consumer dollar, companies have no choice but to perk up their ears and listen.
So that’s it, right? Boycotting’s the answer! Let’s all just stop buying Weezy’s albums and stop bumping Rick Ross and quit downloading Trey Songz right now!
I know at least a few people paused at having to give up Trey Songz, and the root of that pause is the same reason I think boycotting is not going to work. As much as we get tired of getting called bitches, hoes, and everything else under the sun, we seem not to be able to part ways with our favorite artist or our favorite song. Everyone has their “jam” that they’re not willing to part with even though they know it’s demeaning.
On one hand, we’re tired of being treated like objects and called every name in the book by music artists. But on the other hand, we’re bumping 2 Chainz, Drake, and French Montana on the way to the club because let’s be honest, listening to Esperanza Spalding doesn’t really do the trick for getting us hyped to go out and party.
If we completely stopped supporting all misogyny in all forms at all times, the “powers that be” would literally have no choice but to hear us and change in order to continue to earn our consumer dollar and survive. The problem is, while some of us may have decided enough is enough and have stopped listening to artists who demean us as women and especially as black women, it’s clear that not enough of us have or “they” would be listening by now.
So while a boycott might be the most effective means of ridding music of the misogyny we despise, how feasible is it really when we’re too busy shaking, grinding, and singing along with it?
If we’re not willing to part ways with our catchy beats and hooks to send a message, how else can we let them know we’re not okay with constantly being reduced to “big booty hoes?” What other options do we feel might be effective?
We have to do something; the question is what?
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Briana Gunter is a young writer searching to find her niche in the world of words, and in the world in general. She enjoys anything that allows her to express her creativity, be it music, writing, or crafting, and jumps at any opportunity to learn something new. Email her at Briana@ForHarriet.com and follow her on Twitter @DiamondCut1902 for her daily thoughts and musings; she loves interacting with her followers!