Misandry In Music And Why We Need To Start Talking About It | Emily Bashforth

Misandry In Music And Why We Need To Start Talking About It


It's time to talk about misandry, in the music industry in particular. Is it a term you're familiar with? You probably know of misogyny - ingrained prejudice against women. However, misandry - ingrained prejudice against men, isn't spoken about as much, how often do you hear the term being thrown about? Not a lot.
However, just because we don't hear of it or mention it explicitly, doesn't mean misandry isn't going on. It's everywhere and I wanted to speak about misandry in the music industry in this blog post just to ensure you're aware of how subtle it is but how we need to change it.
I'm going to use a song that was recently released to illustrate my points here.

Before you continue reading, know that I'm a huge Little Mix fan. Next year, I will have seen them live four times, I always have and always will support them so don't for one second think I'm hating on them by writing this. It is possible to love someone with your whole heart but disagree with things that they do if they may cause harm or offend. The girls recently released a song titled 'You Gotta Not' in the run up to their fourth studio album, 'Glory Days' being released to the world. The song is catchy, it has a great beat, yet I cannot bring myself to enjoy it. I want to but every time I listen to it, I want to tear my hair out. Why? The lyrics. Listen to the song below before continuing if you haven't already and read the lyrics.



Call your momma "mommy"
(You gotta not!)
Askin' her for money
(You gotta not!)
Never keep your house clean
(You gotta not!)
Wearin' dirty laundry
(You gotta not!)
Is that what you call flirtin'?
(You gotta not!)
You ain't even workin', boy get a job
And baby when you wanna start growin' up
We can boom, boom, boom, baby, fall in love

Oh, you don't like kids?
(You gotta not!)
And you still smoke cigs?
(You gotta not!)
Is you afraid of Blue's Clues?
(You gotta not!)
Do you still use a bluetooth?
(You gotta not!)
You love whitey-tighties
(You gotta not!)
'Cause they only show off your muffin top
And baby when you wanna start growin' up
We can boom, boom, boom, baby, fall in love
(Let's go!)

I need a man, a man who can act like a man
So hear me now, I don't get paid to babysit no one
I'm out here lookin' for the one to love
Singin', I need a man, so hear me now

Oh, you don't bump to The Weeknd?
(You gotta not!)
You argue with my best friend?
(You gotta not!)
Yeah all the hottie-totties
(You gotta not!)
If that's the way you party
(You gotta not!)
Everybody want me
(You gotta not!)
But you kinda hot, so I thought, why not?
And baby when you wanna start growin' up
We can boom, boom, boom, baby, fall in love

I need a man, a man who can act like a man
So hear me now, I don't get paid to babysit no one
I'm out here lookin' for the one to love
Singin', I need a man, so hear me now

All my ladies, if you need a man, sing it!
Call your momma "mommy"
(You gotta not!)
Askin' her for money
(You gotta not!)
And baby when you wanna start growin' up
We can boom, boom, boom, baby, fall in love

I need a man, a man who can act like a man
So hear me now, I don't get paid to babysit no one
I'm out here lookin' for the one to love
Singin', I need a man, so hear me now

(So hear me now)
(So hear me now)
I need, I need a man
I need, I need a man
I need, I need a man
I need, I need a man
I need a man...

I understand it was written by Meghan Trainor so I'm not calling the girls out for writing it as the 'fault,' if you want to call it that, lies with her, however, I'm disappointed that they chose catchiness over quality and agreed to promote what the lyrics are saying. I think it would've been better for them to politely decline the track and leave it to Meghan, although I just don't take a shine to it in general and would be happy if it didn't exist. It does though and I can't do anything about that. 



The lyrics are misandrous and it is saddening me that not many have noticed that. That's the thing with misandry, it's swept under the rug and people just, generally, don't seem to bother with it as much because who cares about men's feelings, right? It's always been women who were oppressed, they are always the 'damsel in distress,' so if a man dares to talk trash about her, we ought to pounce on him and if she dares to talk trash about him, then she has every right to because it makes her a strong, independent woman, right? You see, that's why we have a problem. People do have these beliefs and it all goes back to double standards, however, they're reversed this time. In the past, I have spoken about double standards in terms of clothing. Women are constantly slut shamed for wearing short skirts and crop tops, whereas men are praised for going topless. In this instance, though, it's the other way around and it's the women who are being congratulated for mouthing off about men. I don't know if that's just me, however, I don't think that's right. Each to their own though, I suppose.

I know that most people are just enjoying the song, 'You Gotta Not,' which they have every right to do and I would never take somebody's right to enjoy music away from them as music saves lives and makes the world a better place, but I wish people could open their eyes and realise not everything their idols do is perfect. People make mistakes and learn from them. To me, this isn't Little Mix's best track, and I am perfectly okay with admitting that. I understand that the girls get things wrong and don't always give out the right message, but who can honestly say they're the ideal human being? We have all said things we shouldn't have, we've all done things that we aren't too proud of, however, I think it's important to point these things out in order to shape us into better versions of ourselves and to allow us to recognise the difference between right and wrong. By telling people that they have made mistakes, you aren't criticising them, you're simply offering them a helping hand and you are allowing them to be an imperfect person. You're accepting them for who they are by saying "Okay, I don't agree with that, why don't you do it like this." And, Mixers, by acknowleding faults in the girls' songs, you aren't being a 'fake fan' as there is no such thing. Never, for one second, think that you aren't worthy of admiring them for knowing that they aren't flawless. By being aware of their flaws but loving them regardless, you're being the best version of YOURself. Because loving someone takes strength, courage and a good heart.
Also, Little Mix are in an incredibly influential position and have the power to impact how a lot of people think, therefore, I think it is essential we know which of the messages they're giving out are the right ones so we don't brainwash youngsters into believing things like misandry are justifiable. Additionally, by saying that Little Mix and Meghan did wrong here isn't a personal attack. A lot of the time, when someone uses a particular person as an example for the bigger picture, it can be seen as bullying or as if they're being verbally abused online, but that couldn't be further from the truth here. The fact that Little Mix and Meghan Trainor were involved in the creation of the song has nothing to do with the fact that the message of it isn't the best one to be giving out. Regardless of who wrote it or sings it, the song is portraying the wrong ideas. And try not to take every instance like this as a personal attack, because they often aren't. If you see every attempt to bright light to injustices as a hate campaign against certain people, where does that get us? We need examples for things like this to back up our points and to act as evidence. If I was to say that misandry exists in the music industry yet not give some songs as examples, you wouldn't believe me, you would have no reason to. But, in this case, Little Mix are doing the situation a favour by proving that misandry is still a big issue and it needs to be solved. I'm sure that their intention was to create a bopping song, not to portray a negative view of men onto their fans, but the fact of the matter is that the lyrics in the song could have been worded so much better.

The lyrics are rather ignorant and make the song poor, in my opinion. The girls are singing about expecting a man to conform to certain stereotypes in a relationship, which a woman has no place to do. Nobody has any place in telling anybody how to live their life.
They're singing about expecting a guy to be "a real man," to work, make money, perhaps wanting him to be the breadwinner, they sing about wanting him to look good and be tough, want to be a father, not rely on other people, laugh at him for having a bond with his mother and, finally, having abstract music tastes because he doesn't "bump to The Weeknd." I'm sorry but I don't see this as acceptable?! Have we not moved away from the ideas that men need to be "real men," well, I thought we had. If a man were to write a song about expecting his girlfriend to cook and clean for him, there would be uproar, but if a woman songs about expecting a man to perform a certain role in a relationship, nobody cares? If a man were to sing about expecting a girl to have curves or expecting a girl to be skinny, he would be absolutely slated but, in this song, Little Mix shame a guy for having a "muffin top," and it isn't taken any notice of? In fact, women are PRAISED for wanting a man who looks good and takes care of himself, but men are branded "disgusting?" Little Mix are people who I see as huge ambassadors for body positivity and acceptance but I'm not a fan of how they have turned the tables here, especially after being body shamed countless times themselves. The girls are also girl power icons, to me. They're all about female friendship and sticking up for your sisters, it's what they've represented from day one. Therefore, it saddens my heart to hear them being misandrous and this song does them no favours in the sense that it's sending out a message, particularly to young girls, that they should expect certain things of men.

I know that women have worked and still are working for equality and for the right to speak freely as men can, but why are we abusing this right? We have come so far to be seen as equal to men and to be seen as our own people, however, we are now turning the tables and speaking of men they way they previously spoke of us? Why are we going back on ourselves? It's almost like they're saying women are the superior sex and have the right to dictate how a man acts in a relationship. I know they don't explicitly state that, but it can be inferred from the lyrics. I have seen people argue that women have the right to be the superior sex for a change. People argue that women have been treated terribly in the past and so therefore should be able to be the dominant sex for a while. I'm sorry to disagree, but there really is no such thing as a 'superior sex.' Even throughout history when men were seen as the the better gender, they never truly were. People were indoctrinated to believe it but it was never the case, it was all about how other people saw them and if we begin to see women in the same way that we used to see men, then we'll end up with another gender hierarchy and could potentially go back to how things were, or worse. We are all equals, regardless of whether or not the law or people's actions reflect that. Women should not have the right to be the superior sex simply because they were oppressed in the past in the same way that men should not be seen as the superior sex just because that's how it's always been. And, for example, do you see black people going around physically abusing people because that's what used to be done to them? No. Everyone should receive the same treatment because the minute you start to see a select group of people as being better than another, you've caused a huge problem.

Another thing people may argue is that back in 2012, Little Mix released a song titled 'Going Nowhere,' which featured on their debut album 'DNA.' This song has a similar style of lyrics to 'You Gotta Not,' and fans argue that nobody complained about that so they are in no position to complain about 'You Gotta Not,' which doesn't make sense to me. Just because people didn't speak up about injustice in the past, why should that mean we don't speak up about them now? At one time, nobody spoke out against unfair treatment of women so were people like the Suffragettes just supposed to keep their mouths shut and where would we be today if they had? Additionally, personally, I wasn't a social media user at that time and I was 13 years old, I'm now 17 and a lot has changed in terms of how aware I am of what's going on in the world and how educated I am. When I listened to the song at 13, my mind wouldn't have wandered into the world of misandry because I had no idea what it was. Many Little Mix fans were young then because the majority of us have grown up with the girls and people literally do just become more educated over time, it's part of life, it's what happens. However, I'm sure people did call the girls out for the lyrics but just because it didn't receive as much attention, that doesn't mean to say the lyrics were justified or correct. It is on the same level as 'You Gotta Not.' Judge for yourself by listening to it below, if you like.



To reiterate, I am not "shading" or being hateful towards the girls because I adore them with every inch of my being but I just wanted to use that song as an example for the bigger picture. The bottom line is that we need to annihilate double standards. Granted, it isn't something that just happens overnight but we can take baby steps towards a goal of gender equality and fair treatment of the opposite sex. And I know people will say "you need to take a chill pill" and "just enjoy the song" because I'm "reading too much into it," however, if we continue to ignore these things, are we not just deeming them acceptable? And I can guarantee that if a man were to write a song like this, nobody would take it lying down but, because it's a woman, were just going to brush it off and cheer and praise them for speaking their mind and expressing their feelings? If a woman can do it in this way, a man should be able to as well, right? Didn't think so. If you don't want men to write songs like this, don't praise women for it. Can we not just get rid of these trash type of lyrics all together? Surely people have plenty more topics to write about, especially if they're award winning songwriters. We are only perpetuating this idea that women can control men if we ignore this subject and don't open our eyes to the world of double standards.
You can tell me that I'm reading way too into this song, but firstly, that's what I do, I have an overactive brain and that's just how my mind words, I read deeply into everything, secondly, everyone interprets music differently and that is allowed as I would never try to stop you from having a connection with a song, thirdly, I don't want to stay silent on this. I want to address the fact that these lyrics are wrong and are not helping the fact that double standards exist. So you can tell me to "chill out" but we cannot continue to ignore tiny things like this as they add fuel to the fire, and where does that get us?

I would apologise for writing this in case I have offended anyone, because that's the person I am. I shouldn't have offended but just in case I have, I'm sorry. And please don't pounce on me for this. I have an opinion and can't see I've said anything wrong. I don't voice my opinions much online, not if they're controversial, I post nice, happy things, which I enjoy. I do that to empower and inspire, but also because I don't feel able to voice my opinions. I have a LOT of them, they're in my head, but the second you Tweet something that not everyone agrees with, you're bombarded with abuse. That isn't right, especially if you have not said anything offensive. So I'm posting this nervously but asking you to respect what I'm saying in the way I sincerely respect you. Please do not hate on me as I'm just trying to voice my opinions on important subjects, just trying to do right. So, 1) I am sorry if this caused offence. 2) I love Little Mix and always will, I just do not agree with this track and think they probably had many more beautiful songs that they could have put on the album. 3) I love Meghan Trainor too, just not some of her lyrics. And 4) People ought to open their eyes to double standards. 

Let me know your thoughts on all of this. Have a nice day. <3

Love, Emily :) xx

3 comments:

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  2. Great post, but it's so true though. Through all the feminism and girl-power, we sometimes get conditioned to start trashing men. Just because the patriarchy has oppressed us in the past doesn't mean it's okay to blame all the men in our lives for it. This doesn't apply to just misandry but other things, such as trashing on and making fun of white people by minorities. I'm actually a POC but I can see that the culture of trashing on the normally "privileged" groups is also as problematic as it can really tear our society apart of gone unchecked.

    BTW: you have a typo. In the first paragraph, you said "misandry" is "ingrained prejudice against women" and that is confusing for those who don't know the actual definition. Otherwise, great post! Please don't write a huge paragraph apologizing for sharing your opinions. You don't need to, and you don't sound like you're hating on anyone at all!

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    1. Hey there! Thank you so much for giving my post a read! It was a long one so congrats on getting to the end haha. :) I am so glad you enjoyed it and understood what I was saying, I'm glad I didn't come across negatively as I never mean to be hateful! <3 I totally agree with what you are saying - I am so tired of all the hierarchies in society, we are all equals and just because you have been done wrong by a certain gender, does not give you the right to start trashing them. And we cannot tar everyone with the same brush! It means a lot to me that you left a comment on my blog post, thank you! Have a nice day. xx

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