I was recently subjected to reading a disgusting "article" dripping in thinly veiled misogyny about how we need to call out female DJs who use their sexuality to promote their brand/music. This article was, of course, written by a man, who felt he needed to speak up for the females in the music industry. I will not link the article here because I do not wish to drive any traffic to his drivel, but I do feel the need to speak up since he's not the only one who thinks this way. I have so many problems with this piece I could write a novel, but I will stick to covering the main issue I feel should be addressed.
The writer specifically attacks a well known female DJ who also happens to be a successful model for major brands, YouTuber, fitness inspiration, vegan activist, and sometimes singer. Apparently, he takes issue with her posting too many photos of her in a bikini, which he finds "sexual" and "too much." He laments that in "just 30 days" she posted a slew of bikini clad photos, some of which were accompanied by captions encouraging fans to listen to her latest music.
He asserts that as a well known name, her "sexualized" music promotion encourages men to look at all female DJs and say, "she must have fucked someone for that spot on the lineup," glossing over the disturbing fact that men would even think this in the first place. His entire argument here is that by "sexualizing" herself, men cannot respect or take her seriously, and ultimately apply their disrespect and misogyny to female artists as whole.
This is problematic because it's based on the assumption that if women "cover up," men will respect them more, which is outrageous. Women have been covering up for like, ever. Back in the day it was scandalous to show your ANKLE as a female. Were women equal then? No. Did the layers of fabric and corsets deter men from objectifying women? No, because no amount of clothing can reverse the deeply ingrained male power complex that men are superior and women exist for their pleasure.
That same power complex is the mentality behind a man believing a woman must have used sex to achieve something. When a man sees a successful woman and his first thought is, "who did she sleep with for that?" it's not because of what she's wearing, but because he cannot process how a woman would get something over a man EXCEPT through sex. What a woman is or isn't wearing could possibly exacerbate and "justify" their misogyny, but it isn't the root of the problem.
The underlying problem in this piece is that it blatantly excuses misogyny by placing the blame on women. It is not a woman's responsibility to tone down her sexuality in order to be respected or protect herself from men. That is anti-feminism. It is MEN's job to get over whatever sex issues they have and learn to respect women as both sexual and non sexual beings, at the same time, not on separate Instagram accounts. If you can't take a woman seriously as an artist because she used her own body to promote her new song, that is a problem with YOU, not her.
Her photos aren't the problem, misogyny is.
Furthermore, the idea that female artists need to "call out" other female artists for posting content certain men are unable to respect is downright offensive. Feminism is about allowing women to live the way they want to and do what they want with their own bodies, whether that means waiting till marriage, having tons of casual sex, or using their bodies for profit or promotion.
Women don't need to police each other's Instagram posts out of fear of how they'll reflect on them. Women don't need to separate their sexuality from their art or profession. Women don't need to shame other women for doing what makes them happy with respect to their own bodies/art/careers because WOMEN ARE NOT THE PROBLEM. We are not responsible for a man's inability to respect us as human beings, men are. We don't need to call each other out, but we do need to call out casual misogynists who think the way to equality is by altering women's behavior and not men's.
So, to the bro who wrote this article, this is me calling you out.
You say you support more women in the industry, but only on YOUR terms. You say they can express themselves, but only in ways you deem acceptable and "fair." You say they can be sexual, but only as sexual as you, a man, feel personally comfortable with.
THIS IS NOT FEMINISM. You are not a feminist, nor an ally to women. Your grand plan for equality for women in music includes slut shaming, pitting women against one another, and desexualizing ourselves to make it easier for men to not suck.
Female sexuality is CONSTANTLY being exploited in the music industry, usually by men (because of course, women are taught not to for fear of being shamed by men like you). If your problem is truly only with artists using sex to promote music, there are a host of male DJs who constantly use women's asses to promote their music and events for you to write about, but you didn't. You wrote about a successful woman using her own body to promote herself, because that's really what this is all about.
You can claim all the women who called you out "must not have read the full article" or "misunderstood," but we did read, we do understand, and we want you to go away.