Let’s get one thing straight, this list is not meant to condemn women, feminists, or anyone who enjoys listening to these songs or others like them. What this list is intended to do is point out certain objectifying, misogynistic, and problematic aspects that are often overlooked in our favorite songs. Also, this is not a list of the top ten most anti-feminist anthems. These are simply some of the songs that I reevaluated because of the themes and concepts expressed. Some of the songs mentioned are lighthearted and likely not genuinely sexist, misogynistic, etc.; however, it is important to breakdown the lyrics to our favorite songs and recognize if something is problematic. 

Can you be a feminist and listen to these songs? Absolutely. Should we as a progressive society recognize the problematic tendencies in these songs? One hundred percent. Let’s get started. 

“Jealous” – Nick Jonas

Not only does this song promote an unhealthy relationship, but it also exudes toxic masculinity. Jonas sings “I’m puffing my chest/ I’m getting red in the face/ You can call me obsessed…It’s my right to be hellish.” The song is from the point of view of a jealous boyfriend who is afraid his girlfriend is being unfaithful. As a result, the speaker of the song believes he has a right to be possessive, obsessive, and ‘hellish’.

“Hey Mama” – David Guetta ft. Nicki Minaj

The early 2015 music video has collected more than one billion views on YouTube and ironically, most of the sexism in this song were sung by Nicki Minaj. She says, “Yes I be your woman/ yes I be your baby/ yes I be whatever you tell me when your ready”. She also says, “yes I do the cooking/ yes I do the cleaning/…yes you be the boss yes I be respecting.” Not only does Minaj promote a female suppressed gender role, but she also claims that she will change her identity at any point for her man, at his convenience.

“Why Don’t We Go There” – One Direction

This one might come as a surprise given the reputation of the beloved boy-band. However, the song does stretch the definition of consent. As it goes, “I know you want, know you wanna take it slow/…just give me the key/…say the word but don’t say no.” Given these lyrics, the speaker of the song is persuading a girl who doesn’t want to have sex to have sex. Consent is not evidenced to be recognized in this boy-band anthem and ‘no’ does not have any gravity to the speaker.

“Redneck Crazy” – Tyler Farr

Placing second on Billboard’s Top Country Album’s, the song, “Redneck Crazy,” calls toxic masculinity and unstable relationships directly to the listeners attention. Farr sings, “Gonna drive like hell through your neighborhood/ park this Silverado on your front lawn/ crank up a little Hank, sit on the hood and drink/ I’m about to get my pissed off on/ I’m gonna aim my headlights into your bedroom windows/ throw empty beer cans at. ”With each line of the country song, Farr is adding another layer to toxic masculinity in this song. From stalking his ex-girlfriend to harassing her in her own home, this chart-topping country song is far from a healthy and balanced relationship. 

“All About That Bass” – Meghan Trainor

This body positivity anthem may not be so body positive after all. While the song does promote the acceptance of plus sized, female bodies, it simultaneously shames girls who have a smaller frame. Trainor sings, “I’m bringing booty back/ go ahead and tell them skinny b****es that.” In addition, Trainor also sings, “boys like a little more booty to hold at night.” This line alludes to women needing the approval of men in order to be satisfied with their own bodies. 

“God Made Girls” – RaeLynn

What was likely created in good intentions unfortunately ended with marginalizing a significant amount of the female population. RaeLynn sings, “Somebody’s gotta wear a pretty skirt/ somebody’s gotta be the one to flirt…Somebody/s gotta make him get dressed up…Somebody’s gotta be the one to cry.” In the end, the song limits girls to one specific type: feminine and delicate. While there is nothing wrong with matching the persona that RaeLynn characterizes, it is important to realize that women are not limited to this standard as the singer implies.

“Animals” – Maroon 5

This 2014 song from Maroon 5 is pretty disturbing when you break down the lyrics. The chorus says, “Baby, I’m preying on you tonight/ Hunt you down, eat you alive/ Just like animals.” To add to insult to injury, the music video details Levine’s obsession with a random woman he meets and then begins to stalk her. Viewed by more than six-hundred million people, this song is anything but feminist. 

“Belong to the World” – The Weekend

This song is from The Weekend’s debut album Kiss Land and many of the misogynistic lyrics speak for themselves. Throughout the song, we hear lyrics such as, “I just love that you’re dead inside…I should leave you/ and learn to mistreat you/ Cause you belong to the world…I wanna embrace you/ domesticate you.” Considering these lyrics are directed towards a woman and the topic is domestication and mistreating your girlfriend, the misogynism is clear. 

“Blurred Lines” – Robin Thicke

This is one of the most notoriously sexist and misogynistic songs of all time. This reputation is derived from lyrics such as, “Tried to domesticate you/ But you’re an animal/ Baby, it’s in your nature/ Just let me liberate you.” The ‘lines’ the title of the song is referring to is consent, and it is time to recognize that this is not a ‘blurred line’, yes means yes and no means no. 

“Every Man of Mine” – Shania Twain

I bet you didn’t expect to see this 2000’s country classic on this list. While Twain does not objectify or degrade women, the song does value men as a lesser counterpart in the speaker’s desired relationship. As an illustration, Twain sings, “Anything I do or say better be ok… Any man of mine better walk the line…When I cook him dinner and I burn it black/ he better say, “mmm, I like it like that.”’ Essentially, the man in the speaker’s relationship cannot express any opinion and the female speaker maintains control over the relationship. Sexism is bad, Shania, even when it’s against men.

Elizabeth F
CABINET