Misogynistic Music Industry

Throughout history, women have struggled across different aspects of life to establish equality or become the dominant figure. In the United States today, life experiences from women are not held to the same standard as men. Examples of this can be demonstrated through sports, art, politics, and especially music. According to the article, Life and Hip-Hop: How women’s role in the industry allows for empowerment, breaking norms, it states “success was more challenging to achieve for women compared to their male counterparts. Los Angeles Southwest College sociology professor Kristine Wright said the genre of hip-hop’s treatment of women draws parallels to the world of sports – specifically basketball. Much like the WNBA, she said women in hip-hop have traditionally been paid less and receive less attention than their male peers, like those in the NBA. With female artists historically receiving less attention, Wright said there is a conception among industry executives and popular artists that promoting female sexuality can result in greater industry success. Some female rappers like Nicki Minaj have been pressured by these ideals to change their looks as a result, Wright said.” (Wright, 2021). This quote is important because it describes how women were able to rise to success and overcome misogynistic hardships in the music industry. Unfortunately, since hip-hop can be seen as a reflection of how our society is today, this patriarchy-based world we live in applies to the industry and its promotion tactics. If the industry believes sales will increase if the artist is provocatively dressed, then that is what they will try to promote. In my opinion, this is disgusting. I have never heard multiple accounts of men being coerced into nudity exposure just to become successful. Although it can be seen as empowering to take control of your own body, it should not feel like the path to success requires you to expose your own body. This relates to our class as we dig deeper into learning about how women and men are treated differently and where this stemmed from. According to Women Race & Class by Angela Davis, it states “ Men and women were created equal: they are both moral and accountable human beings” (Davis, 42). I like this quote a lot because I feel like it relates to the music industry in an interesting way. If we were created equal with morals and a sense of accountability, how is it that we live in a society that justifies immoral actions to succeed when committed by a woman? Is nudity for money not immoral? The bigger picture of this all can be seen when men rise to success in the hip-hop industry pretty much by making songs with explicit lyrics related to female encounters meanwhile females have to actually do these explicit things. Until recently, you’ve probably never heard of women making an attempt to sexualize men the way they do. Again, it can be seen as empowering because it shows how women can play the same game men play, and sometimes do it even better. It also shows dominance because if they know they have something the industry wants, it gives them leverage and an understanding of how to use it to their advantage. I’m sure the society we live in today is familiar with the term “Pussy Power”.



Davis, Angela Y. Women, Race & Class. Vintage Books, 1983.

Brown, Natalie. “Life and Hip-Hop: How Women’s Role in the Industry Allows for Empowerment, Breaking Norms.” Daily Bruin, 12 Nov. 2020, https://dailybruin.com/2020/11/12/life-and-hip-hop-how-womens-role-in-the-industry-allows-for-empowerment-breaking-norms.

1 thought on “Misogynistic Music Industry

  1. Hilarie Ashton


    You have some great ideas here! They’re a bit hard to read because of your structure. You have enough separate themes and supporting material to break this into at least three paragraphs. This helps the reader focus on your ideas, models for them the shifts in your argument, and goes a bit easier on eyes that might be tired from too much screentime. (Plus, like we talked about in class, shorter paragraphs are even more important for online work than work on paper, in terms of most people’s attention span.)

    Your inclusion of the Wright quote is really interesting, but it doesn’t respond to your title, and in fact, you haven’t included anything that specifically references the music industry. Maybe the title was a holdover from your previous draft? This makes it harder to follow your argument than it should be for a reader.

    And you make a lot of claims that would be strengthened with some evidence: for example, your claims about morality and immorality, and when you talk about provocative clothing, you keep it very abstract. The assignment was to respond specifically to a reading, and your writing here is way too general. Relatedly, tou also don’t show us the relationship between the Davis quote and your topic – you just tell us that they relate, and that’s not going far enough.

    I’m looking forward to your final project!

    Prof. A

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