Even though feminism has become basically ~trendy~at this point, that doesn’t necessarily mean that everyone who is on board the female-empowerment train is necessarily ***flawless when it comes to their representation of women in music. While rap tunes are constantly bashed for representing ladies as one-dimensional objects, the problem extends far wider than just one genre.
Some famous ladies who, who you know, should be the point of reference when it comes to representing women positively and equally, still seem to eff it up sometimes. Check out the gallery below to see 10 songs that were slammed for being anti-feminist and sexist… even though they’re sung by female artists in the first place!
"Dangerous Woman" by Ariana Grande
The entire Dangerous Woman album was praised as a monumental female sex-positive record when it was released, until some people started really diving into the lyrics of some of its most popular tracks. Although this song starts with Ari declaring that she is the one who calls the shots in her hookups, many perceived it to actually be about her dependence on the opposite sex, a theme that they listeners found echoed in the rest of the album in songs like "Everyday" and "Let Me Love You."
Photo: Republic Records
"Bad Blood" by Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift's apparent feminism has been called into question several times throughout her years as a pop icon, but particularly when her song "Bad Blood" came out in 2015.
What got people talking was the fact that many saw this tune to be taking shots at Katy Perry, who tweeted, "Finding it ironic to parade the pit women against other women argument about as one unmeasurably capitalizes on the take down of a woman."
In addition to celebs calling out the anti-feminist themes in "Bad Blood," fans also noted the hypocrisy of using a "feminist" voice to publicly bash another woman in the spotlight.
Photo: Republic Records
"Good For You" by Selena Gomez
Okay, even feminists have to admit that "Good for You" is a song almost impossible not to love! We mean, the beat, the rhythm — wow. But the fact that the whole tune basically revolves around a woman wanting to look good to please a man basically wraps up the sexism with a bow.
Photo: Interscope Records
"Come and Get It" by Selena Gomez
Lorde and Sel actually found themselves in a bit of a feud over this possibly anti-feminist anthem. The New Zealander told MTV News, "I'm a feminist and the theme of [Selena's] song is, 'When you're ready come and get it from me.' I'm sick of women being portrayed this way." She later defended her words again, saying, "I have pretty strong morals and opinions being in pop music, and I can't help but express those, which I think people appreciate. I mean, I don't think I say anything that isn't backed up."
While some people definitely do appreciate Lorde's commentary, someone who definitely didn't was the "Come and Get it" singer herself who made a statement about how the "Royals" crooner's criticism is actually sexist. Selena said, "That's not feminism. [Lorde is] not supporting other women. That's my honest opinion... I actually covered her song in all of my shows that I've done so far... I'm not sure if I'm going to continue that."
Photo: Hollywood Records
"Partition" by Beyoncé
If there's anybody who uses feminism as a branding technique just as much as Taylor Swift, it's gotta be Queen B. Whether you find her feminist values to be authentic or simply ~self-beneficial~, there's no question that female empowerment is a trend in a lot of her most popular music. The song "Partition," however, seemed to digress from that a bit.
The line "he Monica Lewinsky'd all on my gown" was particularly problematic because it seems like the epitome of bashing another woman (who already has been historically and publicly slut-shamed) for her own artistic pleasures and financial benefits.
Monica herself felt slighted by the phrase, and wrote in a Vanity Fair column, "Thanks, Beyoncé, but if we're verbing, I think you meant 'Bill Clinton'd." We can't argue with the fact that using a woman's name to describe to male bodily fluids seems wrong.
Photo: Columbia Records
"Stupid H*e" by Nicki Minaj
While the rapper and her many alter egos have frequently called out sexism in the music industry, it seems a little silly that she would create a song with the main objective of degrading her "female haters" as just a bunch of "stupid h*es," seemingly subjecting them to the same type of sexism that her male rapper counterparts force upon the rap Queen all of the time.
Photo: Cash Money Records
"Stupid Girls" by P!nk
Some people find this song to be a feminist anthem, encouraging women to be strong leaders, but it was the making fun of "ditzy" ladies that had people asking what P!nk was really saying. Feminspire, a feminist website, had a poignant review on this tune, branding it "sexist" and stating, "Pink sh*ts on these women who are too stupid to break out of the chains of patriarchy by harshly judging their promiscuity and blaming them for 'giving in' to sexist tropes."
The website also said the singer implicitly claims that "women are to blame for their sexist objectification," which obviously is not the case.
"Dear Future Husband" by Megan Trainor
Unlike Ariana, Beyonce, Taylor and Gaga, Meghan has no desires to be a feminist icon — in fact, she claims she's not a feminist, at all! Her song "Dear Future Husband" and its accompanying music video basically outraged listeners, though.
The line, "You gotta know how to treat me like a lady / Even when I'm acting crazy / Tell me everything's alright" seemed to refer to how illogically *crazy* and *hysteric* women can be — particularly when it's that time of the month.
Many also perceived the song to be about all-too-traditional gender roles as she begs her man to "treat [her] like a lady" and "buy [her] a ring," while stating she's worth it because she'll be "the perfect wife." Those declarations paired with the video of Meg as a 1950's housewife cooking and scrubbing the floor really rubbed people the wrong way.
Photo: Epic Records
"Do What U Want" by Lady Gaga
Like all the other feminists on this list, Lady Gaga seems to be #forthecause, yet her song "Do What U Want" seems to put all the power of a woman's body and sexuality into a man's hands.
Basically, Gaga chants, "Do what you want, what you want with my body," while R. Kelly (an alleged sex offender) repeats back to her, "I'll do what I want / what I want with your body." *Jaw drops to the floor.*
Photo: Streamline and Interscope Records
"Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne
When Avril came out with "Girlfriend," she got hate for "selling out" for pop music, but that's not the only thing that people didn't like about her new song. The anthem is essentially the story of trying to steal another girl's boyfriend, which critics said was encouraging women to fight with each other over a guy, which as we all know is soooo not feminist.