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Musogyny: Katy Perry; Concerned Sister or Just Another Shamer?

Everyone knows it’s a man’s world out there (thanks James Brown) but there is none more so than the big bad world of music. From Miley’s twerking to Sinead’s open letter shaming, these last few months have seen an upward trajectory in the debate around gender issues within music.

Rest assured that we here at Notion will be keeping a keen eye on all things sexism and there may even be some naming and shaming along the way.

Last week, Katy Perry opened her perfectly painted lips to announce that female pop stars should ‘cover up’ from here on in. Anyone who has ever seen a Katy Perry promotional campaign or music video will be scraping their jaw off the floor right about now.

No really, she said that. The girl who brought us such outfits as the bra with cream firing from the teats, whose episode of Sesame Street was banned due to her low cut top and who posed topless for Esquire Magazine last year. One can only assume she hasn’t looked in the mirror lately.

Not that Katy Perry isn’t a fantastic female role model for young women in many ways; she is smart, talented, and feisty and can write the hell out of a clean pop track but if there is one thing she isn’t, then that’s demure. Even her most recent video ‘Roar’ sees her swinging through the trees in her underwear and that’s just the tip of the smut iceberg.

Which is all fine by Musogyny’s standards, Perry is old enough to make her own skimpy clad appearances and she does it on her own terms, but just please don’t tell others not to do the same when you frequently leave little to the imagination.

In her defence, Miss Perry does follow up her call for chaste fashion by saying “I’m not necessarily judging. I’m just saying sometimes it’s nice to play that card, but also it’s nice to play other cards. And I know I have that sexy card in my deck, but I don’t always have to use that card.

But don’t you often find that any sentence that starts ‘I’m not judging BUT’ undermines your argument? As it does sound like she’s judging and it does sound like she’s slighting her peers who are naked a vast majority of the time.

Sure context is everything, Perry probably did think she was saying the right thing and indeed her sentiments seem to hold integrity with young fans.

It’s just that when you play off sexy as much as Miley and Rihanna, it seems invalid to come out and say ‘hey, it is totally okay to act sexy sometimes… just not all the time’.

It’s hypocritical. Now let’s just take our tops off and dance to ‘California Gurls‘ because that song is totally not objectifying at all?

- Sarah Joy

Header Image: Cass Bird

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