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Musogyny: The Race to Ban Artist’s Visas

With the ‘Year of the Twerk’ safely behind us, its good to see that the issue of feminism in popular culture still rages on strong as Australian group Collective Shout is following on from their campaign to try and get Tyler the Creator banned from performing down under with a new target firmly in their sights: Snoop Dogg… or Snoop Lion or the latest alias Calvin Cordozar Broadus Jr. is now going by.

The group appealed unsuccessfully but wholeheartedly to Immigration Minister Scott Morrison to deny the rap superstar’s entry to Australian shores for his historic musogyny crimes against women, racking up almost 4,000 signatures of support from feminists who wished to oppose the appearances of popular artists that glorify violence against women.

In her mission statement head campaigner of Collective Shout, Talitha Stone, says: “Snoop Dogg’s lyrics glorify violence against women which puts all women in danger. His behaviour also contradicts our National Plan to Reduce Violence Against Women. As a society which claims to be serious about eradicating violence against women, there should be no place for recording artists who glorify misogyny and degrade women for entertainment.”

The moral crusade has so far been controversial around the world, helped along by The Guardian commentator Frances Lockie who posed the question this week of why Stone and her Collective Shout were targeting black male artists whilst white shady characters that dip their toes into pools of sexism have been let off the hook.

A fair question, until with a little digging you see that Collective Shout have and actually do champion a plethora of feminist issues in music regardless of genre or race of their targets, despite their misrepresentation in her article.

Last year for example, the group rallied against the notorious Robin Thicke calling on the MTV Awards along with 21,000 others to “remove ‘Blurred Lines’ from any nomination for any awards for its blatant promotion of rape culture.” It’s just that their visa campaigns have more weight with the media.

Whilst we’re certainly not denying that race and certain types of music genres like hip-hop do get more of a hard rap [Brilliant - Ed.] than other artists, especially when compared to say any white indie bands for example, the reason these artists have been targeted by Collective Shout is for their own lyrics and videos, whose misogynistic nature falls heavily on their shoulders as individuals.

Regardless of their colour or chosen genre of music, the sentiment that is taken from their music can, in some instances, promote an unhealthy attitude to women and that is no longer acceptable to feminists worldwide. Whether you agree with banning them from a country due to their verbal and visual depictions of women, is an issue that sits outside of race.

Collective Shout and wider commentators who hold these beliefs aren’t playing a selective race card, they are playing a feminist card that happens to be directed to a black rap artist on this occasion whilst the rest of their work against white offenders has been politely ignored.

Where Lockie calls for white singers to share the same treatment as Snoop, she shouldn’t have made it about colour but said instead that all singers full stop deserve scrutiny; Asian, Black, White or any shade in between. When race is used as a beating stick on a campaign, the base argument on whether it is okay for artists to voice sexist lyrics and content is skewed away from the problem at hand.

Like Stone herself says: “I wish I could take on everyone but I can’t…I wish I could stop a lot of things happening.” And when thinking about it so do we – here’s looking at you Robin Thicke.

- Sarah Joy



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