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Musogyny: I Got 99 Problems and This is One

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 slut shaming, these last months have seen an upward trajectory in the debate around gender issues within music. Rest assured that we here at Planet Notion will be keeping a keen eye on all things sexism and there may even be some bullshit called out along the way. 

God I love Solange. I love her perfectly coordinated trouser suits and the fit she induced in Jimmy Fallon when she smashed ‘Losing You’ out of US territory. I love the hairbrush-flailing bedroom to dance floor routines and the Dev Hynes production magic she lapped up with relish when it was collaborative, and then threw aside with feminist mirth when he suggested otherwise.

I love that she got married at seventeen and went off to live her life with her high school sweetheart, only coming back when it all fell apart and she got bored of writing spare Destiny Child songs.

Most of all, I love that she is Beyonce’s little sister, converting the pop haters over to the Knowles family where Queen Bey didn’t quite manage – although her elder sister did a very good solo job of converting the world.

Unfortunately though for Solange, I find violence abhorrent. I am essentially, and no doubt not alone, in being a lover and definitely not a hater.

Solange on the other hand, well she can certainly pack a punch. And a kick… And a claw. In fact I’m surprised Jay Z came away with any eyes at all the way she went for him.

I am of course talking about the TMZ video that came to light this week. If you haven’t seen it you clearly don’t follow popular culture, as the first family of global pop got into an almighty one-sided brawl following the Met Gala Ball in New York.

What literally kick started the fight was reportedly Jay-Z’s desire to party on alone, coupled with a not-appreciated snub at Solange’s pals who used his name in vain to gain access to an after party (you’re Jay Z, help the girl out) but what ensued was entirely disproportionate.

In a darkly lit lift, and held back by one hapless security guard, Solange’s temper fired over and she went into fighter mode reigning all manner of blows onto Jay Z’s body. No doubt a security guard somewhere has lined his pockets, as the video leaks and set the internet on fire with 99 problems jokes.

Underneath all the shock that a tiny person could strike out so hard, there are some serious questions to be asked, especially as it seems Solange has by the large got away with it.

Whereas a man hitting a woman is internationally condemnable, by everyone but knobheads, there seems to be a more jovial acceptance of it when it is the other way around. You only have to go on social media to see it.

Reactions range from amusement to a feeling that Jay Z clearly did something to deserve a beating. Whilst that may be true or not, it only shows how women and men’s actions are still taken differently in our society. Inequity still reigns in the way behaviour is perceived.

Would this still be as funny if Jay-Z had clobbered Solange? Thought not. Luckily Jay Z didn’t strike back, and therefore he is the bigger person in this family feud.

Sarah Joy



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