The Elephant in the Room: Best and Worst of Female Satires

I already discussed Robin Thicke’s incredibly sexist video in my previous post. Now I want to talk about a video that intended to be a backlash to “Blurred Lines.” Lily Allen’s “Hard Out Here” video was ineffective, to say the least. I never really thought this would need to be put into words,but here we go: The appropriate response to a sexist video is NOT a racist one.

There’s nothing terribly, terribly wrong with Lily Allen’s lyrics. In fact, some of them are clever and spot on: “If I told you ’bout my sex life, you’d call me a slut/When boys be talking about their bitches, no one’s making a fuss/There’s a glass ceiling to break, uh-huh, there’s money to make.” The problem arises when she sings “Don’t need to shake my ass for you ‘cause I’ve got a brain” and then the video follows her sideways glare to scantily clad black women shaking their ass.

In case Lily Allen’s accusatory glare doesn’t speak for itself, let me put it into words for you: She’s mocking her own inability to twerk.In doing so, she’s not only appropriating black culture, but she’s doing it with the utmost distain, regarding it as something beneath her. What’s even more repulsive about this video is the contrast in how the black women and white women are dressed. As I said before, the black women in the video are scantily clad. On the other hand, Lily Allen is fully covered in long-sleeved attire. This contrast reduces these women to sexualized props while simultaneously establishing her (white) superiority. In short, “Hard Out Here” is a feminist fail because of its lack of solidarity.

On the other hand, J. Lo’s new video “I Luh Ya PaPi” effectively comments on unnecessary female objectification in music videos through the swapping of gender roles.

This video starts out with a discussion about potential ideas for J. Lo’s music video and raises the question, “Why do men always objectify women in every single video? Why can’t we, for once, objectify the men?” The video then goes on to feature J. Lo amongst oily men dressed in Speedos, seductively washing cars, and rubbing soap all over themselves. You go J.Lo(lo)!

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