Tuesday, November 24, 2020

Double standards in pop music examined

Ariana Grande’s new album “thank u, next” dropped on Friday. Not even six months since she dropped “Sweetener,” no review is necessary (and no, this is not a review). This album rocks, but it does present some questions about the double standard of feminism in our society.  


Grande has proven herself a powerhouse becoming one of the highest ranked female artists in recent years. While other artists receive criticism for songs with similar subjects such as love, jealousy and fame, Grande seems to be praised for, simply put, complaining. 

Taylor Swift seemed to have hit her peak years ago releasing song after song with one central theme — failed love. Fans pointed out that it seems as if Swift has a bank of songs for her next imminent breakup with her always famous significant others. 

She has about 12 songs linked to specific men. Whether that business plan is good or not, the singer-songwriter has defended herself saying that she processes her emotions through writing. But at the same time, these songs make her bank account grow exponentially. The breakup songs are always the hits. 

After one of Swift’s public breakups (followed by a song of course) a true Ariana fan, @arianaswhip, tweeted:

“Does Taylor Swift enjoy looking like and being a whore in front of the world? Probably.”

So when Swift sings of failed relationships and then getting back out in the dating scene she is labeled a whore. 

But Grande breaks records for similar songs. In fact, in November when the single “thank u, next” was released, it broke Spotify records. Now that the album is out, we see more of Grande’s emotional processes to her single life and sexual promiscuity. 

A stand out song “break up with your girlfriend, i’m bored” is all about her trying to destroy a relationship for a night with the guy — or a girl, who knows, she’s Ariana Grande, she can do what she wants and come out the other side of the media frenzy unscathed! 

“Took one f—–g look at your face, now I wanna know how you taste,” she sings on the track followed up saying what a good time they could have together if he were single. But it’s not wishful thinking, Grande is actually demanding for the break up to “hit it in the morning like its yours.”

Imagine if Taylor Swift sang these words.

Grande has only commented on her feminist standings when facing accusations such as over the missed opportunity of “God is a Woman.” Some thought the single could’ve been more of an anthem against the patriarchy rather than about sexual freedom. 

She defends her feelings through tweeting sympathetic lyrics like “I’m obsessive and I love too hard,” or “good at overthinking with my heart.” But is that enough to shield her from the criticism?

Again, what if Swift said these words? She would be called out for complaining, or being too thirsty? Not processing her emotions through song. 

I must say, I am not a huge Taylor Swift fan and, to be honest, I’ve been listening to Grande’s new album all weekend. But can’t help to notice a paradox.  

Both women are commercializing their personal lives, but one is being torn down while the other is being lifted up. 

The double standards in our society over who is allowed to mourn a relationship or who is allowed to celebrate their promiscuity is alarming. It is doing nothing for the feminist movement besides demonizing women who want an open conversation. 

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