Beyonce Wikipedia and Flickr

Beyoncé’s Bootylicious Feministic Art-killing Fun Fest

So I was standing in front of my kitchen sink, washing dishes like the horrible, woman-hating misanthrope that I am, when, on NPR, of all places, my ears were raped by the gyrating beats of Beyoncé Knowles that brought upon me an uncontrollable urge to start shaking my hips this way and that. The same artist who declared that “[girls] run the world” and opined that if you liked it, you “shoulda put a ring on it” is now eloquently contending that men “can’t keep [their] eyes off my fatty.” Well, I must say, Mrs. Knowles, I’ve never even glanced at your, er, “fatty,” so I can’t say one way or the other.

That choice quote is taken from Knowles’ new self-titled album: BEYONCÉ. Why is it all-caps? Who knows.

What is known is that Knowles has broken boundaries with her listeners. She has stripped them of cognitive autonomy and force-fed them feminism – whether they know it or not.

The sultry, exotic lyrics deeply rooted in sexual promiscuity disguised as “freedom” or “girl power” are prevalent throughout the album. Commentators are calling this “Beyoncé’s Feminist Manifesto.” First Lady Michelle Obama is lauding Beyoncé as a “role model who kids everywhere can look up to.”  Others have suggested that Knowles is as important to feminism as Oprah.

In the song “Flawless,” Knowles clarifies her desire to be dubbed queen of the fembots by shamelessly using a TED Talk given by the Nigerian author Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie.

Essentially, people like Beyoncé. And that’s cool. You have the right to listen to whatever type of music that makes your proverbial rump shake.

But it is the opinion of many that she is not making art – she is making noise.

Oh, 21st century, how you never cease to amaze and bore simultaneously with your shoddy definition of “art.”

During my time at Harvard, I had the opportunity to take a European Romanticism survey course. One of the assigned texts was The Sorrows of Young Werther, written by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. Throughout the text, Werther writes to his friend Wilhelm about his stay in fictional Wahlheim and his experiences there. Among these were his meeting of Lotte, a beautiful peasant girl who was engaged to be married to a man named Albert.

The love triangle becomes juicier and progressively scandalous as you turn the pages. Werther ultimately becomes consumed by his attachment to Lotte, resulting in his suicide.

That’s what worship of women gets you.

And so it is with Beyoncé. All men, everywhere, at all times, should live in awe of the opposite sex. Look upon its glory and power. Genuflect. A bit further. Bow your head, now. There you go.

The adoration of the “fatty” must be constant and ceaseless, Beyoncé suggests. The worship of drugs and alcohol, which is further detailed in her lyrics, is to be vaunted. We’re royalty. Hurrah.

But among those lyrics – if one can call these sordid rhymes that a five-year-old could fashion “lyrics” – one cannot find the true reverence for art, beauty, love, life, and death. They cannot find true reverence for the complexity of the human plight, the deciphering of the existential dilemma, an explanation for loss or a pathway to grieve. It’s just not there.

And what is true reverence?

Understanding the human condition and expressing your interpretation with various methods and techniques.

Art introduces the “new.” It introduces something different. The artist (which includes the terms “poet” and “songwriter”), therefore, is a legislator. Transcendence takes place logically, not temporally. Knowles and people like her are temporal hacks – not artistic performers. The logic, the journey for knowledge, the yearning for a deeper, fuller understanding of the human soul – has been lost.

The universal and eternal truths of equality and justice are the pillars of art.

Those who have the millions of dollars to create and express themselves have a responsibility to make a statement for the culture that they live in. These celebrities can often be used as a gauge with which a society can be measured for its cultural appreciation. And Knowles, as one of the most “successful” (by society’s standards) artists of this day and age, has left cultural dynamism in the mud in favor of grotesque feminist garbage.

Life, death, sadness, joy, sorrow, and pity are all important, timeless issues that deserve artistic attention. But Beyoncé’s “fatty” is more important, isn’t it?

Humanity looks to its artists and leaders of thought for answers surrounding the human condition. But Beyoncé’s “fatty” needs to be scrutinized because it is important.

I fear for the direction of the artistic world. No, we can’t have the opera, the symphony, folk music. We can’t have real art. We need Beyoncé’s “fatty.” Right?

Wrong. We can’t have a dialogue about life in a dubstep song. We can’t wax poetic as the “fatty” is shoved in our ears, deafening them with its cushioning, muffling prowess. The fatty makes us want to eat at McDonald’s. The fatty culture wants us to adhere to the phony theory of patriarchy. The fatty has mended my mind and soul so that it is numb – without artistic expression and without an understanding of the human condition.

The word of the year, as decided by the folks over at the Oxford English Dictionary, is “selfie.”

Earlier this year, Miley Cyrus got partially naked and “twerked” on national television.

Only a few more nails need to be thrashed into the coffin of high culture to ensure a steady death. I think we can count on Ke$ha, Britney Spears, and Zooey Deschanel to take care of that for us.

Hastening the death of high culture is the fact that the airwaves are dominated by Beyoncé’s egocentric, worldly, feminist audio bible; lauding sexually “free” matriarchy and woman empowerment (read: supremacy) line after line. Her album is accompanied by a pornographic and stomach-churning slew of music videos, which I admittedly have not watched. And quite honestly, I have not listened to the album, either. But I read the lyrics.

And I wept.

Editor’s note: Feature image of Beyonce by Asterio Tecson

Nicholas Alahverdian is an author, lobbyist, and scholar of comparative literature based in Cambridge, Massachusetts and Dayton, Ohio. He is the Chief of Staff for the Judicial Accountability Committee and Legal Analyst at A Voice for Men and acts as a liaison between the Committee and the public. Educated at Harvard University, his research focuses on Sylvia Plath, James Joyce, psychological transference, and literature and the law. His legal specialties are false accuser analysis, prosecutorial misconduct, family law, personal injury, and general criminal law. Previously, he was a lobbyist that spearheaded prevention of child abuse and negligence in the Rhode Island Department of Children, Youth and Families through legislation and activism. Alahverdian can be reached at n.alahverdian@avoiceformen.com

 

 

 

 

Fundraiser will end on December 31, 2013

 

 

  • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

    Trash belongs in the refuse pile. There is nothing more oppressive than depriving the children of exposure to the highest achievements of mankind and letting them choose their own path. Yet that is what I experienced in dumbed-down schools and even university (with PC professors).

    Instead we get burlesque on the one hand (pop junk), and on the other, McArthur Award-willing brain-sluts who write nonsense femifascist screeds claiming that Beethoven symphonies are coded rape narratives.

    “Where de dumpster at, yo! — I gotta crud-CD tuh toss out.”

  • Fatherless

    Nice try, but a survey course on European Romanticism doesn’t much have to do with this music. You have to judge it on it’s own terms. You have to reach back to Michael Jackson, Marvin Gaye, James Brown, all the way back to Duke Ellington, and eventually West Africa.

    Instead you’re going on and on about “high culture” and “true art” if as there’s some sort of Germanic purity that’s only properly understood by some wonderful canon of dead white men. This is how college sophomores talk about music when they first discover sonata form.

    The fact is in terms of production, song-writing, timbral effects, rhythm, groove… BEYONCÉ and her producers are pulling off things that our beloved Beethoven never dreamed of inside his cute little central European bubble. In his day Turkish music was still exotic.

    And Dubstep? There’s a lot of barilliant stuff going on there that hasn’t reached the mainstream since The Rite of Spring. The premier of which, by the wy, had choreography that was considered scandalous – even pornographic – in it’s day.

    When you go on and on about “this isn’t art, it’s noise” you sound like some old fuddy duddy worrying about Elvis Presley’s “gyrations.” It’s pathetic. Who do you thinking you’re fooling?

    If you want to complain about what BEYONCÉ says in interviews and how she positions herself in the press, go ahead, you won’t embarrass yourself. But trying to position yourself as this higher-than-high art critic who doesn’t even have to listen to a song to understand it, let alone parse out it’s actual cultural roots… it’s posing and postering of the highest order.

    And while we are on the subject of political responsibility of musicians – a dubious concept at best – let’s consider all the Wagner-lovers and Beethoven listeners who busied themselves in the middle of the previous century gassing Europe’s Jews. And they justified it through the same Germanic notions of purity and high culture you you’re feebly using to condemn music you don’t even know. I’ll take ass shaking any day over that.

    Sorry Nick, but this is just good old fashioned ignorant writing.

    And as an aside, one of the most indoctrinated and ideological feminists I ever met in real life thought the sun rises and sets over Beethoven. According to her, there’s been no music worth listening to since.

    • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

      And many of the gassed were Beethoven players and lovers. And many of the exiled were Beethoven lovers. The sick theories of McClary are standard “critical theory” feminism: the kind that shapes gov’t and education: It is only “special” in that it is applied to music (a clever move, not much competition for getting HUGE attention and $ for “cutting edge” “research). The fact that any given feminist enjoys Beethoven’s music is beside the point.

      http://www.rawillumination.net/2011/08/feminist-musicologist-beethoven-rapist.html

      Dealing with pop corporate product, placed ubiquitously piped in hammering our ears with its uninvited vapid genital-centric ethos — and its simpleminded thump, thump, thump — as a manifestation of both cynical corporate (bottom line $) and political (deliberate dumbing-down) propaganda is legitimate.

      • Fatherless

        My point regarding the feminist Beethoven fan was an aside, hence the word “aside.” I always thought it was pretty ironic how much she adored him, considering how macho his music is. You’re just making my point better for me, so thank you, but I was already aware of feminist musicological nonsense. The real point is that reading your own political ideology/convictions into music eventually leads to absurdities, and that extends to the MRM as well, for better or for worse.

        I also said that the political responsibility of musicians as musicians is dubious. I don’t blame Wager’s symphonies for the Holocaust any more than I blame BEYONCÉ’s catchy beats for family court injustice. Personally I think music and art in general (not writings and interviews) should be immune from political commentary, but I’ll save that for another day.

        I should also mention that most working classical musicians I know, not the faux intellectuals who drape themselves with “high art” just to pretend they’re smarter than everyone else (there’s nothing transcendent about that, Nick) – the people who know this music inside and out better than anyone – when they get home from their symphony gig, many of them go home and listen to Kanye West, Drake, BEYONCÉ – you name it. The world’s a much more mixed up place than we give it credit for.

        Also…. it’s dance music. It’s meant to be carnal and visceral. It’s meant to make people want to dance and fuck. That thump thump thump… that’s so you know when to move. Go check out some producer forums and you’ll see how much work goes into that thump thump thump. It’s crazy. Tastes and styles for bass drums are always changing and people scramble to keep up. There’s a constant search for new synthesizers sounds. Most working musicians understand there’s a place for this somewhere out there.

        Also, your heart comes thump thump thump. Hardly interesting in of itself, but 100% necessary for everything else that arises out of that function.

        Also, dance music can’t be understood without… dancing to it. And if there’s any transcendence to be found, it’s in that activity… certainly not in typing away at your keyboard. A better line of attack against this music is that it’s failing to keep up with the best traditions of Black American music. That’s totally legit… I wonder what Yusef Lateef would have to say…. but the question of groove is answered on the dance floor. I’m hoping someone who knows black music better than I do might address this. That would be interesting. But Nick’s article is painfully Eurocentric. His notions of “high art” don’t apply. There are people who don’t consider Louis Armstrong to be a serious artist. Fuck them.

        You want to link feminism and corporate control? I’m all ears. Good point – but show how it fails to keep up the best traditions of black American music.

        But let’s be careful about this idea of the coursening of our society. Is this or isn’t this the site where the “tone police” are not welcome? If Paul Elam can write an article with the refrain “fuck you” can’t so-and-so write lyrics about sexual desire and control?

        • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

          Yeah. We’re probably not in much real disagreement. Just a sort of comment trading clipped communication thing. I remember telling a super PC (delusional) professor that Louis Armstrong ought to be presented to students (unaware of this fact) was the single most important figure in all American music. He was shocked (not Gershwin, Copeland, Bernstein?). Gershwin was GREAT. But the “important figure” characterization was meant to say that without Armstrong there would not have been the foundation for Gershwin. Besides, Hot Fives is still the hottest act in town.

          I don’t blame music in of itself for anything, I imagine. But the first time I saw a couple with a stroller containing a 3-year-old, with a music player blasting out words about murdering people and other junk, I did indeed take note. Will the child ever live to hear the name “Satchmo? (let alone Skip James, Blind Willy McTell and Charlie Patton)”

          Nick is right that there is something deeply disturbing and deliberately harmful and manipulative going on. And you are right that one must be careful about reductive cause and effect formulas.

          • Fatherless

            Maybe my focus is too instrumentalist-oriented. The baby stroller issue is a good angle.

            I hear you about Louis, man. And if that jive professor wanted to give white people all the credit, he should have been talking about Charles Ives, although perhaps in your professor’s day the word hadn’t gotten out yet.

            The thing is if I have to condemn BEYONCÉ for what she says then I also have to condemn Charles Ives for his opinions about blacks and gays, and he, ironically, was a capital “T” New England Transcendentalist.

            And what justification do I have for him? That he was simply in accord with the values of the times? Can’t we say the same thing about BEYONCÉ? Can’t we agree the misandry is the word of the day? Artists have to work their asses off just to stay ahead of the latest musical trends. Perhaps it’s too much to ask the same of their political opinions?

            I’m certainly not going to give one person a pass and condemn the other because I like the first person’s music and hate the other person’s music.

            Then again, the point that corporate manipulation makes this issue even worse warrants a lot of consideration. I can’t tie it down. Can I blame corporations for trying to make money? Or do they have social responsibility? Who gets to decide what those responsibilities are? The state? The shareholders? People who don’t buy or like the music? Who?

            At the end of the day I’m going to say that the best critique of art is always always always going to be another piece of art.

    • Billybobownway

      I went and listened to a few Beyonce vids. I don’t think you can compare her to Ellington, Jackson, Coltrane or any other black musician.
      My observation is that she does not sing at any time. I would call it raping, moaning or wailing. Singers emphasise the vowel sounds and skip over the consonants. They sing voicing a pitch frequency that is in tune and harmonised to the key. You can only sing vowel sounds to pitch. Think of doh re mi fah soh la etc.. The consonant is voiced for an instant and the vowel sound is held for the pitch of the note.
      In a rap the consonant sounds are emphasised and the vowels are skipped over. The expression focused on rhythm and the voice is percussive.
      Beyonce’s accompaniment has no tuned instruments. Even the bass sound is not a string bass but a bass drum synth. By avoiding all tonality she can never be off key (there is no key). The rhythm is main component and it appears to free form to conform to the lyrics. The talent lies in the production.
      It is arguable whether this is music or audio entertainment. Of course anything that you can get paid for is pop music. A large part of the public is tone deaf and cannot hear melody, only rhythm.

      • Cam

        Right on Billybobownway.

        The lady is an entertainer (not a great singer or song writer) and her selling point is her amazing body. Without that incredible body nature bestowed on her, I doubt many would be interested in following her.

        If you are looking for one non-white woman in America who blatantly exploits her sex appeal and sexuality then Beyonce would probably top the list.

        Compared with the standards achieved by the likes of Aretha Franklin, Whitney Houston (in her prime), Jennifer Hudson, Chaka Khan, Natalie Cole, Gladys Knight, Dione Warwick, Pattie Labelle – just to name a very few- Beyonce does not cut it as a singer. These women all have/had something in common – great singing voices and natural talent.

        That said there are bigger issues to be concerned about than the lyrics of a few songs. Who really listens to them and studies them in any event – let alone take any notice. A few thousand really obsessed loyal fans perhaps and a sprinkling of others.

        Beyonce is a product designed to generate cash. As long as that product can continue to generate large amounts of cash she will have a career. All products have a life cycle and so will hers.

        I am really not going to worry about what Beyonce sings about or thinks for that matter. I will let others obsess about such trivia.

        IMHO, there are way bigger issues in life to be concerned with.

      • ashes2

        Beyonce’s music *avoids tonality*? Her rhythms are *free-form*? Please, stop using phrases you clearly don’t understand (or, I suppose, use phrases you do understand in a dishonest manner).

    • http://alahverdian.com Nicholas Alahverdian

      I am not suggesting in any way that art should be regulated or that Beyoncé’s music should be censored or supplanted. I am suggesting that the world lacks the artistic creativity that was once so prevalent. The music industry, which is heavily feminist, is churning out simplistic lyrics with a misandristic tint. These songs are proponents of male disposability, arguing that men should be “real men” and that women shouldn’t settle for “less.” Men are increasingly alienated in music, and they are poked fun of, humiliated, and questioned by the corporate feminist minotaur. I am suggesting that the underground arts scene is more authentic, that humanity can greatly benefit from multitudinous artistic contributions, and that feminist art creates a heightened sense of misandry. We must be vigilant of this intrusion of feminism into our daily lives so that we can work to extricate ourselves from it permanently. I am not the “tone police” What I am is someone who sees the beauty of this world and the historiographical value of art and doesn’t want society to lose thought-provoking, well-rounded, non-feminist stained paintings, music, and literature.

      Surely you can agree that “high art” – which you categorize as elitist – is valued by at least some of the people in this world, and just as people have a right to listen to Beyoncé (which I put forward in my article), people also have an intrinsic right to listen to Beethoven and Bob Dylan, read Euripides, ponder Kant, and indulge in Satie. It’s not about being “smarter than other people” – it’s about a deeper understanding and fuller appreciation for art that makes you think. It seems like you’re trying to Nazi-fy my article. Which is quite disappointing because I am in no way, shape, or form arguing for the regulation of art.

      I am arguing for better art.

      • Fatherless

        When you go on about about the decline of high art, it is elitist. When you don’t judge music on it’s own merit, that’s elitist too. And I love me some Perotin as much as the next guy, but it’s really nothing more than a matter of taste. No need for boundaries, or defending some arbitrary ideal of “great art.”

        Anyway, your commentary about the lyric content and feminist control of media is spot-on except for the fact that you’re missing the point of dance music. But your comments about the music itself were painfully vapid.

        Billybobownway’s line of attack – totally valid and what I wanted to hear. You should consult with him/her before writing another article about music.

        Regarding Nazi’s. Their high tastes didn’t save them, did they? So I think the connection between music and behavior is tenuous. You’re certainly no Nazi. Sorry about that.

        Good luck on the next one.

        • http://alahverdian.com Nicholas Alahverdian

          I did judge the music on what was facially presented: commentary on the “fatty” and a talk by a Feminist Nigerian “professor.” My analysis? Poor quality and zero cultural value.

          • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

            Lycidas by Milton
            Was a poem so great,
            Just as this one is too.
            Agree this is genius:
            Say that it is true
            Or it shall come to pass
            that it is you I must hate.

            Just a matter of taste?

            The idea of there being no such thing as quality differences in art is a position that is taken on purely ideological grounds. It is false, but it fits the utopianist fairy tale that makes non-elites like Terry Eagleton, … well … the elite.

      • http://sportsdroppingsusa.blogspot.com Ty Henry

        Hi Nick and Fatherless,

        Though not one of my best written pieces, this demonstrates a good line of attack on Beyonce from a male disposability perspective.

        http://voices.yahoo.com/sexy-lil-thugblack-women-choices-responsibility-4310507.html

        I remember watching the video for “Soldier” in 2004, and hearing the sound of 10,000 black boys throwing their textbooks in the trash can echoing in the trash can. When the most influential black female entertainer for every woman born after 1989 says a black male is essentailly worthless if he doesn’t have a criminal record or thuggish affect, it can have a destructive effect. We’ve been having this debate as black men on YouTube since 2008. . .until, of course, the progenitors (Sgt. Willie Pete, AvenueRants, Kaptan Solo, etc) got flagged off. And you wonder where the fembots derived their tactics from?

    • http://alahverdian.com Nicholas Alahverdian

      And Werther has nothing to do with Beyoncé except for proving that worship of women and gender supremacy causes an ill-advised, knee-jerk reaction which may result in death. Beyoncé wants us to return to putting women on a pedestal and I’m not buying it. It’s toxic, as Britney Spears once said.

      Ha.

    • Ed

      I with you. I’m not interested in what Nick thinks is art. The whole world needn’t abandon pop music because it’s not sufficiently high minded. A critique of music from someone who never heard it and may not relate to the cultural perspectives being referenced is pretty useless. Reading the lyrics isn’t good enough. The few lines quoted from her old albums didn’t strike me as anything to get upset about. I don’t expect artists to be consistent like math proofs so you can say ‘I hate men’ and ‘I love men’ in the same album.

      This Beyonce take down was poorly executed at the least but I don’t think these pop star take downs really fit the AVFM brand. This isn’t TMZ for angry men, it’s hub for men’s human rights activism. If we need to police the ‘artistic’ value of something it would be articles like this on a platform like this. I don’t feel I know more about anything after having read it nor would I be more likely to support the cause of men and boys. There is nothing more annoying than a ‘because I said so’ argument.

      I’m used to seeing compelling and carefully constructed arguments at AVFM and that’s necessary when your fighting to radically shift peoples perspective. There is a complacency with the tone of this article as if MRA’s were like feminists enjoying the privilege of broad public support. We’d sooner see an article like this used to trash MRA”s than see it bring anyone to our side.

      Pop music ironically is one of the few places men are allowed to be unapologetic in their masculinity and honest about their feelings towards women that range from passionate hate to undying love. I’m happy we let them be artists. Thought police suck.

      • http://alahverdian.com Nicholas Alahverdian

        So apparently I’m not allowed to critique or criticize the current state of art in popular culture.

        Duly noted.

        And I am the “thought police.”

        • Fatherless

          Nope, you’re not able to make convincing critiques if you haven’t done your homework.

    • http://sportsdroppingsusa.blogspot.com Ty Henry

      Yeah, what fatherless said

  • http://www.CanadaCourtWatch.com Attila L. Vinczer

    That is a lot of fat to chew on. Is that even legal or healthy any more? That depends on who’s “fatty” you get your hands on. One thing is for sure, it will have an effect. Question is, will it be a good or bad? In this case the latter may be the correct answer.

    • Fatherless

      What’s your position on gun control? Take that and divide it by 1,000,000 – your position on music control.

  • Odin

    “Kids these days with their modern rock and roll music! Back in my day…” Sorry, I know that’s not what’s being said here, but on some level it’s what it sounds like. Plus, I’m pretty sure low art was also pretty popular back in Goethe’s day.
    At least half, if not the whole of the problem with bad, popular art has to lie with the consumers who aren’t listening to something else instead.

    • Kimski

      In regards to pop music, that’s not entirely true, since the premises for artists have changed radically over the past 25 years. As a consequence that includes what is made available to the listeners, too.

      It used to be that you got a record deal based on merit, i.e. the companies didn’t sign you until you had a substantial following, and could pack a venue easily. You were then assigned a personal manager, who basically went around to radiostations and kicked in doors, trying to promote ‘his’ band or artist, by handing out freebies in the form of merchandise and records to be given airtime. Airtime were the alpha and omega for record sales, and due to there being so many independent, smaller companies, the variety of what was available to the listeners were immensely larger.

      With the arrival of the internet, these smaller companies went broke or was bought up by the larger corporations, due to easily accesible downloading sites, and today the diversity are infinitely smaller. The bands or artists hardly make any money off new CD’s in any genre, and only live performances makes the kind of money you could make back then.

      These days, the record companies bring in completely unknown, untried, and musically untrained youths, that has mostly only their looks going for them. Some of them can’t even sing, which is why the vocoder has become so popular in certain genres. The companies then invest a relatively small amount of money and time in their training, both musically and performance wise, and own every possible rights to their music/lyrics, etc., because studio musicians or producers normally provide those. Those guys are then again only payed a set fee, no matter if it’s a hit or not, and don’t receive royalties or percentages beyond that, unless they’re a “name” in themselves.

      See where this is going?

      They, (the artists/bands), don’t make any real money for a very long time, because those initial investments needs to be repayed to the company also, and most of them end up broke after a very short time in the spotlights. They usually lack the kind of back up from personal involvement in their careers, which was the norm back then, because they’re just tailor made products now.

      Additionally, this new way of “creating” artists gives the companies sole custody to decide which products that are given airtime, because only the records _they_ choose to send out to the record stations get’s played, and only the artists _they_ choose to back up with the necessary PR gets promoted.

      And these companies very, very rarely takes any chances with anything new, and prefer to endorse sure winners that they’re certain will sell.

      When the listeners only get’s presented with cheap junk, the radio stations only play cheap junk, and everybody is raised on cheap junk, the outcome is enevitably what we’re hearing now:

      The lowest possible denominator.
      Music for airports, elevators, and children.
      ‘Cause that’s where there’s money to be made.

      • Odin

        Thank you for the lesson of the day. I don’t listen to a lot of radio myself, so I may be less aware of the problem you describe, which I guess I’m part of.
        Still, I would contend that I do have access to an immensely larger variety of music than I would have back in those famed 80′s. Though, whether the music being made today can measure up, I’m less certain of.

        • Kimski

          “Still, I would contend that I do have access to an immensely larger variety of music than I would have back in those famed 80′s.”

          Checking out the recurring company labels on the CD’s you buy today will provide you with an answer to that, when you dismiss what the internet and independent companies/studios provides. Also, a lot of the same studio musicians/composers/writers makes most of the music for the big corporations, but don’t get their names mentioned on the individual numbers on the CD in favour of the artists name, ’cause that demand is included in their contracts when they’re hired.
          There’s a reason some of it all sounds the same.

          As to whether or not it can measure up, it wasn’t unheard of back then that an artist/band could spend up to a year in the studio, polishing every number to perfection. The vast majority of pop music today are produced in less than 3 weeks. Think assembly line and you’d be right.
          -And you’re welcome. ;)

      • http://sportsdroppingsusa.blogspot.com Ty Henry

        Much of this is true in terms of the “industry” as we know it, and development of talent. But do to lower barriers to entry, there is more good music out there than there has ever been. There is also more bad music, too. It’s just more music. You just don’t find it on the “radio” due to atrophying playlists. But create, say, a Pandora playlist, and it’s an epiphany.

    • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

      True about observation on low art in the past. But I’d have preferred early exposure to the full range at an early age, allowing me choices. Bruckner’s 4th symphony would have been as much a favorite of mine at the time when Led Zeppelin I came out as that album was, but there was no exposure. In college at the age of 35 I needed help with Chaucer (original ME) (and thankfully got it) and knew better than to spend my time listening to professors tell me about the semiotics of the comic books. Be as elite as you want to be. Freedom! Deliberate dumbing-down is abuse.

      • Fatherless

        Mind you, Mozart gets more play now than he did in his own day, if only in absolute numbers. And with the internet, everything is available now too.

        It’s actually a great time to be a curious person. So… I would only ask schools to demand curiousity of their students, not teach a canon.

  • Bolo

    These women all sing man hating songs. Listen to Bill Burr’s tirade over one of the Carrie Underwood songs. Beyonce sings all kinda misandric music. The great sociopath that is Taylor Swift gets her inspiration from boyfriends(that she knowingly picks to date) and bashes all guys.

  • http://unknownmisandry.blogspot.com Robert St. Estephe

    No “fattys” in this song:

    “If Only I Had a V” by Weldon Cabaniss III of San Antonio, TX

    • J Galt

      I don’t know why but listening to this I visualized MGTOW muppets performing in a sesame street type venue. Listening to “if I only had a V” to the music of “if I only had a brain” is nothing less than humorous “violence” and should include a trigger warning! Spasmodic and convulsive humor that leads to gagging should have a surgeon generals warning.

  • numbCruncher

    It was Beyoncé’s “If I were a boy” that prompted my first ever comment on an MRA website.

    Thank you, Ms. Knowles, for finally pushing me to start speaking out against misandrist bullshit. But I have 1 question for you:

    If girls run the world, how come none of the bad shit is ever their fault?

    • Bewildered

      If girls run the world, how come none of the bad shit is ever their fault?

      EXACTLY!!!!!!!!.

      But on the other hand it’s only the person who is powerful and dominating who gets to decide who is to blame,no matter what the facts say !
      Going by what happens in front of your eyes day in and day out can you really say she’s wrong?
      The need to inflict humiliation on another human being is a mental illness,but humiliation itself can be an art form!

  • Anti Idiocy

    A young American woman celebrates her sexuality during a performance: http://www.mtv.com/videos/misc/942064/we-cant-stop-blurred-lines-give-it-2-u-medley.jhtml

    A young non-American woman appreciates her sexuality during a performance: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q6omsDyFNlk#t=47

  • sybil

    I’ve considered myself a men’s rights supporter since I read Farrell’s Myth of Male Power back in 1993. At that time, I felt pretty hopeless about men’s rights ever gaining real-world traction, so I was thrilled to find AVFM this past August. I love what you’re doing here.

    But one thing keeps troubling me. I feel like there’s a lot of disgust toward female sexuality here. One of the things that drove me away from feminism is it’s hatred toward sexuality (directed most of all toward male sexuality, but also directed toward women with sexual agency).

    This post is a case in point. It seems to condemn Beyonce for singing about sexuality. Every feminist I know would also condemn this song. They would say it objectifies and sexualizes women, and that this is harmful and degrading, especially to impressionable young girls. So, the feminist party line would align well with Nick’s view.

    So here’s my question — does one have to disapprove of women who enjoy sex in order to be an MRA?

    I want to be whole-heartedly behind this movement, but I can’t if condemning sexuality is required.

    • http://alahverdian.com Nicholas Alahverdian

      Feminists are celebrating this new album.

      http://www.npr.org/blogs/therecord/2013/12/19/255527290/feminists-everywhere-react-to-beyonc-s-latest

      And I am not talking about not expressing sexuality – art inherently includes the expression of one’s sexuality, among all of its other fascinating variables.

      I am arguing that she should not view men as disposable. Which she does throughout the album. And her other albums.

      • sybil

        Hi Nicholas,
        Thanks for replying. I read the article you linked to, and it appeared to me to say that most feminists are offended by Beyonce’s album because of its sexualization of women. I guess my issue is that I disagree with objectification theory at its very core, whether it’s applied to men or women. I don’t believe that being sexually attracted to a person is inherently degrading or makes them into an ‘object.’

      • Ed

        “I am arguing that she should not objectify men. Which she does throughout the album. And her other albums. ”

        II’m sorry but you sir sound like a feminst. The MRA isn’t about to adopt all their B.S gender theories about objectification. If you bothered to read the numerous attacks MRA’s made against ‘sexual objectification’ you’d know that.

        Here is a starter from GWW:

        “I’m going to quote a favorite sex columnist of mine, Dan Savage, because his ideas about sexual objectification dovetail very neatly with my own:

        “Face facts, ladies: people always have and always will objectify the people they’re attracted to. Men who wanna fuck women objectify women (at places like Hooters); women who want to fuck men objectify men (at places like Centerfolds). Gay men objectify other men (at places like Ashton Kutcher’s asscrack), lesbians objectify other women (at places where Venus and Serena play tennis). The urge to objectify is universal, and so long as it’s fairly and respectfully indulged, it’s not offensive, not a problem, and not news.”

        I would also have to say that these people are living on a planet where everyone lacks the hardwiring and software to view women as having any active role in anything other than as passive beings that stuff–including everything concerning sexuality–just happens to. Which is…sigh. I guess I shouldn’t say it’s bizarre at this point, but more like par for the course.”

        http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d-N9daqANcw

        On top of that your argument is full of holes because men objectify women in pop music all the time and we defend their right to do so. I understand you are a bit of a newbie when it comes to debating the myriad of issues that fall out the realm of your expertise so I suggest reading the old articles on this site so you can get your bearings before writing another article.

        • http://www.deanesmay.com Dean Esmay

          The whole “just like the feminists” motif is tiresome. The tiresome “objectification” is reducing men to utilities, and all hail the mighty va-jay-jay. You’re making a mountain out of a molehill.

          • Bewildered

            The tiresome “objectification” is reducing men to utilities, and all hail the mighty va-jay-jay

            That’s the point ! It’s too late however, it has become a meme so much so that people take it for granted.
            There’s nothing objectionable about sexual objectification ALA it’s about lust/love/whatever but when it degenerates into underhand gender politics and humiliation of the opposite sex your sexuality becomes decidedly toxic.

    • SlantyJaws

      I wouldn’t read too much into it, there are some posts here talking about “women” or “women are this and that”, but they should probably be translated to “feminists are”, or “crazy women are” etc. Some of the best and most prominent contributors to the site are women.

      I can’t speak for anyone else but I think women (and men) should have as much or as little sex as they like without it mattering in any other regard. Passing moral judgement on a natural, healthy act is like passing moral judgement on people for playing tennis.

      As far as I’m aware the official party line is more or less similar.

      • sybil

        “I can’t speak for anyone else but I think women (and men) should have as much or as little sex as they like without it mattering in any other regard.”

        Thanks for saying this. This is what I think as well, and I’m glad to learn I’m not alone in this view.

        • numbCruncher

          Hi Sybil

          I agree with what you’ve said, and I wouldn’t seek to demonise sexuality either. But I think with Beyoncé the sexuality seems almost secondary – not a thing to be celebrated, but a weapon to be wielded. She seems to be saying;

          “Look at me, I’m great, but don’t look at me you asshole because you’re worthless and anyway you owe me for all the bad stuff that’s ever happened to anyone who shares our respective chromosome structures. I know your life, but you don’t know mine.”

          It’s almost as if Beyoncé is stuck in shit-test mode. The skimpy outfits and all the desperate writhing about seems like an afterthought to me.

          Maybe it’s because I can’t deal with strong women, and that I’m intimidated by them. Of course I should enjoy it when someone shoves themselves in my face and demands that I find them attractive…

          • sybil

            “the sexuality seems almost secondary – not a thing to be celebrated, but a weapon to be wielded.”

            Ah, that makes sense. Thanks for the explanation.

      • Laddition

        Both sexes should have a much sex as they like as long as they take the consequences without whining.

        Any woman is free not to consort with a man with high N, she is free to do what she wants.

        But so are men. Given the effect that N has on divorce rates, a man should very carefully consider what N he finds acceptable in a longer term partner, let alone wife.

        EVERYONE should bear in mind consequences of their own actions…and then do as they wish and take the corresponding consequences without further bitching and moaning. There’s no such thing as born again virgins.

    • Andy Bob

      Most MHRAs, certainly those at AVfM, do not condemn female sexuality in and of itself. The only condemnation is when it is expressed/discussed/celebrated by feminists in such a way that it exposes the blatant hypocrisy of their attitude towards male sexuality.

      Imagine if a male artist sang about how women couldn’t keep their eyes off his ‘fatty’. Feminists would be enraged, interpreting it as a deliberate attempt to degrade women by reducing them to soulless vassals eager to participate in the rape culture which victimizes them. The expression of female sexuality isn’t the issue, it’s the double standard revealed when it is venerated.

      Beyoncé has been rubbing her ‘fatty’ in men’s faces for years, and mocks us for looking – as if we had any choice. Feminists, predictable as ever, love Beyoncé for highlighting the thoroughly demonized male gaze and all of its rapey implications. No mention will be made of the lyric being a celebration of female narcissism and how it encourages the sexual manipulation and exploitation of men.

      To answer your question, you do not have to disapprove of women who enjoy sex to be a MHRA. In fact, such disapproval, with its traditionalist overtones of pedestalizing women as incorruptible virgins in need of special protection from good men, is anathema to the vast majority of MHRAs, especially those of us who are proudly associated with AVfM.

      I cannot fathom how you interpreted Mr Alahverdian’s post as disapproving of female sexuality – even Beyoncé’s. Perhaps the sense of ‘disgust’ you have picked up is the justified anger and exasperation towards the hypocrisy and double standards I wrote of earlier. They impact the lives and experiences of men in ways that you may not be able to fully appreciate.

      • sybil

        “The only condemnation is when it is expressed/discussed/celebrated by feminists in such a way that it exposes the blatant hypocrisy of their attitude towards male sexuality.”

        Thanks for this. I couldn’t agree more. The double-standards and hypocrisy of feminists’ attitudes toward male and female sexuality is hugely offensive.

        • Bewildered

          The double-standards and hypocrisy of feminists’ attitudes toward male and female sexuality is hugely offensive.

          This in essence is the bone of contention here. Male sexuality and female sexuality are two sides of the same coin in a majority of cases.
          The hypocrisy is so blatant that it’s surprising that the feminists are not called out on it more often.

  • http://blog.StudioBrule.com Steve Brulé

    Good article, although I’ve never analyzed Beyone. The boring melody (is there more than one in her repertoire?) and auto-tuned voice, repeated over and over with teeny-bopper lyrics were enough to turn me off.

  • http://alahverdian.com Nicholas Alahverdian

    This is not an attack on sexuality. This is an argument that Beyoncé isn’t a good singer and her new album is saturated with feminist ideals.

    • Seele

      Nicholas,

      In addition she keeps on praising her own desirability, or what she believes as her own desirability. Oh dear… that sounds like a pop music’s version of Naomi Wolf.

    • Bewildered

      This is not an attack on sexuality. This is an argument that Beyoncé isn’t a good singer and her new album is saturated with feminist ideals.

      While music is a matter of taste and hence there’s no universal reference frame in which singers can be assessed[each genre will have its own reference frame] it’s true that pop music generally reflects the zeitgeist of the period in which they were created.
      So what Beyonce and many others are doing is to be expected.

  • Redfield

    I have two jobs, hopefully soon to be three, just love working! One job, I work primarily with young people in their twenties …. At a point (night) during the shift one will plug in their music over the P.A. and there seems to be a mixed sample of music from both genders. On one side you have men and women that have broader music tastes, but you do get both men and women that will put on music that seems to have a radicalized gender message!

    Have any of you heard of Steel Panther? If you have then they need no further comment! I am not sure if you can take an artist individually for their content … if it has any meaningful influence on a person’s outlook, or if it just merely confirms what they already think, sort of tribal thinking, like wearing their favourite team’s colours? I know when I leave the place some nights I think I must hide the razor blades, the prescription medicine when I get home …. Kidding :) but it does induce low mood!

    I do know some of these people socially, and the group that tends to enjoy the radicalized messages (that have partners) tend to containerize their relationships, meaning the partner slots into one part of their life, but has little or no continuity with other interests, goals achievements within that person’s life! I mean they tell me this is what they want! And by no means am I saying this is bad or that my limited observations are correct, it’s obviously a huge generalization!! The important point I am longwindedly making is both genders follow this sort of music now! Kind of puts The Clash’s message of social anarchy into the antiquarian “sale bin,” it’s definitely more personal than overthrowing a government now :)

  • donzaloog

    Most popular music these days isn’t even worth listening to. A bunch of grrrlll power BS and badly written songs. Imo, in the American music industry, nobody with any real musical talent gets any attention, and if they do it won’t be for long. Lady Gaga is a very talented, classically trained musician, but nobody would pay attention to her if it wasn’t for her outlandish costumes and crazy persona.

    The music industry is not interested in making art. Art doesn’t sell. Most singers these days are carefully created products with a manufactured sound that focus groups told them sell best. I mostly only listen to old music. I’m not even 30 years old yet but most of the music I listen to was made before I was born or around the same time. I can only think of two modern female singers I actively listen to. Adele and Norah Jones.

    • http://alahverdian.com Nicholas Alahverdian

      Norah Jones is amazing. Love her.