The more time I spend reading the musings and opinions of Rebecca Ferguson, the more I like what I see. Indeed, I occasionally feel like she’s reading thoughts and comments straight out of my head. Last week, she responded to the news of R Kelly being found guilty of eight counts of sex trafficking and one count of racketeering by pointing out he was “one of many”.
And over the weekend, she did it again. She wanted to have her say about real misogyny which continues to exist in the music business – and she didn’t hold back…
Why do some artists create music that calls women whores, bitches and bad bitches? Is this the respect we deserve? Why do we as women accept and dance to music that disrespects us and that breeds misogyny?— Rebecca Ferguson (@RebeccaFMusic) October 2, 2021
Why do they indeed? Why do artists continually put such language into their music? Why do their managers never pull them aside and say “putting that kind of language into your music really isn’t okay”? Why aren’t record labels doing their jobs by simply refusing to release such songs? And why aren’t the likes of Spotify behaving responsibly by refusing to host it or promote it?
The answer is quite simple. I know it annoys a lot of people in the music business when I point this out – and that’s good. It means they know I’m right. It’s because misogynistic types can be found all over the place. Artists find it easy because these kinds of songs have been done before – it’s less work for them trying to create something new, because all they have to do is take an existing template and tweak it. Managers – as I’ve discovered more and more over the past few months – increasingly don’t see it as their jobs to actually manage and advise their own artists.
The record labels have never practised any kind of responsibility for their artists. If they did, Amy Winehouse would have pulled aside and ordered to sort herself out – but so long as they were making money, the labels she worked with simply didn’t care. And as for Spotify? Whilst I have no evidence of misogyny at work there, they could still exercise a little responsibility by simply refusing to promote this stuff. Contrary to popular belief, they’re a private company – they don’t have to host anything that they don’t want to. And they don’t even have to explain why either…
So what’s the answer? At all levels in the music industry, it comes down to one thing. Money. Stop listening to misogynistic records. If no one streams them, no one will bother making them. By and large, artists make records because they want people to hear them. Stop supporting acts who resort to misogyny in their music. Call it out when you see it. If being a misogynist causes more problems than it’s worth, you’ll suddenly see a lot less of it.
And perhaps journalists could start actually doing their jobs and calling it out. Heaven forbid, eh?