Finally a major rock star has summoned the courage to reveal one of the
ugly truths of the music business. Last week, the Scottish rock star, Annie
Lennox, one half of the successful 80s duo, The Eurythmics, blasted Beyonce
for her crude, sexually suggestive stage performances and lyrical content.
Asked by Pride Source whether Beyoncé
recent declaration of herself as “a feminist “rang true to her, Lennox
“I would call that “feminist lite.” L-I-T-E. I’m sorry. It’s tokenistic to
me. ………… I see a lot of it as them takingthe word hostage and using it to promote themselves, but I don’t think they necessarily represent wholeheartedly the depths of feminism…….I think for many it’s very convenient and it looks great and it looks radical, but I have some issues with it. ….I think it’s a cheap shot. …. What can I tell you? Sex always sell. And there’s nothing wrong with sex selling, but it depends on your audience. If they’re 7-year-old kids, I have issues with it.”
She followed this with this clarification to NPR’s Steve Inskeep on October 21st:
‘The reason why I’ve commented is because I think that this overt sexuality
thrust — literally — at particular audiences, when very often performers
have a very, very young audience, like 7 years older, I find it disturbing
and I think its exploitative. It’s troubling. I’m coming from a perspective
of a woman that’s had children,’ she explained.
Lennox, soon to turn 60, is no conservative. She is an
outspoken advocate for the LGBT agenda and quite a diehard on other issues such as the environment and climate change. But her surprising reaction to the steamy sexualization of our teeny bopper culture should be coming from the mouths of many other exprienced musicians and performers who must see the how live music business has been gradually turning into a platform for the pornographic arts.
She is talking of course about performers such as Nicki Minaj, Rhianna, Kei$ha and former child star, Miley Cyrus.
Of course what they do may be nothing new. Madonna, Britney Spears and Lady Gaga have been doing much the same thing for years and in the 70s artists such as David Bowie and Lou Reed had few obstacles singing about gay sex and presenting transgendered stage acts.
But Lennox is right. Now even 7-year-olds are exposed to the direct sexual suggestiveness of their favorite pop stars, without fully comprehending what those stage movements and lyrics might even be suggesting.
Perhaps that was why it was so disappointing to read Paul McCartney’s response last year to what he thought about Miley Cyrus’ stage antics . He responded that he didn’t see anything wrong with her “twerks” and any of the other Cyrus lewd acts – which, he must have appreciated, were as sexually explicit as almost anything at a strip club.
Does he really think that this kind of personal exhibitionism in the name of free expression represents a great artistic leap forward? A classy guy, he must surely appreciate the dehumanizing impact of these wildly popular acts have on the same society that hoisted him to such fame in the 1960s. True it might be that the Beatles were no paragons of virtue ( John Lennon appeared completely naked on the cover of a solo album in 1968; and McCartney, about the same time, wrote the sexually suggestive ” Why Don’t We Do it in the Road? “). But they didn’t trade in what we used to call smut.
Why do these women do it? The attention hungry stars on our nation’s stages today apparently feel the need to best one another in outrage – much like Janet Jackson did in 2004 when she bared a breast before millions of viewers during her half time performance at Super Bowl.
It is hard to know what to expect next. Perhaps performing sex live on stage will set the bar to the next level for these women and would of course place them in a new category – “feminist pop star” as ” porn star”. Except of course, by the time this happens time there will be no essential difference between pop star and porn star at all. They will be one and the same and no one will even blink an eye.