Sky Ferreira Has Called Out Music Industry Misogyny In The Best Way
The Debrief: The musician was compared to a 'freshly licked lollipop' by a male writer. FFS.
Last week an LA Times writer described Sky Ferreira as being like a ‘freshly licked lollipop’. The title of the article was Sky Ferreira’s Sex Appeal is What Pop Music Needs Right Now; it discussed the former at length and barely mentioned her music.
Sky has called the writer (a man) out on his overt sexism and expressed her disappointment. In the article the writer has really gone to town, perhaps he thinks he’s something of a modern bard? He writes:
‘Sky Tonia Ferreira, 23, has a name that reads like a turbo-charged Italian sports car, or the kindred spirit to second-generation Italian-American pop star Madonna, the most ambitious woman to ever wear a pink cone bra. Both Sky and Madonna have similar breasts in both cup size and ability to cause a shitstorm.’
Presumably he feels that the fact that he’s a music journalist legitimises his obsession with Sky’s cup size before discussing how it correlates directly with her ability to disrupt the music industry? He describes Madonna’s boobs as being ‘defiantly atomic’ before referring to them as the ‘two knockers that altered the course of human history.’ Perhaps he’s referring to Madonna’s iconic reappropriation of the bra and corset in the 1990s on her Blonde Ambition World Tour? Perhaps what he's really trying to say it that the pale pink Gaultier corset she wore on that tour was actually a tongue-in-cheek play on an item of clothing which was once a symbol of repression? Clearly what he meant was that Madonna's boobs were, in fact, a post modern statement on female sexuality, in two cones. That’s almost definitely what he was getting at...yep!
He then goes on to describe Sky as a ‘more cherubic Sharon Stone, icy but also sweet, like a freshly licked lollipop. His style is reminiscent of a bad rip of a Shakespeare sonnet which has been filtered through the Playboy mansion, edited by Hugh Heffner and remixed by 50 Cent.
Sky has tweeted to express her disappointment at such a predictable sexist write up of her work. She said ‘95% of articles & interview about me have had something offensive, false or (sometimes extremely) sexist’ in them. ‘Some have been more passive aggressive or subtle & socially acceptable.’
She, quite rightly, points out that in 2016 we still seem to fall back on outdated, sexist and damaging female archetypes when it comes to the media portrayals of women in music:
If you're not a bitch or then you're fake. If you're not crazy or difficult then you're boring & helpless— Sky Ferreira (@skyferreira) June 21, 2016
I'm obviously a lot more than my "sex appeal" or my "knockers". I'm not ashamed of either of those things either.— Sky Ferreira (@skyferreira) June 21, 2016
The editor (also a man) of the original article has since posted an apology to Ferreira. She has responded on Twitter by saying:
I'm not a think piece. I'm not a fucking example. I'm glad that this is making people think & conversation is happening— Sky Ferreira (@skyferreira) June 21, 2016
Are we really still having this conversation? Still pigeonholing female artists and reducing them to their physical appearances? Sadly, it seems that we are. This particular article is so bad that it’s almost funny. Except, what it speaks to is a wider problem which is absolutely not a joke.
What Sky reminds us is that, unfortunately, this is hardly a rare occurrence. Such articles are symptomatic of wider misogyny in a music industry which sexualises women above all else and shoehorns them into one of the Madonna/whore categories because it can’t possibly conceive of women being more complex than that.
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You might want to think about the fact you're about to read something that wouldn't exactly get a PG rating