Filtering Pop Culture Through The Lens Of Feminism

The Onion, a while ago, nailed it on the head.

“Saying that she just wanted a little time to relax and “not even think about” confining gender stereotypes, local health care industry consultant Natalie Jenkins reportedly took a 30-minute break from being a feminist last night to kick back and enjoy a television program.”

If you’re a feminist and you want to enjoy any sort of pop culture existing in the world, you basically have to suspend your ideals to do so.

I don’t watch a ton of TV so my suspension is usually related to music. Most mainstream music is, frankly, terrible from the perspective of a feminist. And, as anyone who knows me or has spent more than fifteen minutes with me, my musical preferences tend towards “really crappy pop music.”

My current music obsession is with The Weeknd, whose entire discography is basically songs that make you want to have sex, which are, unsurprisingly, hugely problematic.

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But I’ve developed a coping mechanism.

I’m filtering all of his rape-y and consent-problematic lyrics through the lens of a consensual kink relationship. Since his fame was kicked of by having a song on the 50 Shades of Grey Soundtrack, it’s not such a stretch.

Examples:

“It’s been exactly 365 since I’ve seen your face
I’ve been living on the road
And you’ve been living all alone, at home
Girl I hope, he made you satisfied
Well baby I won’t cry
As long as you know that when I land you’re mine”

These two are in a consensual non-monogamous relationship in which The Weeknd is the primary partner and non-monogamous acts can only take place when they are apart.

“You can meet me in the room where the kisses ain’t free
You gotta pay with your body”

The Weeknd is a dominate whose submissive partner enjoys kissing which he offers to her as a reward for sexual activity.

“I don’t wanna hurt you but you live for the pain”

The Weeknd’s partner is very into pain and he isn’t sure how comfortable he feels inflicting the level of pain she prefers.