North Texas Daily

There is a double standard for women performers

There is a double standard for women performers

There is a double standard for women performers
April 09
20:24 2021

We live in a society where sex-positive performances by women are only a problem if they feature women of color. A white woman can freely express her sexuality on stage without worrying about receiving FCC complaints or damaging their careers. Women of color expressing their sexuality is a scary thing for racist white Americans who let celebrities on TV raise their children. 

The recent Grammy Awards featured a controversial performance by Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion with their hit song “WAP.” Even after censoring the song during their performance, they received 80 FCC complaints from angry viewers. Some complaints cite the women’s outfits, but Megan Thee Stallion wore a metallic one-piece while Cardi B basically wore a metal bikini. Other complaints cite their dance moves, which are similar to white women who have not received backlash for their performances. 

One of the complaints stated, “The Grammys need to require the artist not to be performing any types of sexual acts and require clothes to stay on and not stripping down to bra and panties.”

Lady Gaga wore an outfit similar to Megan Thee Stallion in her 2009 performance at iHeartRadio’s Much Music Awards. She did not face backlash or receive FCC complaints. Iggy Azalea performed her song ‘Booty’ with Jennifer Lopez at the American Music Awards in 2014 without facing any backlash. The performance features both women in revealing clothing while twerking. While Iggy Azalea has not faced backlash for sex-positive performances, Jennifer Lopez has. 

Lopez performed with Shakira at the Super Bowl last year and their performance raked in 1,312 FCC complaints. Apparently, Shakira’s belly dancing was too much for people who had no problem with Britney Spears moving her body in a similar fashion while holding a snake during her 2001 performance at the MTV Video Music Awards. Lopez’s impressive moves on a stripper pole were too much for the upstanding citizens who happily watched Miley Cyrus dance next to a stripper pole at the Teen Choice Awards in 2009. 

One of the complaints from the Super Bowl performance states,“The halftime show was inappropriate and not kid-friendly, you allowed a porn show on stage in front of millions of people. The cameraman showed more vagina and butt numerous times and it was simply out of control and not for children.”

There was no nudity involved and celebrities performing on TV are not responsible for other people’s children. Many complaints about Cardi B’s performance at the Grammy’s mentioned children also. 

Cardi B responded to the backlash appropriately with this statement, “I don’t make music for kids I make music for adults. Parents are responsible for what their children listen to or see…I’m a very sexual person but not around my child just like every other parent should be.”

Clearly, the issue isn’t about keeping their children safe, the issues are racism and misogyny. Society responds differently to an artist like Nicki Minaj in revealing clothing, but they don’t have a problem with a white artist like Pink practically performing nude on live television

All people should be free to express their sexuality if they are comfortable doing so and it isn’t wrong to be open about it. The double standard needs to end, along with slut-shaming, racism and harmful, misogynistic societal norms. We cannot empower women if we’re restricting their right to express themselves.

Featured Illustration by J. Robynn Aviles

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Shelby Stevens

Shelby Stevens

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