Is the song Girls Like You sexist

Sexist songs: From "Bitches" and "Good Girls" - music in times of #MeToo

New York (AP) - Sexism, poured into a song that has been heard a million times, sounds something like this with US rapper Jay-Z: "If you have problems with women, I'm sorry for you, man / I have 99 problems but heard a bitch not to ".

After this verbal lead from "99 Problems", rapper Eminem went one better in 2013: In his case, she - the "bitch" - was even each of his 99 problems. Eminem's conclusion: "I need a machine gun."

If you take the #MeToo movement as a blueprint, the otherwise modern hip-hop looks confusingly backward. But can the debate even be conducted in a sexistically charged music genre in which men have become stars despite or with misogynistic lyrics? Could an Eminem condemn sexual assault in real life while maintaining the favor of his fans after verbally abusing women for a career? And is the "bitch", which means "bitch" and "bitch" at the same time, to be imagined in the genre at all?

You don't have to look far to find the relevant texts and music videos in hip-hop of the past few years and decades. Snoop Dogg's 1993 album "Doggystyle" is not only considered the Holy Grail in West Coast rap, but also set standards in the humiliation of women. They are described as submissive sex objects who satisfy the gin-drinking and pot-smoking gangsters with their excesses.

According to a study by Goerge Washington University from 2009, 22 percent of rap texts from the period between 1992 and 2000 contain misogynistic content. The attitude is widespread in hip-hop to this day. Women make the problem worse when a musician like Nicki Minaj sings about the "Stupid Hoe" ("stupid whore") and Lil 'Kim or Rihanna rise above other, supposedly low-ranking women with "Bitch" texts like their male colleagues.

And sexism doesn't stop at hip-hop. In the music video for "Summer" by DJ Calvin Harris, models splash around in the pool and cheer half-naked for the male car race, in the video for "Never Say Never" by the electro duo Basement Jaxx, scientists create the perfect female butt in the laboratory. Pop singer Justin Timberlake, on the other hand, can hardly avert his tunnel vision in "Tunnel Vision" from the dancing women who loll in the semi-darkness in the video and wear nothing but tight panties.

Music has been about love, romance and sex for centuries, from the 12th century minstrel to the Bee Gees to Kendrick Lamar's "Love". So she doesn't have to be sexist. But in such a sexually charged art form, public commitment in the #MeToo debate can seem hypocritical. There has never been a Harvey Weinstein moment in music either. Instead, it was rather isolated cases in which musicians like Taylor Swift or Kesha defended themselves against sexual assault.

Neil Portnow, as President of the Recording Academy and head of the annual Grammy Awards, something of a godfather to the industry, will not be able to untie the knot on his own. He has now announced a working group that will look for "clear hurdles and unconscious prejudices" against women in the music industry. But the main thing is that women are nominated, awarded and shown on stage much less often at the Grammys.

The departure from sexist music will have to be initiated by the many singers, songwriters, producers and labels as well as the people who listen to this music. It was thanks to them and the approximately 13,000 voting members of the Recording Academy that "New Slaves" was nominated by Kanye West in 2013 as the best rap song. In it he wants to force the women of white entrepreneurs to have sex in revenge for being enslaved in a modern way.

Singer Robin Thicke landed the ultimate in sexual assault in a song in 2013 with the disco hit "Blurred Lines", according to "Guardian" the "most controversial song of the decade". In it, a "good girl" is "liberated" with sex that she secretly wants ("I know you want it"), although she does not ask for it. It was the verbal preliminary stage to rape, celebrated with a grin as a party hit. Around 20 British universities imposed a ban on the title - it still topped the music charts in 25 countries.