I can remember a time when I would’ve been made fun of for doing things differently. Now I’m getting an award for it? This is too much. I’m so excited!” says Williams. “There are women in this industry who totally bulldozed walls down for the likes of me to come along and do what I believe in. I want to be that for even one girl in the future. I can’t wait for the event next month and to high-five some of my sisters in music.
Eminem’s uber-misogynistic lyric toward Lana del Rey is neither shocking nor surprising. For 15 years, he has used our culture’s feigned anger toward acts of misogyny, and our obsession with celebrity, as a shortcut to staying relevant.
We pretend to be shocked by his words, and yet the world remains as misogynistic as ever. He causes temporary controversy until we move on to something else, forgetting why we were upset in the first place. As a method of inserting himself into the current cultural conversations surrounding women (and in particular, women in music), attacking women in his singles offers instant selling publicity.
The earliest example came in the The Real Slim Shady, the lead single from his second major label album. In the single, Eminem attacks Britney Spears and, particularly, Christina Aguilera: “Christina Aguilera, better switch me chairs / so I can sit next to Carson Daly and Fred Durst / and hear ‘em argue over who she gave head to first.”
The domination doesn’t extend to production: most of the behind-scenes studio sorcery is generally the province of men.
This is slowly but surely changing. There have always been experimental-minded female musicians, from the BBC Radiophonic Workshop’s Delia Derbyshire, and Yoko Ono and Laurie Anderson to more recent American and Canadian laptop pop girls Laurel Halo, Julia Holter and Grimes. And over the last few years there has been the odd US female producer – notably, Missy Elliot, or Syd Tha Kyd – and, in the UK, a trickle of female DJs who have turned producers and artists, including Ikonika and Cooly G.
Over the last several years, it seems like anytime anybody sings about a woman, she’s in cutoff jeans, drinking and on a tailgate — they objectify the hell out of them,” he tells Billboard magazine in a new interview. “Twenty years ago, I might have written a song like that — I probably did. But I’m at a point where I want to say something different about women.