Sunday, 11 October 2009

Why Are Women So Quick to 'Cry Down' Other Women?

Of course, some of you will argue that I myself am now guilty of doing the same thing but this is my soap box so I'm going to open my mouth anyway.

I watched X factor tonight, sat down with my kids and everything, couldn't think of a 'better' way to rack up some family time... anyway, the show started well, the first performances were ok (some good) and then I heard something that really got my back up!

Kandy Rain performed. They'd not been my favs thus far and had given me occasion to question their talent more than once; however - tonight's performance was DECENT - actually it was quite good and I enjoyed it. They sang 'Addicted to Love' by Robert Palmer, and I thought they weren't half bad. IMHO they weren't raunchy or OTT and not once did I feel the need to cover my daughter's (or my husbands) eyes! In short, they had vastly improved since I'd seen them last perform at Boot camp.

So imagine my surprise when the first female judge opened her 'critique' by immediately criticising their outfits. Hello? Have you seen Lady Gaga? Madonna? Britney? Beyonce? Pussy Cat dolls? (Anyone catch my drift yet?) Even Kylie has worn unitards and lace cat suits and noone felt the need to say anything then...

But check my shock grow as the second female judge jumped on the bandwagon and also laid into the girls. They brought up their PAST employment as strippers... Nary a word had yet been said about how well they executed their song! No credit was given for how vastly they had improved over time!

So now I am miffed, actually I am blue vexed. It would seem as though the judges comments were influenced by an underlying prejudice against strippers. Personally, I don't care what these girls did in the past (stripper <> prostitute last time I checked!). SOmetimes people do whatever they have to in order to get by - the thing is they had left that life behind them and were working in various 'reputable' vocations NOW and were giving this X factor thing a shot: it could have been a way out for them; a way to leave that former life behind them..


But the newspapers have been all over the story (tabloids I should add). Fair enough - word gets out, people kiss and tell - newspapers need to sell copies and sex/scandal will do that everytime. Can't hate em for that can I?

What I can be furious about however, is the judges. Why did they feel the need to bring up trash from the past reported in 'newspapers' on national TV... LIVE national TV.

Did Kandy Rain's past affect how they were singing? Nope... Are we here to judge them on 'mistakes' (if you want to call it that) they made in the past? Nope. So why is it that GIRLS ALOUD and the MINOGUE sisters can wear similar outfits on their tours and that's alright but these girls being scantily clad is automatically a reflection of their 'dirty past'? What's that about?

And I am glad that another judge pointed out that both these judges had worn similar outfits.... notice how his comments have been construed as 'Simon Cowell likened Cheryl Cole to a stripper'. Stupse. (

Neither of those judges are saints (nor am I - there I said it), I don't have to agree with everything someone has done to enjoy their music. Did I still buy Whitney's albums after she married (what I considered to be) that buffoon Bobby Brown and when there were rumours of drug addiction afoot? Yes. Do I agree with every decision she has made in her life? No. But she is human - and therefore flawed, like Kandy Rain - she's just a woman trying to be the best she can be the best way she knew how.

The Kandy Rain concept may not be everyone's cup of tea... but neither is Lady Gaga... or the idea of 50 yr old Madge running around in a flesh coloured unitard grinding up against Justin Timberlake! Does that give a judge the right to mention their former/personal/private lives during a competition that is meant to be looking at 'talent'? I don't think so.

You may disagree - but I just thought that was not the place nor time to 'diss' those girls. I am sure they could have taken them aside after the show and as WOMEN speaking to WOMEN respectfully suggest that they may improve their chances of winning/curry the public favour by dressing 'differently' in future - if that's indeed what they believe. Denigrating young women in front of millions was not the way to go. Can't we just uplift our young and reach them without first destroying them?

Stupse. I gone.

ps. In the same vein of inappropriate comments on this particular show. I also think that one of the same judges had no right to open her big mouth and bring up more 'news' from tabloids and humiliate a certain young man later in the show. His sexuality should have as little bearing on whether he performed well on THIS night as Kandy Rain's history. Enough of the games already - we're talking about people's lives here. This is why my child could never go on X factor :P I done now.. fer real.

You can watch the performance yourself here. I felt that one girl (the blonde) was a bit risqué - but that was it.
Lady Cole in similar get-up...


Cat said...

I totally agree. It seems that the show has gone from being a talent show to a slanging match. Some of the judges are trying hard to undermind the confidence of the acts they deem to be threats. I have lost some respect for Cheryl as a judge who out of all of them should know how it feels to be on stage / or in the press being critisised about seemingly bad choices.

Mit :) said...

I was on my way back from snowboarding in Milton Keynes while everyone was being upset by TV. Ignorance is bliss!

Honestly I don't get why people like this show so much!

Miss Elliott said...

This just underlines my suspicion that Simon Cowell is actually a feminist to be proud of - flying the flag, or what?!

My dear, I actually feel quite strongly about things like this, and i seldom catch myself falling back into those regressive sort of lapses where i say something like 'omg, what is she wearing?' When I do, I berate myself. It's a bit like losing religion, it is hard to completely eradicate.

This kind of thing incenses me, really it does. i used to LOVE DOWN Beyonce, was singing 'get on the bus' and 'say my name', and I LOVED her/them. As soon as Nasty Girl came out, that was it, I actually couldn't listen to one more song. It was over for me. I cannot support women doing that. i am much more likely to keep buying a drug-addled Whitney's records while she is destroying herself, than somone like Beyonce, and now Lady Cole, or anyone else like them who is destructing the massive strides that women have made over the past 100 years, and reinforcing the power structures that hold people back.... Read More

Imagine, you are a 9 year old, or 13 year old girl - what do Cheryl and Dannii's comments mean to you? When you probably don't yet have the skills of critique and negotiation to see through this patrirachal crap?

These people are a danger to the public. Down with Dannii and Cheryl.

Anonymous said...

I didnt see it but looked at the comments and completely agree. I had no problem with their outfits.

And Cheryl and Dannii should be ashamed because they both can't sing and got to where they are because of the extras. So I don't appreciate them knocking the hustle.

@Miss Elliott - As for Beyonce, I used to be a huge fan... but sometimes she knocks me for six. That female version of hustler song....smh.

Miss Elliott said...

Girls, you are naked, even if the next shot is of a brown mountain, i'm not buying that you are just being 'natural'. Even when you sometimes stand next to a horse, it simply doesn't ring true for me. And, i am seriously questioning whether you are genuinely dressing for 'yourself' in that teeny tiny black bikini number, forgive me for doubting, because it is difficult for me to commit to that thought when you are actually saying 'i want to cater to you and do anything for my man' while arching your back with your hair wet.

And i can't help but reflect on that when you say:

---You nasty girl, you nasty you trashy
You classless girl, you sleazy you freaky
I ain't never met a girl that does the things that you do
Change don't come your way it will come back to you
Put some clothes on girl---

Are you, by any chance talking about yourself? Because the girl subject in THAT video is wearing more than you are BeBe. If you don't believe me, look:

Oooh, no, this is when you are talking about yourself:

---for women like me who try to have some integrity
You make it hard...for girls like myself who respect themselves, And have dignity---

Slipped me for a moment, that one Beyonce. Glad you made that clear (AS MUD).

The thing is, everyone makes mistakes in their lives, and maybe this video - or the combination of both - is part of that for you. But, i can't help but notice that actually, you keep making the same mistake, and i'm beginning to suspect that really, you have noticed the association between this, and money in your bank account, so you keep doing it.

I really don't mind that i have seen parts of your body that i haven't seen of my own, because it's all a learning experience, if slightly technically anatomical, cos you can put your legs in some special positions(!) and a bit of a surprise on a Sunday afternoon when sitting with my family eating lunch after church, which you also attend, I hear. But, I take slight issue when you tell me i can't show my tits on a Friday night:

---Booty all out, tongue out her mouth, cleavage from here to Mexico
She walks wit a twist, one hand on her hip, when she gets wit'cha she lets it go---

"Babe, I actually learned that walk from your 'Crazy in love video'. I practiced the whole thumb in mouth move and sexy catwalk strutting. When, in your pre-eminent opinion, will i be able to use it? Do I have to wait til he puts a ring on it?" Okaaaaaaa-aaaaaaaaaay.

Man, I am confused. Wish i could just shake it out of my mind, but unfortunately, as is often the case with mediocrity and fame, you are EVERYWHERE.

People might say it's not that serious. But actually, people in the know who work with young girls going through 'things', come to understand how much this crap affects them, and it is NOT funny. At all. And, let's not even talk about how this affects men's understanding of womanhood - (women apparently want soldiers who can carry big things, and split that money three ways, with eyes low from that cheefing, hoping to be the 'one who may be the one tonight' - slamming beat tho, ladies). I take it those are the hot block girls you spoke of earlier?

None of that is your fault, but could you just stop. Seriously. Stop now. You're rich enough babes.

Bajan Lily said...

Wow - interesting comments.

@Miss Elliott - I actually had to go back and look at those two videos after you wrote this (did you write it all or are you quoting other ppl in there as well?)

DChild are naked, you're right... and Bey IS scantily clad while she sings:"whatever you desire, I'll supply ya"... like you said.
However, is the distinction she is drawing between 'Nasty' and 'Cater' the difference between walking round the street scantily clad for every next man to see and wearing 'sexy lingerie/outfits' for your partner to see/enjoy? I dunno... just never noticed this before.

@Anon - HRH is always telling me that we need to separate the 'artist' from the person, i.e. ppl will sing and act one way in public to sell records; but they could be doing sthg else in private e.g. Chris Brown with his previous squeaky clean image. (I agree with you though - I find it difficult!)

Miss Elliott said...

I really don't understand separating the person from the artist, unless Beyonce is saying she is happy to separate the person from the stripper. Why do i say this? Because she is wearing very little in her video for, let's face it, mass male attention. She's also getting paid for it (the two are not separable). Strippers do EXACTLY the same thing, though typically for less money. There are not many people who would say a girl on a Friday night flirting around in a short skirt is worse than a stripper and since I have just shown how I think a stripper and Beyonce are VERY similar, it shows my thinking that Beyonce really shouldn't be trying to condescend to either group!

Anyway, my point was, I really don't mind if Beyonce shows some, none or all of her body, it just bothers me when she is inconsistent and makes moral judgements about women who are also just living their lives (however they want to).

My problem with Beyonce is NOT that she is not championing women's issues (though she has a huge platform to, and simply doesn't), it's that she does the very opposite and most times, her statements about womanhood are negative OR trading on very traditional values (if you liked it then you should have put a ring on it). I mean, I DO understand what synecdoche is, but this is taking it a bit too far. A woman is NOT just the total sum of carats on her finger! AND, in that song, he cheated on her, and she doesn't complain about that, she complains about him not marrying her!

And to answer your question, no, the post was all me, no quoting others. I just have huge problems with people who diss women, and i when i hear it the narratives just flow!

Directly on your point - too right! If we can separate the artist from the person, then why not the politician from the person, corrupt CEO from the person, etc etc etc, ESPECIALLY when the 'person' is profiting from the artist's/politician's/CEO's actions! That's far too easy. Be responsible for who you are and what you say at all times, end of.


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