How to get Ahead in Musical Comedy

Sick of hearing shit like this?

“Bitches ain’t shit but hoes and tricks / Lick on these nuts and suck the dick.” – Snoop Dogg

I know I am. But what worries me more is apathy. Unfortunately, sexist lyrics are so embedded in our culture now that we don’t even notice them anymore, let alone react. Similarly, to the words of a certain terracotta President Elect, I won’t mention his name but it rhymes with c*nt (no it doesn’t, but I couldn’t help it, I’m angry ok?). When we hear “Grab them by the pussy”, (which, could in fact be a lyric from the same song as above quote) we just throw it on the pile of offensive things he has already said and done and do not give this newest revelation the appropriate level of shock and outrage it deserves. We merely brush it off: ‘Oh that’s just Donald, what do you expect?’ We have become desensitised to the horror, which is a scary place to be. The same way a schoolgirl has got used to catcalls on her way her home; we have all learnt to tolerate a certain level of sexism as part of life and we are quick to forgive people whom we have learnt to expect it from.

I wrote this song (with my group The Ruby Darlings) to challenge these ideas and see the reaction if (God forbid) a woman were to ‘spit these rhymes’. Sometimes it’s only when we flip something on its head, (if you’ll excuse the pun) that its absurdity is revealed and you force people out of their apathetic slumbers. But, I also wanted to address common sexual double standards and the stigma placed on cunnilingus itself. Certain sexual acts aren’t reserved for men or women. It’s a menu we should all be able to choose from freely and without risk of shame or judgment. We will ALL benefit from the crushing of this taboo TRUST ME.

I am not blameless in all this; I too am a product of my environment. During my teens I would listen to music that constantly objectified women, from artists such as Eminem and the aforementioned Snoop Dog. Which I am ashamed of, but they did make me the rapper I am today, so it’s swings and roundabouts folks. (As you can probably tell, at this point in my life I was yet to open Pandora’s box of misogyny, which subsequently changed my world forever, but that’s another story.) I remember learning all the words so that I could impress my brother’s friends and I recall thinking it made me seem strong, powerful and ‘not like other girls’.

However, I can tell you now that nothing has been more empowering than ‘rapping’ along to my own lyrics to challenge the patriarchal norm, and getting my boyfriend to dress up as a giant Vagina. Mainly the latter.