Is dance music sexist?
That’s the focus of a multi-website discussion that’s erupted in the last few days, with some writers lamenting the state of electronic dance music and it’s frequent focus on sex and, at least according to some, misogynistic views of women.
The Quietus’s Angus Finlayson writes:
Throughout the heydays of disco, house and techno, clubs were places where working class, gay and ethnic minority groups could enjoy a freedom of expression denied to them in the ‘outside’ world.
The political value of the dancefloor was in the construction of a social space where the rigid divisions of dominant culture ceased to apply. Gender, sexuality, race – they were irrelevant when subjected to the carnival of sound, light and substances.
Finlayson goes on to argue that those egalitarian days are gone, asking “What ever happened to rave utopia?”:
It’s fairly common these days to see images of conventionally attractive women being used to promote music from a scene which is supposedly mistrustful of ‘image’.
This is soft porn with a sheen of arty respectability…..
Finlayson goes on to note that, out of DJ Mag’s Top 100 DJ List for 2011, 0 out of the 100 were women.
Is dance music becoming more and more sexist?
If you judged the dance music scene based on the intentionally provocative music video for Satisfaction, by Benny Benassi, or by the number of women on the 100 DJ list, it would be easy to come to that conclusion.
But nothing is quite that pat.
Dance music of the past was never as utopian as we might remember. For every dance music classic, like Giorgio Moroder + Donna Summer’s transcendent I Feel Love, there’s a fauxgasmic Love To Love You, Baby.
And, while men may top the DJ list, popular dance music is largely dominated by female artists.
When people like Finlayson wonder what happened to the rave utopia – the answer is that it’s still there – in their imagination.
Is dance music sexist? Leave a comment and let us know what you think!