While women are still struggling to get equal pay for equal work and face many other gender disparities, there’s at least one area where women seem to, at least at the moment, have a serious upper hand: the world of mainstream pop music. Despite my general disdain for conventional Top 40 radio, I find myself somewhat shockingly pleased with what our ladies are doing these days.
First we have the Ke$ha. Sure, she’s embarrassingly outrageous, but more often than not, with that ridiculousness comes an important message about being yourself and not caring what other people think. In a time where high schools look like a robotic Old Navy ad, full of Bump-Its and Beiber hair, I think we can all appreciate someone showing the youth of American that it’s okay to be different (even if it comes with a cash sign and glitter on our eyes).
And then we have Katy Perry, whom — for the most part — I dislike, but with her super overplayed, yet uber catchy tunes, there’s really no escaping her. And while I could certainly do without donut bras shooting whip cream and the bang-my-head-against-a-wall horrible lyrical content of “Firework,” I can’t get enough of her Kanye collabo and happily included it on my “Apocalypse 2011 Mix.” More recent redemption for KP was her recent admission about her extreme Christian fundamentalist upbringing fostering a misguided perception about Planned Parenthood and how she continued to utilize their services anyway.
And of course, there’s Beyonce. Let’s just be honest: Beyonce’s been killin’ it for years now…and she just keeps on a doin’ it. Her new fem-friendly single “Run the World (Girls)” makes me happy. What else makes me happy: having such a solid role model for young women – one that’s shown uniquely serious class throughout her rise to and reign of super fame. And props to Jay-Z for being a rockstar husband who seems a-okay with having a titan of a success by his side — a lot of men couldn’t handle sharing the pants, let alone giving them up entirely.
But this wouldn’t be a conversation about women owning pop music if it didn’t include the Gaga. (Psssssst. If you haven’t already, you can buy her new album for a mere $1 on Amazon today!). I feel like I really don’t even need to explain why Lady Gaga is significant — we all get it. And we know that equality is all the better because of her.
So, even though there’s still a lot of rolling-around-in-our-underwear-and-being-sexy to deal with, I think mainstream pop’s in pretty good hands right now and sending some good messages to our next generation. I’ll go ahead and enjoy that for the two seconds it lasts…