While everyone is blabbing about the Miley Cyrus’s, the “big” pop star names, and the so-called “feminists” of our generation that are dominating the media’s attention, I would like to take some time to point the spotlight toward other, relatively unexplored, views held by contemporary artists—such as, Krewella’s Jahan Yousef.
Krewella’s slogan, “Get Wet” is a rallying call to action for feminists and music enthusiasts. Krewella demands that their followers get wet, let loose, and “not give a fuck.” The whole point of their gimmick encourages women to fully embrace their sexuality without feeling ashamed. Jahan, herself, is loud, vulgar, openly sexual, and quite frankly, conducts herself exactly how a “lady shouldn’t.” She refuses to apologize for who she is. She expresses curiosity about why, “our so-called ‘enlightened,’ free-thinking society won’t allow women to explore their sexual desires without condemning them.” Jahan goes on to explain how it has become “accepted and ubiquitous for male artists, like Robin Thicke, to use sexually explicit representations of women in their content, but when a female artist exploits this image of herself , she is brought down.”
I could not agree more. Forget the stupid phenomenon surrounding Miley Cyrus’ fashion choices, new-found sexuality, and tongue-ing. Let’s think about the kind of message we are sending to our youth when society decides that “male artists are allowed to live out their explicit fantasies of women in music videos, but when the female artist is in control and chooses to embrace her sexual side, she is punished?”
While Feministing dubbed this year a “rough year for feminism in pop music” due to the fact that “Miley Cyrus is called a feminism icon because she took her clothes off and shook her ass,” I am arguing that this year was a BREAKTHROUGH for feminism. I would like to implore people and writers (like Feministing’s Sesali Bowen) to think outside of the “Is-Miley-Cyrus-really-what-feminism-has-come-to?” box, and introduce a little more—wait, A LOT more—optimism when thinking about feminism’s role in pop culture. All is not lost, my friends. Especially, when you have amazeballz women like Jahan, and her sister Yasmine, publicly exclaiming:
“If fairy tales and teen magazines teach a girl at a young age to have submissive behavior, that her focus in life is finding her true love over finding happiness in independence, that she can’t FUCK—she can only MAKE LOVE to her prince charming, then it’s no wonder we can’t accept a female star freeing herself of the rules of femininity that society continues to perpetuate”
This is the kind of artist, person, and role-model that this world should be dubbing a “feminist icon”: Someone who is truly passionate about the role of sexism in the music world and beyond, someone who is concerned with gender fairness and the strictly defined boundaries of sex, and someone who fully understands the idea that femininity is controlled by the male dominated sphere—that it extends well beyond the obsessive hoopla surrounding Miley Cyrus. I encourage you to help feminism “GET WET” with Jahan Yousaf, and the countless other artists that represent the movement, far better than Cyrus and her foam finger ever will.