Is it acceptable for a male to walk up to a female coworker and say, “You’ve got a booty like a Cadillac”? What about singing, to the same co-worker, “Come to the back seat of my car and I’ll let you have it”? I think most would agree these would not be acceptable. How is it, then, that playing songs with these lyrics is allowed in the workplace?
I was attending an “all employee” meeting today and heard the song that those quotes above came from playing in the room just before it started. I guess I just don’t understand. If those phrases would get me fired (and rightly so), then how does one come to the conclusion that it’s okay to play them over a speaker system to a room full of people?
Just to be clear, this is NOT a one time occurrence. At least one song in just about every pre-meeting music playlist contains the same type of language. And, this is definitely not limited to just the workplace. I’ve been in countless public forums that allow this kind of music to be played, but, at the same time, have a sexual harassment policy.
The same can be applied to any policy regarding sexual misconduct, harassment, drug usage, criminal behavior, etc. IMO, if you are going to regulate aspects of people’s lives, you need to be consistent, and regulate all media to align with these policies.
I propose that organizations implement policies that ban music containing lyrics that would violate other polices, should they be spoken/performed by an employee in the workplace.
Symptom of a Bigger Problem
Why do we allow objectification and sexualzation of women (and men, to a lesser degree)? We promote it in music, movies, advertisements for apparel, food, technology, etc. Why is it that certain sectors of society (ex. Hollywood) have been participating in the proliferation of objectification/sexualzation for as long as I can remember, and then express surprise when they are seen as mere sexual objects?
If you are thinking, “It’s not my problem,” you are probably part of the problem. It is a shared problem. One cannot flaunt themselves around as a sexual object and then get offended when someone sees them as nothing more than that. On the flip side, one cannot allow themselves to be inundated with people/media that propagate it.
Here are some examples of things I’ve done as a male who is susceptible to seeing women as sexual objects. This is in no way an endorsement of a product/service or a proselytization attempt. It’s just my personal solutions:
- Got rid of Netflix and nearly stopped going to the movie theater. All television at home is Pureflix now. Get your first month free with this link: https://www.talkable.com/x/Vkt2mK
- Cut out all music that promoted objectification/sexualzation or went against any of my morals. For me, this means 95% of my playlist is Christian music.
- Stopped following, and even banned, people on social media portraying themselves or others as sexual objects.
What is your role going to be in all this? Do you see this as a non-issue? Will you continue to financially support and promote objectification/sexualzation? Will you continue to only focus on the surface symptoms of this underlying disease? See this for what it is, and help educate others!