Opinion – Misogyny in the music scene: Stop the one-sided criticism

Meghan Dincler | Online Editor

 5 Seconds of Summer. One Direction. BTS.

Talented, famous boy bands, ridiculed for having a fanbase of largely teenage girls.

Why is it that we, as a society, have such a disdain for content with a primarily young female audience? 

You hear all the time that this kind of music is mindless; “bubblegum pop,” if you will. No matter the quality, in the media we can often see music go down in value because people immediately apply the close-minded idea that it’s bad (without even listening to it) solely because it’s enjoyed by teenage girls. Girls are ridiculed for liking almost anything, and it’s starting to become a problem.

As a teenage girl, if I say that I enjoy anything with a male dominated audience, from Marvel to Metallica, I’m immediately prepared to have to prove it. Like I’m not allowed to just like something, I have to know everything about it or I’m just a “stupid girl, only in it for the hot men.”

When you look at content strongly marketed towards teenage boys, you very rarely see any kind of mockery or ridicule of that content by adults or teenage girls. And yet, the minute that something is marketed towards a teenage girl, it loses intellectual value. 

Not only can that create confidence issues for young women – it can cause girls to think they’re not smart because they’re told they can’t enjoy “intellectual” content, or have lower self worth because the things they find value and enjoyment in have lower worth in society’s eyes – but it’s inherently hypocritical, especially on the subject of music.

Because you know which artists had followings of primarily teenage girls when they started?

David Bowie. Peter Franptom. Poison. Bon Jovi. Motley Crue. 

All these people, who are now part of every indie boy’s renowned vinyl collection, played for audiences of screaming girls. 

People seem to think that when a girl is a fan of something, she goes into a crazed obsession, unable to discern good from bad. This idea most likely stems from the stereotype that women are “too emotional” and can’t think logically because of it. This does nothing but hammer home the concept that girls have no taste, and are just too obsessed and overwhelmed with emotion to understand when something is bad quality. Clearly, time has proven that to be untrue, if men now take music that was primarily supported by teen girls and put it up on a pedestal of superiority! And yet it’s still a prevailing problem. 

There’s almost no popular media that teenage girls can support without somehow being mocked or ridiculed. Music is a major part of my life, and the idea that I can’t like certain bands solely based on my age or gender is not only harmful but just downright ridiculous. 

The idea that teenage girls can’t recognize good quality entertainment is an inherently harmful stereotype, one that’s only going to turn people away from being able to enjoy the content they take interest in.