On Justin Bieber
I find that many reactions to Justin Bieber illustrate a particular intersection of sexism and homophobia which is very demonstrative of the subtlety of both oppressions. If you google Justin Bieber Sucks you will come across a facebook page where when people invited to post what they hate about Justin Bieber, the most common complaint is that he sings like a twelve year old girl and that his hair looks gay. When a friend of mine posted a comment on his own facebook page regarding Bieber I found one comment particularly interesting: …..”My issue with Bieber and his ilk are that they represent the absolute lowest common denominator of the music industry – cheap, commercial pop music with a pretty face singing and marketed to the dumbest consumers in the market (hormonal teenage girls)”…… The same commenter also mentioned that the fact Bieber sings like a twelve year old girl also does not help his cause.
Why is singing like a 12 year old girl such a horrible thing? Is being a 12 year old girl so horrific that no one should ever want to be associated with one (or lots and lots) ever? The answer is unsurprisingly yes. First of all singing “like a 12 year old girl” means that Bieber’s masculinity is in question. No real man, young or otherwise, should ever willingly associate themselves with anything vaguely womanly – let alone “girly” it is demeaning as things which are girly are obviously with out a doubt stupid. After all teenage girls are the lowest common denominator when it comes to all things right? People like say…. the Beatles and…. Michael Jackson weren’t made famous because they appealed to teenage girls right? Those guys aren’t now considered legends now right? Although to be fair the legendary part only came with time and distance from the screaming fangirl part.
The idea that men or boys should never ever have let alone want to have feminine qualities of any kind is a form of oppression. Being associated with womanly or girlish things means that you are weak, deviant and/ or (heaven forbid) queer. Fundamentally it implies that that womanly or girlish qualities are weak, irrational and disgusting. That these qualities are things to be overcome, not to be aspired to.
Sure hate Justin Bieber because of what he represents, or because he can’t sing well (this is different from saying he sings like a teenage girl) or because he is totally manufactured and you prefer you music to be more authentic, but please for your own sake don’t criticize Bieber because he is associated with young women and that somehow makes him less than a man or man in training – because that is not ok and it really reveals you for the bigot that you are.