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Is There A Double Standard For Men And Women?
By Julia Rideout, Prince of Wales Collegiate, St. John's, NL
(originally published in PWC's Student Newspaper http://www.pwc.k12.nf.ca/newspaper)

How many young girls, around 7, 8, or 9 years old have idols like Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera? Probably more than we know. Of course, now there's controversy over if they really are suitable to fit that title.

When both young women hit the music scene back in the 90's, they looked like young, fresh, well behaved ladies. Give them a few years and they do a complete 180 turn, and start to sing songs about being a sexual slave and promoting getting "dirty". Even the way they dress has changed dramatically. They are now being accused of selling sex and a dress sexy attitude to their younger fans. Many people, mainly parents, are outraged that such explicitness could be shown on television to an immature audience. As expected, there is much  debate over this controversy.

Both singers say that their record labels made them dress and act that way to sell records and wasn't really who they were. Christina Aguleria, especially, has made it her mission to defend the way women singers are presenting themselves. She puts forward a strong argument. An argument that I am in total agreement with.

The Hip Hop singer Shaggy made his big break with the song "It wasn't me". The song is about a man getting caught cheating on his significant other, and then Shaggy telling him to lie about it, and say it wasn't him. The song talks about how the two were caught "Bangin' on the bathroom floor". When this song first came out, it was an instant smash and requested on almost every music channel and radio station.

A couple years back, Ricky Martin put out a music video, where he chased a woman, wearing very little, into an underwater castle party. Throughout the video, we see different scenes of him being rubbed by numerous hands. Then, during one of the musical bridges, 4 or 5 girls, a guy, and Mr. Martin himself all go into a shower stall-sized room and act out an semi orgy.

The drummer turned singer Tommy Lee had a hit called "Get Naked". For the entirety of the video, everyone who was visible was naked, well except for the featured rapper Fred Durst. When I first saw this video I was shocked that they could even put this on the air without attaching a 'R'  rating to it. The video and song were never band or were never called sleazy or slutty.

There are many other examples of men using sex and sex appeal to sell records and spice up their music videos. Not once has any male singer been criticized for this. If anything, they are encouraged to do it. Christina Aguilera argues this point. If Shaggy, Ricky Martin, or any male singer had put out the video that she had, nobody would have thought twice about the sexuality that was expressed in it.

As much as I am against the way they dress, act and carry themselves, I can comfortably say that I agree with what they are saying. Just the thought of a woman showing her sexuality publicly is enough to make some people go insane, but then these same people will turn around and buy a Tommy Lee CD because they like the song "Get Naked". It's all a big contradiction.

Perhaps I'm just a tad bit biased, seeing how I do fall under the female category. But still, it's pretty clear that there is a double standard for expression of sexuality in men and women. My suggestion is that the music industry stop the selling of sex, both men and women, and then there wouldn't be any controversy. This will help stop all the negative comments and make everybody happy. For those people who wouldn't be happy because they want to see skin, I have but one thing to say "Go Get A Shower!"


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