Pop Music Feeds Bold-Faced Lies About Women's Empowerment
It's not a huge surprise to anyone that the American music industry is a powerful media arm of modern propaganda, especially toward women. Lies are constantly being seeded into women's minds through catchy pop tunes performed by a slew of pop celebrities. Luckily, you don't have to bow to the forces of subliminal and supraliminal messaging. Here's what you, as an American woman, can do about it.
BY TERESA YANAROS, APRIL 19, 2021
Women are bombarded with false messages about womanhood through American pop music. Here are three questions you should be asking yourself when it comes to this type of media propaganda:
Which lies are actually spread through pop music?
How can these lies affect you?
What can you do to retain your personal sovereignty while being exposed to these messages?
First, we will lay a foundation for why you should care about lies in media. Next, follow me as we traverse into three pop music songs to investigate the lies they perpetuate and the truth that overcomes the lies. Let's begin.
The Reach of Pop Music
In order to grasp the implications of the messages disseminated through the avenue of pop music, we must begin to appreciate the reach of this musical genre.
Pop music, the second leading genre of music in America, is insanely popular. In a study performed by the Statista Research Department in January of 2021, researchers found that 56.1 percent of Americans prefer to listen to pop music, trumped by rock music by only .7 percent. Pop music appears to be more or less equally popular among Americans regardless of age, as informed by a May 2018 Statista study. Worldwide, pop music is the most popular genre of music. Globally, consumers listen to an average of 17.8 hours of music weekly.
Pop music was popularized by technological advances in radio, television, and let's not forget the creation of MTV. But that was just the beginning. The truth is, the explosion of new media enabled the viability of music in ways like never seen before. The platform YouTube is now the main place for listening to music worldwide. YouTube "remains the single most-used website in the world to listen to music legally."
In the 2017 Music Consumer Insight Report, published yearly by the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry, we learned that approximately 1.3 billion users are visiting YouTube monthly to access music-streaming functionality.
Now let's take this a step further, and see just how many views pop songs are getting on the platform YouTube. I just did a quick survey and found:
Ed Sheeran's "Shape of You" was released in January of 2017 and has over 5.2 billion views
Justin Bieber's "Sorry" was released in October of 2015 as has over 3.4 billion views
Maroon 5's "Girls Like You" was released in May of 2018 and has over 3 billion views
Katie Perry's "Dark Horse" was released in February of 2014 and has over 3 billion views
This is just a quick pull of information scraped off the top of the YouTube barrel. With this kind of data, think about how many people are watching and listening to pop music every single day.
How Deep Do These Messages Go?
Due to the impressive level of pop music consumption, it makes logical sense to take a microscope to this content and become aware of what messages we are receiving into our minds.
There are two types of messages that we receive through media outlets:
Supraliminal Messages: which exist above the threshold of consciousness and therefore are perceivable to us
Subliminal Messages: which exist or operate below the threshold of consciousness; these types of messages employ stimuli insufficiently intense to produce a discrete sensation but are often designed to be intense enough to influence the mental processes or the behavior of the individual
Music videos and pop music are powerful forms of communication because music and video are extremely effective ways to deliver both supraliminal and subliminal messages. Because of the powerful nature of this medium, we must be that much more vigilant when intaking this kind of material and engaging with this type of content.
Spiritual Implications of Pop Music Consumption
Listening to music might seem like an innocent practice at first. But when you look deeper, you realize that information you choose to put into your mind influences your thoughts, beliefs, attitudes, and leads to patterns of behavior and habits, which leads to your very way of life.
This means that the implications of pop music consumption are actually spiritual. One Bible verse that expresses this truth comes from the Gospel according to Matthew.
The eye is the lamp of the body; so if your eye is clear [spiritually perceptive], your whole body will be full of light [benefiting from God’s precepts]. But if your eye is bad [spiritually blind], your whole body will be full of darkness [devoid of God’s precepts]. So if the [very] light inside you [your inner self, your heart, your conscience] is darkness, how great and terrible is that darkness!
- Matthew 6:22-23, Amplified Bible
In some cases, pop music delivers lies to women in an attempt to keep them in spiritual darkness. It is imperative that we reject the lie that we must find our identity in things of this world and cleanse our minds by leaning into the truth that our true identities are found in Christ.
One huge lie that I see delivered over and over to women through pop music is that sex, power, rebellion, and promiscuity are to be sought after over all other things, casting aside a relationship with God as a means to elevate the self over all others, including God.
2 Kings 17:15 states, "They rejected his decrees and the covenant he had made with their ancestors and the statutes he had warned them to keep. They followed worthless idols and themselves became worthless." Let us not become worthless and instead reject the lies of the Enemy and stand firm in the true knowledge of God.
Let's dive now into three examples of pop music that encourages idolatry and feeds lies to women.
1- Ariana Grande's "God is a Woman" (326,917,149 views on YouTube)
Overcoming Lies About Sex as a Weapon
Here's the lie: Women become empowered by sexually manipulating men to gain control over them.
The first verse of the song "God is a Woman" expresses that after engaging in sexual relations with the woman in the song, the man will believe that God is a woman. The lyrics proclaim that it's a "feeling" that the man can't fight. This insinuates that a man is nothing more than a pawn to be manipulated through sexual devices as a means to elevate the woman to god-like status in the man's eyes.
The truth about sex as a weapon: Women should not manipulate or even seek to gain control over men by using sexuality as a weapon. Sexuality is a sacred thing that God created for men and women to experience and should not be degraded or distorted as a weapon of power.
Galatians 5:15 states, "If you bite and devour each other, watch out or you will be destroyed by each other." In this verse, the woman seeks to devour the man's proper perspective of elevating God above all else and replace it with her as God in his place. This calls for the man to idolize the woman above his relationship with God. This leads to destruction because there is no way that a human can properly hold that place in a person's heart. Humans are not perfect, but God is. The mentality that we can find perfection in each other is impossible, and therefore we must turn our eyes to God for ultimate spiritual satisfaction.
True women's empowerment is not to sexually manipulate men but by respecting that all humans are cherished by God. We are called to love God with our whole hearts and minds, and to love others fully, sacrificially, and with humble hearts. When we give ourselves over to God and allow ourselves to be filled with his love, we can then turn around and sacrificially love others. This is true empowerment for the benefit of all and casts out selfish thinking, which leads to destruction.
Overcoming Lies About God's Character
Here's the lie: Women become empowered by convincing men to idolize them as gods.
Throughout the song, the lyrics drive home the idea that the more sexually satisfied the man becomes, he will grow to see the woman as more and more of a god. One line states that man will see the universe in her and that through sexual gratification she will gain power and flourish. The idea that a woman grows in divinity through the action of using sex to manipulate a man is false.
The truth about God's character: God is not a woman. God is not a man. God is God and is not present within idols. God is independent of his creation and is sovereign and infinite, and worthy to be worshipped and glorified.
The lack of knowledge of God's character is pervasive in American pop culture. Let's assess a list of attributes of God, pulled from Wayne Grudem's "Bible Doctrine: Essential Teachings of the Christian Faith," a book I highly recommend for anyone looking to establish a firm theological foundation for Christian studies.
God's existence is evident in the deep, inner sense of connection to God that his creatures have built inside themselves. God is unknowable and cannot ever be fully understood by us. God's greatness is so great that it is unsearchable. God is light. God is spirit. God is righteous. God is wisdom, truth, independent from his creation, omnipotent, omniscient, unchangeable, and perfect. God protects us and makes us promises. God loves with everlasting love. God is infinite but God is also a personal God with whom we can have a direct relationship.
True women's empowerment does not seek to usurp the role of God in any man's eyes, but instead to walk alongside men with humble hearts to glorify God. When a woman stops trying to be God in a man's eyes and instead turns her own eyes to God, she will start to look for a man who seeks the same. When both parties seek the face of God, they begin to glorify God together. They empty themselves of selfish desires and seek to use their God-given gifts and talents to improve the lives of others. Instead of thinking that we can be God to anyone, which just doesn't play out because it's impossible, we must humble ourselves to the process of growing in faith. Men and women are not meant to idolize one another but to live for God and steward what they've been given with humble hearts and minds.
2 - Jennifer Lopez "El Anillo" (359,901,821 views on YouTube)
Overcoming Lies About Sexual Exchange
Here's the lie: Women are empowered by offering sexual intercourse to men in exchange for the proposition of marriage.
Jennifer Lopez's song "El Anillo" actually highlights one of the biggest problems with third-wave feminism. This song is somewhat of an anthem for the elephant in the third-wave feminist room. The woman in the song seems to be happy with her relationship with the male subject of the song. She says that he treats her like a princess, he gives her everything she asks for, and they are seemingly flourishing in the bedroom. But she asks him, where is the ring?
This highlights a huge problem with hookup culture and that which has been shoved upon women by the falsity that is third-wave feminism. Women are expected to give up sex before marriage and then wonder why the man is not putting a ring on it.
The truth about sexual exchange: Giving in to the idea that sexual promiscuity is simply the way the world works now denigrates the sexual act itself and can cause even more issues in your relationship than you thought having sex resolved.
There's this myth pushed by pop culture that states we must be liberated from religious ideals of sexual purity, and in order to find true freedom we should just hook up with people freely and give it away as we sit fit. This rebellious attitude is now more or less the norm in society. The problem is, we now see evidence of why this attitude is destructive. This song actually represents part of that problem by highlighting the distortion that giving sex to a man should lead to the proposition of marriage.
The sad truth is if women would hold out on having sexual relations with men until marriage, it would increase the value of the sexual act itself and would also properly give both parties time to vet each other from a true relational standpoint without first engaging in sexual bonding that can tie two people together spiritually before they have figured out if this person is actually someone that they should seek to spend the rest of their lives with.
Genesis 2:25 states, "And the man and his wife were both naked and were not ashamed." A man. And his wife. God created sex for us as a means to bond relationally. When we experience sex within the parameters that God built for us, it glorifies God and represents the union of God with his church. When we distort the purposes of sex, we can experience pain, suffering, confusion, and a litany of negative emotions.
3 - Cardi B "Up" (122,934,942 views on YouTube)
Overcoming Lies About Rejection of the Male/Female Bond
Here's the lie: Women are empowered by rejecting the notion that they need men. Women find freedom by engaging in gratuitous sexual intercourse with no strings attached and true liberation by being toxic toward others and exposing their bodies publicly. Women should only entertain the idea of having sex with men if they can gain something monetary out of it.
This song is so rampant with horrific advice for women that it's hard to decide where to start on this one. The music video brandishes sexually suggestive dancing, implied nudity, and lyrics that leave absolutely nothing to the imagination. The first scene shows the singer standing over a dead body of a man. The song in its entirety glorifies sex as a means to control men and grow in power over various situations. Cardi B presents a laundry list of lies to her audience, including the idea that men actually love toxic women, and that sexually pleasing a man with money is preferable and will make him "act right."
The truth about the male/female bond: Women do not become empowered by rejecting or controlling men. The false narrative of women's empowerment actually presents slavery masked by the ruse of false liberation.
Galatians 5:13 states, "You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love." True freedom is found in rejecting the lie that we must extend ourselves into further and further depravity and rebellion as a means to prove that we can do whatever we want. This mentality might seem enticing at first, but when you start to walk down that path, things get more and more twisted and destructive, leading only to pure enslavement by the very devices you thought would liberate you.
The male and female bond is sacred and the Enemy wants so much to undermine and obfuscate God's beautiful plan for the male/female relationship. Genesis 1:27 states, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." We are created in the very likeness of God and called into relationships with one another that serve each other selflessly. We are not called to use, abuse, and destroy each other by imposing selfish desires on one another. Ephesians 5:33 says, "Let each one of you love his wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband." This exchange of selfless love between the man and woman demonstrates how God is glorified within each selfless act.
So much of pop music elevates the idea that creating idols gets you closer to God, which is literally the opposite of what is true. Creating an idol out of one's self and then imposing that idea onto others as though receiving their praise will somehow work out for the good of both of you is a total lie. This distortion is pervasive throughout pop music today and we must remain vigilant as we traverse the world of online media.
Awareness is the first step to halting the falsities that are poured into our minds on a daily basis. Holding fast to the true knowledge of God is the ultimate way to ensure that our minds, hearts, and spirits are forevermore protected.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Teresa Yanaros, a degreed journalist with a passion for uncovering the truth, has dedicated her life to investigating images and messages received through media outlets. From a young age, she has researched and presented news media through print and began expanding her reach through multi-media.
After writing a book investigating the phenomenon of modern American online spiritualism, she traveled across America, giving speeches and practical workshops on how to analyze and synthesize information. From archetypal studies to advanced truth-seeking, Teresa has presented research in areas of American pop culture, occultism, conspiracism, supernatural and paranormal studies, theology, and anthropology of online sub-cultures. Due to Teresa's experience with seeing just how deep the rabbit holes of online culture go, she is devoted to understanding the media effects of online subcultures upon their communities.
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Teresa is the founder of Truly Free Society.
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