Dismantling Sexism as a Weapon

Album Cover for Seven the Hard Way – Image from Wikipedia
Album cover for Brol – Image from Wikipedia







In 1985, Pat Benatar’s “Sex as a Weapon” was a powerful statement against the over sexualization of women used in capitalism for advertising products. It also plays on third wave feminism ideas that focus on breaking down stereotypical gender norms, and reclamation of image. She accomplishes this through not only the humorous visual aspects of the video, but also through harnessing elements of rock such as electric guitar, drums, and aggressive vocals. In addition, the lyrical composition clearly exposes her message of hyper sexualization. Benatar’s work in embracing third wave feminism in the music industry helped pave the way for future artists to continue challenging oppressive norms. Belgian pop artist, Angèle, uses her 2019 video for “Balance Ton Quoi” to speak out against gender norms, and embrace fourth wave feminism. Similar to Benatar, she uses humorous visual images of reclamation of identity and musical elements of pop such as a simple back beat, synthesizers, and sweet vocals contrasting unconventional lyrics.