Music plays a very important role in the lives of little girls. It provides entertainment, relieves tension and boredom, and distracts from problems. However, the rise in misogynistic lyrics can provide some major problems. Exposure to misogynistic lyrics can produce undesirable changes in the way our daughters perceive themselves and the world around them.
Adolescent girls use music to help form their identities. Misogynistic song lyrics reflect or exhibit hatred, dislike, mistrust, or mistreatment of women. There are a number of potential problems when our daughters listen to lyrics reflecting these attitudes.
One of the problems parents encounter is the prevalence of music in their daughters’ lives. Music is everywhere. They listen to it on their iPods, computers, and at their friend’s house. This can make it difficult for parents to influence their daughters’ music choices. However, there are some steps parents can take to help their daughters make good music choices.
As a parent, I listened to my daughters’ favorite artists. I remember one year when my daughter had a particular group she loved. We watched a music award show together and she was excited that we would hear her group perform live. They were terrible! They appeared high on something, messed up the lyrics, and were an embarrassment to themselves and their fans. I had been iffy about some of their lyrics. After that performance, they were no longer my daughter’s favorite group.
Frequently, when we were listening in the car, a particularly catchy tune would come on, and my daughters would say, “Change the station, Mom. That has nasty lyrics, so we don’t listen to it.” Of course, they had listened to it previously, because they knew the lyrics were unacceptable. However, they were demonstrating awareness and making good choices.
Some argue that children and adolescents listen to music for entertainment and pay very little attention to the words. However, although our daughters may not understand all the words, they understand enough to get the general idea of the lyrics. This is frequently enough to instill in our daughters perceptions about themselves and their place in the world that are not what we want for them.
Our little girls need guidance from us when it comes to the music they choose. It is important to help them identify inappropriate lyrics, so they can begin to make their own choices about the type of music they will choose. This lesson can extend to the ability to make wise choices in other areas of their lives.