Misogyny and Philogyny in Music: Shakira and Rihanna, among others


The paper examines Shakira and Rihanna’s duet Can’t remember to forget you (2014) that denies the power of heterosexual love for roués in favor of philogyny between women who externalize misogyny. In this MTV video, two divas cavort in bed, inviting female fascination and gaze, and challenging the patriarchy through their lesbian affinity. The paper examines how Shakira and Rihanna consider male bodies, what Aristotle and Augustin consider, “an obstacle to exercise of [female] reason”, how they overcome misogyny, engage in philogyny, and construct narratives of pleasure, and how Rihanna controls her own African-American image with respect and dignity (Katie Toms, 2019), and denies exploitation and victimization of the African-American girl in her. The paper uses research by Ruby M. Gourdine and Brianna P. Lemmons (2011), Rozie-Battle (2002), Collins (2000), Rita. J. Andrews (n.d.), Kathleen Barry (1995), Judith M. Bennette (1991), Joanne B. Eicher (2001), John Carl Flugel (1950), Amalia Graziani (2014), Larry. E. Greeson and Rose William (1986), Sheila Jeffreys (2005), Ikamara Larasi (2013), Glenn O'Brien (1992), Kristina Olson (2011-12), Camille Paglia (1992), Judith L. Rozie-Battle (2002), Diana Russell (1993), and Annie-Rose Strasser (2013) as supporting argument to discuss philogyny as opposed to misogyny in the video. It uses content analysis method to examine juxtaposing texts and images of Can’t remember to forget you and compares them with Madonna’s sadomasochist brothel look while grabbing her crotch on stage during a performance of Express yourself (Jeffreys 2005: 75). The paper finds that Shakira and Rihanna’s philogyny questions forces of misogyny in a Freudian sense: sex as a prime motivator for even the most prudent puritanical-appearing individual. The duo’s “illustrious vernacular” is, what Dante rejects, as an artistic transformation of the “lingua maternal,” a trope (Kristina Olson 2011-12: 64). Can’t remember to forget you presents castration threat to the forces of woman-hating, disregarding phallocentrism, evoking the castration anxiety. Shakira and Rihanna evoke male fear through the artistic transformation of lingua maternal, and load it with philogyny. They empower women as subjects, and take charge of their nudity in Can’t Remember to Forget You. They intoxicate women’s toxic images with their subjectivity and their right to sexuality, and free themselves from patriarchy. Shakira and Rihanna deny misogyny, celebrate their sexual exposure and philogyny on their own will as opposed to women who do it upon men’s insistence. They empower women with control on trade/art, resist their image is demeaning/degrading, celebrate freedom.