Lana Del Rey vs. Extreme Feminists: Can I Sing Whatever I Want Without Being Crucified


After more than 10 years of being attacked for being anti-feminist and praising violence, Lana Del Rey defended herself with a long and emotional Instagram post.

Del Rey is popular for her favorite theme of tragic romance, such as Ultraviolence and Summertime Sadness. Her lyrics often deal with unhealthy relationships and seduction with obedience. And one of her hits – Video Games, describes a lover who is alienated and contemptuous. It is these themes that provoke criticism that it glorifies violence and that its texts are anti-feminist.

“I’m fed up with female writers and alto singers who say I praise violence when in fact I’m just singing about reality and what we all see – a lot of emotional violence. the whole world, “Del Rey wrote in his post.

According to her, there should be a place for the topics of emotionally violent relationships in music.

The 34-year-old Born to Die singer draws attention to double standards in the music industry. It targets artists such as Doja Cat, Ariana Grande, Camilla Cabello, Beyonce, Nicki Minaj, who have become “number one with songs that sing how sexy it is not to wear clothes”, for infidelity and for fucking, but they have not been criticized.

“Can I go back to singing about the beautiful feeling of being in love, even if the relationship is not perfect, or dancing for money, or whatever I want, without being crucified or said to glorify violence ????? ? “, writes Del Rey.

She said it was unfortunate that her music, which described in detail her “sometimes submissive or passive roles” in relationships, provoked accusations that she “took women back hundreds of years”.

“I’m not a feminist. But there must be a place in feminism for women who look and act like me – those who say ‘no’ but men hear ‘yes’; who are attacked because they are authentic and delicate”; women who have their own stories and voices muffled by stronger women or by men who hate women. ”

Since the release of her main debut album Born to Die in 2012, criticism of her has been that she advertises “regressive sexual policy”.

The influential music site Pitchfork writes for the album Born to Die that it is “difficult to find a song by Del Rey in which she presents herself as more than just an object for licking ice cream.”

In Off To The Races she sings that her “old man is a bad man”, and in Ultraviolence she sings about how the lyrical heroine’s partner hits her, but she feels his blow like a kiss.

In the pre-printed version of Kim Gordon’s memoir Girl in a Band, the co-founder of Sonic Youth wrote that Del Rey “has no idea what feminism is.”

“Today we have people like Lana Del Rey who believes that women can do whatever they want, which in her world means self-destruction, whether she sleeps with rude old people or is gang-raped by a gang of rockers.” This excerpt concerning Del Rey was subsequently deleted from the final version of the book, but nevertheless leaked to the Internet.

In 2013, in front of The FADER magazine, the singer Lord said that it was unhealthy for young girls and young people in general to listen to her colleague’s songs, because of excerpts that say “I’m nothing without you”, “Don’t leave me” and this “pulling shirts and despair.”

In recent years, Lana Del Rey has distanced herself from some of her earlier lyrics and even removed the song Cola from the list of songs she sings at concerts because of references to a figure reminiscent of Harvey Weinstein. There he sings of a passionate relationship with an older rich and influential man who is married.

Asked by Pitchfork in 2017 about the controversial part of Ultraviolence, she said she didn’t like it and no longer sang it. And she defends herself that she was honest about the provocative relationship she had with her ex-boyfriend.

“Being aggressive in a relationship was the only thing I knew. I’m not going to say that this is 100% true in my lyrics. What I was used to was a difficult and tumultuous relationship and it didn’t come from me.”

She added that her success has given her the freedom for other women not to put on smiling faces and sing that they are happy, “but just to say what the hell they want in their own music.” Unlike her, who with her first two recordings considered herself “literally hysterical, as if it were the 1920s.”

However, criticism haunts her to this day. The last one in this direction comes from the journalist Isbela Castillo. Her article says Del Rey’s music is “full of outdated, anti-feminist ideas.”

“Whether it was her intention or not, to romanticize domestic violence is dangerous territory when you have an audience of young listeners who are impressed by it, and it is dangerous for all listeners in general,” she wrote.

Others take a less critical approach. As music critic, Lindsay Zoladz said Del Rey should be seen more as a woman who “stumbled, fell and stood up again.”

Whether her music leads to degrading thoughts and behavior, we leave to feminists and anti-feminists to clarify. It is certain, however, that in the era of Me too and the topicality of the topic of domestic violence, to which millions of women are victims, its texts are likely to provoke controversy.

Whether this will change her view on the subject, we can soon find out, because her seventh album is about to be released – it is with this news that she ends her long emotional post Del Rey.

It will be released on September 5 and promises to describe some of the feelings he talks about in the post. How exactly they will be affected after all this controversy, we will know in the fall.

Two collections of poems by Del Rey are also expected, which will also further address these topics.

Her latest album Rockman F ** ing Norman from 2019 was nominated for Album of the Year at the Grammy Awards.

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