A Brief History of Man-Hating Music Videos

With global warming, political unrest, and a cratered international economy serving as the shaky pillars of today’s world, we need pop music now more than ever. As hopeless headlines continue to paint dark horizons for us, pop is one of the few lights to shine through and inspire whimsy. Even the harshest skeptic has no choice but to relent and give into the genre. So we present Pop For Skeptics, a regular Flavorwire column committed to curating and commenting on the best ear candy from the US and around the world.

Misogyny in music, from rock to pop to hip hop, is a phenomenon so ancient and ubiquitous that it doesn’t even surprise us anymore. Neither, in this post-Madonna era, is it strange to see female pop stars treat men like sex objects. But what happens when these artists, besieged not only by their male counterparts but also a catty entertainment press and constant political threats to women’s rights, forgo the soft blows of easy objectification in favor of mounting a full-on attack on men? It’s not necessarily that some of pop’s brightest stars are giving off misandrist vibes; they’re simply mincing fewer words to put men in their place. Inspired by Christina Aguilera’s recent video for “Your Body,” which kicks off with a cheeky promise that “No men were harmed in the making of this video,” we’re taking a look at some of the most man-hating music videos in pop history.

Christina Aguilera – “Your Body”

Nobody takes man-bashing as literally as Christina Aguilera. The “Your Body” video is a reflection of the singer’s ongoing battle with a media world that pays too much attention to the bodies of pop stars like Aguilera, Lady Gaga, and Kelly Clarkson. It makes sense, then, that instead of writhing up against hunky men in her latest video, Aguilera’s agenda is to seduce and destroy a gallery of pretty boys. She takes the sting out by adding an element of comedy, and that dark humor is the greatest twist here. Aguilera’s maneuvering doesn’t make her seem petty and man-hating, but simply capable of deflecting the attacks she receives regularly. “Your Body” seems so honest that it ends up the perfect antidote the artifice of “Not Myself Tonight.”