“Can’t Stop the Grrrls: Confronting Sexist Labels in Music from Ariana Grande to Yoko Ono” Author Lily Hirsh, speaks at BC

Emily Urias, Reporter

Lily Hirsh came to Bakersfield College and spoke on her recent book, Can’t Stop the Grrrls: Confronting Sexist Labels in Music from Ariana Grande to Yoko Ono, on Tuesday March 21st in the Levan Center.

Hirsh’s recent book touches on the topic of toxic labeling that happens frequently and how it affects female artists in the music industry. “This book is not as entertainment but a start of significant revaluation” stated Hirsh.

She discusses that her book explains that women in the music industry are pushed to exploitation more than men. She shared examples such as the scandal at the 2004 Super Bowl when Janet Jackson had her breast exposed. Many rumors were being made that she did it on purpose but many never paid attention to the fact that Justin Timberlake was the one to rip off Jackson’s clothing garments.

She shared more double standards incidents like when Britney Spears shaved her head in 2007 and was labeled as crazy. However many male artists have displayed concerning actions and have said controversial statements, but they would still be respected and might even also be labeled as a genius.

Hirsh then discussed the term “Yoko,” which stemmed from the idea that Yoko Ono was the one to blame for The Beatles breaking up. Many shows and movies have said a similar phrase such as “She is a Yoko,” referring to a woman breaking up a group of friends or even a band. Though Ono has made herself known to be an artist, her name is still used currently in films as a negative connotation for women breaking up particularly a group of male friends.

In the late 90’s Courtney Love was seen as a threat to Nirvana and Kurt Cobain. Hirsh refers back to the term “Yoko” when discussing Love because when Cobain’s death occurred, the accusation that Love took partial responsibility for the cause of his death.

Hirsh explained that to this day, the media had dubbed other celebrity women modern Yoko’s such as Taylor Swift, Ariana Grande, Megan Markle, and many others. There are trends to why they are seen as modern Yoko’s, there is typically a parallel of their love lives or the troubles happening in their relationships.

Hirsh hopes that her book will let people be aware of the kinds of double standards and the unfair treatment for women in the music business.