Lily Allen fails in reclaiming the word ‘bitch’

Abigail Thomas, Columnist

In an attempt to empower women, particularly those in the music industry, Lily Allen almost undermines her own agenda in her music video for “Hard Out Here.”

The lyrics, though often crude, endeavor to point out inequalities for women in the music industry. Sarcastically she states, “Don’t you want to have somebody who objectifies you?” I understand her effort to unveil the injustices towards women, but then within her own video she has a group of women in extremely revealing clothes dancing seductively around a car, which appears to be a fairly stereotypical sexist act to portray in a music video.

She repeatedly utilizes the term “bitch,” perhaps trying to reclaim the word and give it power outside of being used as a derogatory term towards women; however, it just seems insulting to the very people she’s trying to inspire.

In one sequence there are multiple women pouring champagne over themselves, with the background lyrics singing, “Always trust the injustice ’cause it’s not going away.” Consequently while all of these women are dressed in short skirts and shorts, and engaging in some questionably inappropriate dance moves, Allen herself stands fully clothed in the front and sings about the “injustice.” Also notable, each dancer is a colored woman, feeding further into race and gender stereotyping.

Again, I understand that she is being ironic in her portrayal, but it is stereotypical offensive and certainly misses the mark of a song that is meant to give women agency over their portrayal in the media.