One of the problems I'm running into while searching for a definition of sex is that all definitions I've found include the words "sexuality", "sexually-motivated behaviour", "sexual arousal" etc etc. If the definition of a word includes the word it's trying to define, it's inadequate (and ludicrous); it's like saying love is love-motivated behaviour, or beans are bean-like entities. I've attempted to define sex as a conversation held between bodies; I'm yet to work out what the definitive difference between sexual and non-sexual bodily conversations is, or if it matters at all. I suspect it matters a lot less than we think.
God, I loathe that “appropriation” thing. It embodies an ignorance of how popular music – and hip hop more so – actually works and evolves.
How black people's music is ignored until a white person picks it up and then other white people fall over themselves to say how great it is--that sort of evolution? It's not like a lot of hip hop hasn't critiqued opulence either--incl NZ groups like Homebrew--but I didn't see the Labour Party playing Listen To Us at their national conference. Maybe critiquing white opulence just isn't seemly?
IMO, while the racism in the Royals lyrics is a bit ambiguous, Lorde's subsequent interviews where she said she was taking hip hop's beats to critique its materialism--that is racist, for a white person to waltz in late and take hip hop's work that was hard-built-up in a racist climate and then admonish it for a materialism which is largely aspirational anyway. (For the record I like Lorde a lot, both in music and persona, and think she's responded fairly thoughtfully to the criticism of Royals. And I think Flores' critique was somewhat flawed in content, writing style and subject choice--is a pop song by a teenage girl really that pressing an issue for race relations?--but the chest-puffing by a lot of white people about the accusations is tiresome.)
(Apologies for not addressing anything else in your article; been dealing with a racist person this afternoon so it's made me irritable about the whole subject.)
(Apologies if this has already been said in comments, I skimmed 177 of them.) If all speech is created equally, let me ask--when's the last time you received a rape threat in the comments section of your work, Graeme? When were you last forced to move house to get away from sexually violent stalkers who didn't like what you wrote, or gave up writing publicly because you could no longer take waking up to a barrage of comments about what a fat slut you were who's too ugly to be raped? This happens to women who write online routinely; but then you wouldn't know this or find it particularly relevant, presumably, since you've blundered into specialised fields of study and politics--feminism and anti-rape culture--with little understanding or research of how they work.
One of the frustrating things about this whole debate has been the voices of [presumably] non-survivor cis men at the front of the dialogue--both on the rape apologist side and the outraged sanctimony side. A lot of men loudly condemning the Roastbusters--both in my personal acquaintance and in the media--have been apologists for rapists in their own social and political circles, anti-feminist and anti-women, or have even committed physical and/or sexual violence themselves. So it's depressing to then see a big circle of these cis men patting each other on the back for being so aware about anti-rape stuff. Meanwhile women and non-cis people wait for their turn to speak which never comes, because cis men think that all that's required for us to speak freely is to successfully interrupt one tiny part of the continuous surrounding noise of patriarchy. As though this counts as 'silencing' the entire dialogue--as though that were remotely possible for us. And I express this frustration as a cis woman with a public platform, though like Deborah I wasn't paid for my article.
Incidentally, your understanding of free speech seems to hinge on the idea that people getting personally offended by it is everyone's criterion to deny something public exposure. But what Willie and JT have done is not just offensive, it's oppressive. I.e. it perpetuates existing power systems that suppress particular demographics at social and material levels.
I got the impression he honestly couldn't see what he'd done wrong.
I disagree; Sweetman and people like him often get defended (not necessarily by you) with a "well, they're just ignorant to the harm they're doing, they need to be educated"...usually just after they've blocked their ears against any and all attempts at that education. Sweetman's sexist track record shows he knows exactly what he's doing, and that he gets personal fulfillment/financial profit from holding onto and exercising cis male power. I don't closely follow his work, but I saw he also gave an absolutely glowing review of The Eversons right after the shitfight around their godawful song Harlot happened.
Also, it's really weird that one of the commenters called him a "pissed old racist guy at the pub". A) She's white, and B) why beat about the bush? It's okay to say someone is a misogynist out loud, guys.