Krewella’s Jahan Speaks Out On Sexism in the Media

Miley Cyrus and Jahan Yousaf are contemporary female artists who are more alike than you would think. Both women have explored their sexuality through their music and performances, and Jahan feels that sexism is still very real and that she and other women are being looked down upon. The Krewella member has taken to her personalized Tumblr account to discuss the way she views society and how society views her.

Krewella’s gimmick is their “Get Wet” statements and making sure the crowd is eating up her sister, Yasmine, and male group member, Rain Man, during the entire performance. Their videos and lyrics are sexual and, according to Jahan:

“Male artists are allowed to live out their explicit fantasies of women in music videos, but when the female artist is in control and chooses to embrace her sexual side, she is punished?”

Jahan takes another approach to the feminist argument and brings up the lack of female DJs and how there has never been a woman president. The entertainment scene is rapidly growing and the audiences are being asked to change as well. The stand-out women in the industry are taking on rock star personas and shouldn’t be condemned, but instead, embraced.

I can’t even count how many times lately I’ve been asked ‘what do you think about the Miley Cyrus?’ in a phone or pre-show interview. I usually avoid discussions about other artists’ gossip, but I’m pretty passionate about issues that have underlying themes of sexism. I’m not here to defend Miley or condone her behavior- I just want to encourage people to be more aware of how they might be selectively interpreting what is and what is not socially acceptable, and how the way we negotiate sexual power is unfair.
The public sphere is obsessed with the controversial image Miley is propelling. ‘What kind of message is she sending??,’ everyone asks. What I’m more curious about is why our so-called ‘enlightened,’ free-thinking society won’t allow women to explore their sexual desires without condemning them. It is accepted and ubiquitous for male artists, like Robin Thicke (, to use sexually explicit representations of women in their content, but when a female artist exploits this image of herself (, she is brought down .
What kind of message is this sending? That we are welcome to explore our sexiness when HE wants us to, but not when WE want? That we should sanitize our explicit actions and only let them come out from hiding when we are the object of the masculine gaze? Male artists are allowed to live out their explicit fantasies of women in music videos, but when the female artist is in control and chooses to embrace her sexual side, she is punished?

Despite the popular belief that our society is ‘advanced’ and forward-thinking, gender fairness is still curtailed by the strictly defined boundaries of sex. Femininity is controlled by the male dominated sphere and it extends beyond the realm of ‘music video hoes.’ The attempt to rob a woman’s power of her own body exists to this day in anti-abortion laws and restrictions to birth control in some states.
We are in denial if we don’t think gender representations in the mass media and the public’s reaction to them are sexist. Maybe we can finally answer the question, ‘why aren’t there more female DJs?’ Or more far more importantly why there hasn’t been a female president in the United States when we applaud ourselves for being a country that promulgates gender equality. If fairy tales and teen magazines teach a girl at a young age to have submissive behavior, that her focus in life is finding her true love over finding happiness in independence, that she can’t FUCK—she can only MAKE LOVE to her prince charming, then it’s no wonder we can’t accept a female star freeing herself of the rules of femininity that society continues to perpetuate.