Falz is allowed to hate transactional sex but it doesn’t change the fact that he is a misogynist

Falz’s new album Moral Instruction is out today, a mini-project distilled to address societal ills as purported on the album’s website. Last night, though, music critic Joey Akan posted a snippet of Falz’s album listening party that held yesterday on Twitter, leaning towards the soundbite: ”Falz on being accused of slut-shaming: I hate transactional sex.”

Sure enough, those words rippled through social media with so much buzz that it created a discourse that picked up from the release of Talk, a lead single from the album released last week wherein he slut-shamed sex workers. In the snippet Akan posted, Falz can be heard vociferously saying he hates transactional sex because of the way women, in this case, make themselves easy to be objectified by men via commodification of their bodies. It also implies that a woman’s worth is in her vagina, a form of toxic patriarchal control linked to purity culture and shackles women to the belief that virginity makes them valuable.

Falz’s ignorance on the subject leaks through when he says his hatred for transactional sex is what he ”believes” in. But he doesn’t provide the context of this belief, which is only valid if he morally objects to sex work which has shaped his worldview. Furthermore, and even more disgraceful given his sizeable intellect, is the conflation of women monetising sex and the objectification of women. The latter is perpetuated without any tangible benefit to women, reducing them to mere objects and also leads to cases of rape and sexual assault to sate whatever gratification. The former, though, happens when women are in control of their sexuality and use their bodies as capital – and this is the crux of the matter.

How dare women take something as basic as sex in exchange for financial compensation? An affront on patriarchy, that’s it, disrupting the sexual hierarchy where men can go about sowing their wild oats without condemnation but women are still routinely asked about their body count. Slut-shaming culture is so pervasive that women don’t need to participate in transactional sex before they are slut-shamed. A woman denies a guy sex, she is slut-shamed. She is in the market and resists harassment, she’s slut-shamed. She drives a nice, expensive car and is financially independent, she’s slut-shamed by a culture that denies her the full complexity of her humanity.

Which is why sex work needs to be legitimised, providing women with the spectrum of space and nuance. Frankly, Falz’s aversion to sex work operates on a kind of misogyny that hates a subset of women and, by virtue of this, he doesn’t respect women. Also, there’s the hypocrisy of the rapper’s anti-sex work stance.

In his 2017 song Something Light, in which he features Ycee, Falz raps about being on a date with a woman which lyrically begins when he meets her at a wedding for the first time: ”She fine scatter, the body dey mad person.” (objectificaton) and then raps with a hint that he only wants sex: ”She say she will knack me if I will have patience.” Which was the sole purpose for Falz taking her on a date in the first place, spend on her to get into her pants (transactional).

Most heteroseuxal relationships, no matter how brief, is inherently transactional because of the ways men and women are socialised into the dynamics of sex. Spending money on a date as a man because you expect sex from the woman in return, whether she participates in such transaction or not, is encoded in our cultural DNA and engineered by patriarchy. Men still think sex is something they have to ”take” from women, and women believe it is something they ”give up.” Falz has said his music will continue to address the ”sex work epidemic,” more songs focusing on the men who demand the service that sex workers provide. Either way, his habitual lumping of sex work with corrupt politicians and fraudsters is ignorant at best. And we will continue to call him for what he is – a misogynist.

 

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