Patti Smith, self-confessed Rihanna fan, on the sexualisation of women in music: ‘No one should allow themselves to be exploited’

One of the original pioneers of rock 'n' roll discusses Miley, Rihanna et al

Patti Smith, the godmother of punk and lifelong poet, has weighed in on the music world's increasingly pertinent issue of the sexualisation of women in music.

And she's not as scathing as you might think. In fact, we should all stop being so judgemental and think about the bigger picture.

"I can't judge how another person does their work," she said.

"Everyone has a choice and the music industry is much more open that it was when I was younger. Certain things are sadly gone, others have developed, but everyone makes their choices. Pop music has always been about the mainstream and what appeals to the public. I don't feel it's my place to judge.

"I just look at things as a fan, I like or I don't like it, but I would always say to anyone, you make choices that are important to you. Don't allow yourself to be exploited by something as fleeting as fame and fortune. If you're presenting yourself in a way that important to you in communicating your vision, then so be it. No one should allow themselves to be exploited ever."

Smith is a self-confessed Rihanna fan and last year covered the singer's recent single Stay at a New York concert, describing it as "the 2013 song of the year".

"I love that song," she told us. "I didn't know much about it, but I found it so touching, so beautiful and it didn't bother me that in her music video she sung it naked in the bathtub. I thought it was beautiful. I have bigger concerns that what pop stars are doing."

Perhaps surprisingly, she stops short of getting embroiled in any purely feminist discussion because, as she says, she has a son as well as a daughter.

"Right now I don't want to see any injustice," she continued.

"I have a son and a daughter, people always talk to me about feminism and women's rights, but I have a son too - I believe in human rights. For me, the issue that's more important than any other on our planet right now is the environment because that's what will sustain our children, our grandchildren.”

Read more: Patti Smith interview: The Godmother of Punk talks the bible, Noah and what really makes her angry
How we met: Patti Smith and Patrick Wolf
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
PROMOTED VIDEO
ebooks
ebooksA year of political gossip, levity and intrigue from the sharpest pen in Westminster
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs People

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: One of the world's leading suppliers and manuf...

Recruitment Genius: Multiple Apprentices Required

£6240 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Apprentices are required to join a privat...

Sauce Recruitment: HR Manager

£40000 per annum: Sauce Recruitment: This is an exciting opportunity for a HR...

Ashdown Group: Interim HR Manager - 3 Month FTC - Henley-on-Thames

£35000 - £40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established organisation oper...

Day In a Page

Greece elections: In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza

Greece elections

In times like these, the EU has far more dangerous adversaries than Syriza, says Patrick Cockburn
Holocaust Memorial Day: Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears

Holocaust Memorial Day

Nazi victims remembered as spectre of prejudice reappears over Europe
Fortitude and the Arctic attraction: Our fascination with the last great wilderness

Magnetic north

The Arctic has always exerted a pull, from Greek myth to new thriller Fortitude. Gerard Gilbert considers what's behind our fascination with the last great wilderness
Homeless Veterans appeal: Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story

Homeless Veterans appeal

Homeless in Wales can find inspiration from Daniel’s story
Front National family feud? Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks

Front National family feud?

Marine Le Pen and her relatives clash over French far-right party's response to Paris terror attacks
Pot of gold: tasting the world’s most expensive tea

Pot of gold

Tasting the world’s most expensive tea
10 best wildlife-watching experiences: From hen harriers to porpoises

From hen harriers to porpoises: 10 best wildlife-watching experiences

While many of Britain's birds have flown south for the winter, it's still a great time to get outside for a spot of twitching
Nick Easter: 'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

'I don’t want just to hold tackle bags, I want to be out there'

Nick Easter targeting World Cup place after England recall
DSK, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel

The inside track on France's trial of the year

Dominique Strauss-Kahn, Dodo the Pimp, and the Carlton Hotel:
As provocative now as they ever were

Sarah Kane season

Why her plays are as provocative now as when they were written
Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of a killing in Iraq 11 years ago

Murder of Japanese hostage has grim echoes of another killing

Japanese mood was against what was seen as irresponsible trips to a vicious war zone
Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore