Melovaz, an Iranian music download site, has taken misogyny to the pettiest possible level. Not only have they decided the women’s bodies are too inappropriate for their site, instead of just getting rid of their album art altogether, they’ve made the totally unnecessary effort of Photoshopping the female artists out.
Twitter user @IzzRaifHarz posted a link to the site and several examples, and it is truly bizarre. Most of the world’s most popular artists and albums are hosted on the site, but almost every single woman is blurred out or erased.
My favourite has to be Melovaz’s interpretation of Lady Gaga’s Joanne – the way they’ve depicted a pink hat floating in a pale blue vacuum would be almost poetic if it weren’t so insulting.
It’s not limited to female artists either. Some male artists whose album art features a woman have been altered too, while for no discernible reason other covers have slipped through the cracks. Oh, and vindication for Peppa Pig too, I guess.
Hilariously appalling Photoshop skills aside, there are so many problems with this to unpack. So, clearly the rationale here is that under Islamic law, it’s illegal under most circumstances for a woman to be seen uncovered, which very much includes art and photos. But it’s kind of a double standard to force that on women who don’t share that belief.
Even more hypocritically, it’s not like any of the music itself has been altered from its NSFI (Not Safe For Islam) state, which Iggy Azalea was quick to point out the lunacy of. You can use the site to listen to, and download, the uncensored entirety of Nicki Minaj‘s ‘Anaconda,’ complete with the line “Come through and f**k him in my automobile”.
Come on, random Iranian music website, go hard or go home.
In addition to being distastefully misogynistic, it also happens to be a completely free, downloadable library of popular music. Iran’s copyright law is tough to suss out, but this whiffs of illegal torrenting. Does it even count as a torrent if it’s so low effort?
Roughly translated from Persian (thanks Google), the website states that it “started its work with the aim of creating a specialized reference for the music of the United Nations.”
So piracy is an ambition of the UN now is it, Melovaz? Given that half of the site’s content is ripped straight from Spotify’s curated ‘This Is…’ playlists, it seems unlikely to be sanctioned.
The edit memes are already coming in thick and fast, so if the site had any good reputation before, it certainly won’t by the end of the day. Now, who wants to take bets on how long it takes for the #melovazchallenge to trend?