Posts tagged pop culture
Posts tagged pop culture
Bad Song from 2011:If I Die Young by The Band Perry
This song clocked in at number 35 on the Billboard charts in 2011. It’s one of the pop country songs that have become so popular over the past few years, though it’s a bit more depressing than your average Taylor Swift ditty. It is sung by the female vocalist who basically sings her last will and testament—“If I die young, bury me in satin, lay me down in a bed of roses.” That’s creepy enough, but then there’s these lines.
And I’ll be wearing white when I come into your kingdom
I’m as green as the ring on my little cold finger
I’ve never known the loving of a man
But it sure felt nice when he was holding my hand.
So that’s about dying a virgin and going to Heaven. And I’m fairly certain that the second line here references a purity ring, which is not surprising but still pretty gross. I understand that the very religious idea of women only staying pure through their virginity has really caught fire over the past few years, especially in younger people who would be listening to this kind of country-pop music, but this is blatant. Even more blatant than in Lady Antebellum’s “Just A Kiss” or in “Don’t You Wanna Stay”, a duet between Kelly Clarkson and Jason Aldean. These are both songs with both male and female voices who talk about how they want to wait to have sex because this could be true love and they don’t want to ruin it (from the latter song, “I don’t wanna just make love, I wanna make love last”). Apparently this is becoming a trend.
One thing that i find alarming that wasn’t talked about in the commentary, is the glamorization of early death. This song came out right around the time that someone that I graduated from high school with passed away. It wasn’t something that people just accepted as something that just happened; it was something that people were really really upset about . I feel like the song is saying that it will stink if she dies young, but at least she’ll be a virgin. Its just weird how accepting she is of the fact that she might die young and that her biggest concern is her virginity.
Bad Song from 2009: Blame It by Jamie Foxx and T-Pain
You know what’s a dick move? Getting a girl drunk to have sex with her. If you can’t get girls to sleep with you unless they’re falling-on-the-floor wasted, the problem is you. I like to call this one the Date Rape Song.
Now here’s a thing that is important to distinguish: there is a huge difference between drunk sex and rape. If you have consent before you start to drink, or if your partner is lucid enough to give consent, whatever. Not to say that anyone can’t change their mind about consent midway through. If they are so absolutely plastered that they’re nearly unresponsive, that’s rape. There’s no two ways about it. Especially considering, legally, someone intoxicated over the legal blood alcohol content threshold cannot actually give consent. If you are intentionally getting someone drunk to have sex with them when you are not certain whether they would have consented before, you are committing a premeditated rape. And maybe I’m taking this seriously, but I should! This is a HUGE problem with our culture, especially with young people, and this song is only furthering the impression that alcohol is the way to get a woman to fuck you. Real men—and women—don’t need to get someone plastered to seduce them. Let’s look at some lyrics.
Fill another cup up
feelin’ on your butt—what?
you don’t even care now, I was unaware how fine
you were before my buzz set in.
Ew, right? And he also talks about how this girl says she usually doesn’t, but he can tell she wants it and is just saying she won’t have sex with him because she doesn’t want to seem easy. Which is kind of slut-shaming AND rapey. There is something wrong with just about every line of this song so I strongly recommend you read the lyrics.
Yes, it maybe be a bit trite to start out with a quote from Britney Spears for what will be a feminist tirade, but humor me.
Britney sangs these lyrics when she was 19. So now, at 29, is she still a girl? Still waiting to become a woman?
I’ve been reading a few articles lately about the new…
Great piece. Totally recommended:
…[C]alls for strong female characters start to run into trouble with trans women, nonwhite women, and women of colour in pop culture. Because women in all three of these categories are automatically expected to be strong. It is, in fact, part of their characterisation. Trans women are frequently framed as secret men (ah!) and thus can be expected to display physical strength and emotional toughness, because it’s part of the game the creator wants to play with you. These women aren’t ‘real women,’ because they’re strong. Those masculine traits aren’t empowering, in this case, aren’t an affirmation that girls can do anything. Just the opposite. They are dehumanising and violent. They are a reminder to viewers that trans women are not real because they are really, at heart, masculine. Yet, to depict them as emotionally vulnerable, even fragile, is to play into other stereotypes about women, leaving them in a double bind; they cannot be strong, they cannot be weak. They cannot exist.
Women of colour and nonwhite women have also been subjected to the physically strong, solemn or stoic archetype since time immemorial. When pop culture bothers to include them at all, they are often heavily masculinised. Loud. Oversexed. Spicy. Overwhelming in their physicality. Or, on the flip side of things, especially for Asian women, meek and submissive; objects of sexual fetish. Bodies inherently charged with sexuality that are treated as objects in pop culture narratives. Do we need more ‘strong female characters’ when it comes to women of colour, in a media that repeatedly reiterates stereotypes about stoic, unemotional, physically strong Black women, for example?
…[W]hat people are usually talking about when they talk about the need for ‘strong female characters’ is white cis women, specifically. [….] “…you have to be assumed weak in the first place for it to be groundbreaking.”