I Know You Want… to Keep Beating This Dead Horse
I like Robin Thicke’s summer hit, “Blurred Line.” I am a woman. I am a feminist. I fought the law. If I was a teenager in the 60s I would have burned some bras. So, how come me liking this “rape-y” song makes people think, “Oh. She has little self worth.” Biddie, please. This song has become a catalyst for great discussions about the media’s portrayal of women (hello, naked ladies romping around in music video), and responsive parody songs stimulating female solidarity (“Defined Lines”). I believe that every person is entitled to their own opinion, and have the right to express their feelings (bonus points for executing it through a charming video/song). Now, in my opinion, there are boatloads of songs that are just as “icky” or “rape-y” or more than Thicke’s tale about a “good girl.” The following songs are composed of troubling, unethical lyrics that have seemed to slipped through the cracks that Robin Thicke just could not blur into.
1. Tonight I’m Fucking You- Enrique Iglesias
Enrique Iglesias knows how to make women swoon. My mother saw him in concert in the early 2000s, and she was smitten by his lovelorn ballad, “Hero.” Enrique Iglesias is good looking– I could say more, but if I believe that men need to stop objectifying women, then I won’t do it either. There is no room for hypocrisy on this boat! Anyways, when Enrique Iglesias tried breaking away from the ballads and teamed up with Pit Bull (*PHLEGMY SCOFF*), his music changed. Remember the charming, auto-tuned classic, “Tonight I’m F***ing You” or can you remember CNN or Huffington Post berating Iglesias for this “song” ? Hopefully you answered “Yes” and “No.”
Here’s the situation, been to every nation
Nobody’s ever made me feel the way that you do
You know my motivation, given my reputation
Please excuse me, I don’t mean to be rude
But tonight I’m fuckin’ you
Oh, you know
That tonight I’m fuckin’ you
What changed? From “I can be your hero, baby… I will stand by you forever” to “I know you want me, I made it obvious that I want you to.”
2. Love the Way You Lie- Eminem
Eminem has never put out a song that you would feel comfortable listening to with your parents. Not to disparage Eminem because I think there has only been one rapper who won’t swear or objectify women in their songs. If you can guess who I am insinuating, you should go eat some ice cream because you know you want some. See, even saying that phrase in reference to food makes me feel icky. Petition to ban the phrase “[I, we, or you] Know you want it.” Anyways, let’s pedal back three years ago to Eminem’s smash hit “Love the Way You Lie.” It is a great song: the juxtaposition of Eminem’s angry word play and Rihanna’s sweet and somber vocals created a powerful jam about being in a volatile relationship. Also, that gif of Megan Fox playing with fire is, like, still on my Tumblr dashboard. Despite the melodic vocals or unforgettable music video, Eminem never fails to villainize females. I mean, he does have Mommy Issues and Kim Issues.
Next time? There won’t be no next time
I apologize, even though I know it’s lies
I’m tired of the games, I just want her back, I know I’m a liar
If she ever tries to fuckin’ leave again, I’ma tie her to the bed
And set this house on fire
In this song is talking about how strong he and his girlfriend/wife/gardner are together, but he always wins leaving the woman in physical and emotionally peril. She fights and fights, but he overpowers her.
3. Under My Thumb- The Rolling Stones
I don’t know too much about the Rolling Stones, to be honest. I have never been extremely partial to their music. I think it was my parent’s virulent distaste of them that I just never listened to them. I know enough about the band that Mick Jagger is one of the greatest theatrical rock & roll singers of all time, Keith Richards should have died thirty years ago after he smoked his father’s ashes, and someone died at their concert in ‘69. Lot of hard drugs, sex, and sweat are what the Rolling Stones are made of. May I add, gross lyrics?
It’s down to me, yes it is
The way she does just what she’s told
Down to me, the change has come
She’s under my thumb
Ah, ah, say it’s alright
This song is about a guy “changing a girl’s ways” with… his thumb. Now, it’s time for me to barf.
4. You Belong With Me- Taylor Swift
I told you I would not be hypocritical. Female artists deserve the misogyny blame, too. Songs about sexual power and feeling like a woman are great! Deserving and wonderful, in fact. We have every right to produce, sing, and listen to songs about having consensual sex, partying, and being “sexy and free.” No one is really stopping these female singers from expressing this, which is awesome. Now, what about artists who exploit their femininity as a production scheme to earn the big bucks and Billboard honors? Please, if you truly believe that an artist like Taylor Swift who sings about evil males or evil females, then I want you to tell me how this helps our culture. Taylor Swift has to bash someone in her songs, and if it’s not an ex boyfriend it is a girl who “stole” said ex boyfriend or called her “fat” in the third grade. I understand that writing down your feelings helps make you feel better (I am a writer/angsty twentysomething, I know), but once you start making billions off your records that are basically glorifying your anger and frustration people stop caring. Taylor Swift needs to a. have some sex, b. get some real life experiences or c. buy a better vibrator.
But she wears short skirts, I wear T-shirts
She’s Cheer Captain and I’m on the bleachers
Dreaming about the day when you wake up and find
That what you’re looking for has been here the whole time
Let me get this straight, because you wear T-shirts instead of skirts that makes you pure and deserving of a boyfriend? Can someone please assist Ms. Swift, I think she lost her logic. Also, “You Belong With Me” he is an independent boy, he doesn’t belong to anyone! Jessica Simpson said it best, “I Belong to Me.” Girls, keep wearing whatever you want to wear, and sit on the bleachers or play the game. Life is too short to mold into these social constructs of what makes a Good Girl vs. a Bad Girl.