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I'm changing the day

8 Sep 2007


Mysogyny. A recent post prompted me to think about this issue and it's relationship with popular music.

It's a nasty little issue, and I'm often shocked at just how widespread it is. For example, I was in target yesterday and there was a whole rack of t-shirts with a picture of a man crawling on his hands and knees, holding a credit card up to a woman. The caption said 'international symbol of marriage'. It's meant as a joke, but it isn't really that funny is it? Do all of us wives feel comfortable knowing that this tshirt is what men really think of us?

And pop songs, well there's the obvious 'smack my bitch up' by the prodigy - which may or may not have been about violence (possibly it was just about drugs) but let's face it, the provocative title's implications weren't lost on the group.

And I'm not going to go into rappers. Plenty of gangsta rappers hate women. Hardcore rap is hardcore for a reason, reasons which this white middle class educated Australian woman has no authority on whatsoever. Or rnb - all of which seems to turn women into objects (even loved objects) with the sole purpose of being attractive to men.

The ones I find most disturbing are the really popular ones - the ones that sound like sugar but really are full of acid. The ones where the mysogyny is shrouded in tones that sound like gratitude or even admiration but scratch the surface and they're full of controlled anger and deep seated mistrust and hatred.

Songs like 'golddigger' don't worry me so much as they're so obvious. Songs like The Police 'Every breath you take' - now that's a worrying song - can you believe people used this as their wedding waltz? It's the furthest song from a love song I can imagine. It's a great song, but it's an ugly one.

There was a band called Weddings, Parties, Anything that had a song in the nineties (eighties?) called 'telephone in her car' - when such a thing was a rarity. It's about a man who clearly used to love this girl, who has grown up and matured and has a successful job and looks different than when she was a girl. The singer, who presumably is still the same layabout loser he was when he was a teen, says 'She's got a telephone in her car, I wouldn't call her for nothing. I got her number from her best friend, but I wouldn't call her for nothing'. It's interesting that he thinks it's okay to hate her because she's outgrown him, she doesn't appear to have done anything else wrong. And the obvious contradiction why he got her number in the first place ....

I think though, the winner this week goes to a song so many people like. This guy is hugely popular, the song was a massive hit. The song is 'So beautiful' by Pete Murray. The particular bit I find disturbing is:

God my fingers burn,
Now when I think of touching your hair
You have changed so much that I don't know,
If I can call you and tell you I care
And I would love to bring you down,
Plant your feet back on the ground

It's kind of threatening, don't you think?

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