I’ve listened to the song a few times, and I liked it. I added it to my Spotify list. It’s a huge hit and seems generally harmless. Then I noticed just when it’s almost over, the singer throws in, “Bitch, say my name.”
When I finally heard that line, I thought, “Oh. I am not this song’s intended audience.” It is catchy, cute, and kind of funny, and casually misogynistic. The song is a good time for everyone except the kind of woman who doesn’t like being called a bitch.
I have this feeling that lines like this are a test. (Come on, don’t take things so seriously. It doesn’t mean anything.) If you do get upset, you are, in fact, a bitch. I don’t know why something like this would bother me more than obviously, outwardly misogynistic songs, and there are tons of those. Like tons. But I think it’s because it’s so unnecessary, and because it is casual. “Just wanted to point out that I have no respect for your gender. Now back to my song.” (Oh come on, that’s not what he’s saying. He’s just being funny.) Haha.
I’m not raging, demanding him to change it or even suggesting that other people don’t listen to it, you know, with my HUGE influence. It actually just hurts my feelings. I feel like an awkward kid at a dance who is having a great time until he notices everyone is making fun of him. I’m part of the audience and part of the celebration until I am suddenly not. Then I am asked to either laugh along with the joke or leave so my weakness and sensitivity can be mocked. (Bitches, man. AmIright?)
This happened to me a couple of other times this past year with music. My son liked the song from the new Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles movie. It’s got a great beat and is just about four brothers fighting together as a family. Then, again at the end, it talks about the female reporter: “She takin’ pics for me, told her smile fo’ me Pass her off, I’m a real team playa.” Oh. Well OK. We’ll just throw in a little rape there before we close out the song. (Oh, come on. It’s probably not rape. She’s probably just a willing sexual play thing.)
Since I am trying to raise a boy who can identify and speak out against misogyny, these lessons are important. I just wish there weren’t so many of them. Plus, at what point do I start? Should I explain to him why “bitch” is a bad word? Should I just leave it until he’s older? For now, I have stopped playing those songs. Fortunately there are so many talented, respectful musicians out there, that I have no problem filling in the gaps.
My current favorite, Hozier, is brilliant, compassionate and an amazing musician. I need to get in touch with his mother to find out how she did it.
Here he is talking about then singing Sedated