My Lumpy Milkshake Made Me Kiss a Girl

It seems I am not alone in my hatred of the latest annoying, constantly playing song of the summer, Katy Perry’s “I Kissed a Girl”.  It’s not just the cloying rhythm and melodic cadences which cling to the brain and spread slowly through the regions, disintegrating brain cells slowly and painfully.

There’s something else that really bothers me. 

It offends me as a woman.  This song is not a song of self-discovery, a declaration of interest in the same-sex.  No, this song is the pure objectification of women in a manner as bad as or perhaps worse than the rap lyrics that get all the media attention.  And it is merely one in a long line of recent songs in a similar vein.  Songs like “Milkshake” by Kelis and “My Humps” by the Black Eyed Peas.

These songs portray women as mere sexual objects…objects that should aspire to be desirable by embodying whatever sexual fantasy men come up with.  Including kissing other girls when drunk.  And why are these more offensive than scantily clad women grinding on men in rap videos?  Because while neither is exactly positive imagery, the rap videos in most instances come across like a male fantasy.  This is what these men have dreamt up in their fantasy worlds.  But when a woman is singing about how much they embody these ridiculous fantasies and how that makes them so desirable, it sends the message that a woman’s worth is determined by how well she fits the male sexual fantasy and how much money a man is willing to spend on her.  Well the last time I checked, that was prostitution.  

And as all these girls and young women are singing along with these incessantly played tunes, I wonder what impression they are taking away.  And I wonder why these are the most dominant messages about women out in the pop music world today.


Addendum to the Get Over it Post

Lest any PUMA should come at my colleague for the previous post for being a man, let me weigh in on the topic with a decidedly more feminine take.  This posted reaction to Chuck Todd’s comment is only the latest in a chain that I have been coming across lately from the disaffected Hillary camp. 

And I have to say, that it infuriates and frustrates me to see the feminist ideal represented this way.  There was a point in the Feminist movement where the word feminist took on a negative connotation and when women began to distance themselves from that label as a result.  It began when extremists who called themselves feminists drew media attention to themselves and gave off the impression of being more anti-male than champions for females.  From that point on, feminism scampered to the outskirts of the national consciousness.  As the years have past (and some ceilings have broken and some progress made), the impression of feminism has become less volatile.  All the while, the issues facing women are increasingly nuanced and complicated (and most, not solvable through legislation).  Here enters a strong woman presidential candidate….and the subsequent backlash for her loss. 

Let me make clear that I believe Hilary Clinton lost the primary due to her Clinton name and the notorious campaign tactics we all know and loathe–not some perceived media bias.  But I’m not about to deny that people have the right to disagree with me.  I would be more than happy to discuss and debate the point.

But what bothers me about the comments of the PUMAs, as they call themselves, is how destructive they are to the view of women.  There have been quotes from women who say they related to Clinton because she admitted to being on Weight Watchers and they wouldn’t vote for some “beanpole guy” for President.  I’ve read criticisms that Obama hasn’t given a speech on gender as he has on race (as if any woman wants their situation explained by a man).  And now this post.

I’m embarrassed at these reactionary comments because they showcase the female vote as nonlogical.  The way to get those dumb women voters is to appeal to their emotions–to commiserate with their struggles to lose weight and keep up their appearance. Those are the things women really care about.  That’s the insinuation.  In a year when a woman candidate was a viable candidate for president, where was the discussion of more accessible child care for families been?  What about discussions about the challenges that women face today in business?  Work-life balance?  Not a peep.

What’s also insulting is the lack of purpose the PUMAs have.  What do you plan to accomplish by rebel voting for McCain or not voting at all??  Do you really think that that will help the state of feminism or any of the other issues you supposedly care about?  Wouldn’t it be more effective to make the current candidates answer questions about health care, and child care, and other policy issues?  Why not take advantage of the focus that’s being placed on women voters to force the candidates to discuss topics that are important to you?  Or are you all just a sliver of the population that fits the stereotype that women just follow the fads, like raw milk and organic foods and this one just happens to involve a political candidate? 

If you want to be taken seriously, then start acting seriously instead of acting out like teenagers.