17 July 2009

More objectification in pop music

I drove home a few days ago. Five hours both each way of driving means a lot of time with the generic, over-produced “pop” music they play on the radio. (Full disclosure: I am lucky enough to have a CD player, but I do find odd satisfaction in putting myself through the self-inflicted torture of seeing what the kids are listening to these days.)

Well along the way, I discovered a somewhat disturbing new song. It appears to be called “Don’t Trust Me.” I assumed it was a new song by Metro Station – that band that sang that obnoxiously catchy song “Shake It” last summer. “Don’t Trust Me” featured the same whiny teenage vocals and the lyrics, the same naughty undertones.

Upon consulting my trusty Internet, however, I have learned that this new song is by a band terrifyingly named 3OH!3. What kind of a name is that? I mean I’m all about the exclamation marks (two of my favorite bands Against Me! and The Go! Team feature them prominently), but this seems to be talking it a bit too far.

Well, the Three-OHHHH-Three song had caught my attention with its insane catchy-ness and mildly electronic/dance beats so I was digging it – until we came around to the bridge. At which point that whiny voice taunted over and over again, “Shush girl, shut your lips/ do the Helen Keller and talk with you hips.”

Not only does the line continue to perpetuate the juvenile demeaning of an honorable woman, but it also seems to support an aggressive silencing of women in favor of objectification and subjectification. Obviously, it’s not the only example of these sorts of things in modern music, but the aggressiveness and forcefulness of this assertion within the context of such a bubbly pop song surprised me.

It really ruined an otherwise intriguing song for me. The good news is, this song and this ridiculously named band will very soon be forgotten never to be seen again…

The video only confirms the immaturity. I guess I shouldn't take these guys seriously:

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