Feminism

I want to be politically correct, so here are some trigger warnings: I talk about rape, rape culture, sexism and feminism (obviously in the title). I don’t know how to properly cite trigger warnings, but I’m doing my best. There’s some mild language scattered, but this isn’t like profanity-central or anything.

Long overdue… I kind of wanted to ease into this topic with consent, chivalry and all that jazz because feminism means a lot to me. (I go more in-depth with rape, rape culture and gender roles in this post.) Think of this as semi-formal blabber-tangent-sort-of-essay that was written mostly to share my beliefs on feminism and why feminism is one of my favorite subcategories of the belief in equal rights for all human beings.

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Band Spotlight: Vampire Weekend

Vampire Weekend is the bee’s knees, cat’s pajamas, creme de la creme and amongst other things your dad probably used to say.

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VW is kind of your come-to-mind indie-pop band. They have had three albums out as of now: Vampire Weekend, Contra and Modern Vampires of The City, and they are all amazing. I don’t know if this has to do with anything, but all the members of the band are Columbia University alumni, and I think I attribute that as a reason why some of their lyrics are very smart. (You’ll see what I mean when later.) At the same time I feel like their lyrics are always open to interpretation. They’re usually incredibly witty and sprinkled with satirical pretentiousness within the band’s persona if you will. (You know it’s satire once you’ve read Ezra Koenig’s tweets. His Twitter account is probably on top three favorites, if not my number one in tie with Mindy Kaling–they frequently @reply each other, and it’s pretty much the best thing ever. Here’s a link to Ezra Koenig’s Twitter.)

Here are my five favorite singles from Vampire Weekend and their corresponding music videos:

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Elliot Rodger, but then Chivalry

Trigger warning.

Hearing about Elliot Rodger shooting innocent women in Santa Barbara was actually heartbreaking. He targeted young women because women didn’t come flocking towards him like wild geese who found bread. Instead of me attacking a deceased guy on the internet, I’m here to say that I truly feel sorry for him. I feel bad that he thought that because he was a straight male, he was entitled by the gods a young, fertile woman.

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Conscious Music // I Don’t Like Robin Thicke

Trigger warning: I talk sort of about rape.

I’m kind of really into alternative music because I feel like the majority of the messages seem to be “better” than the message of, like, your typical top 40 stuff. I think that you should match your beliefs and values with all aspects of your life or else you’re just living in a pool of hypocrisy, and that’s not good. I’m not trying to diss top 40 because some of my favorite bands or artists or whatever break that barrier between just charting on Billboard Rock Charts and “graduating” into Billboard Hot 100, but a crazy amount of the stuff is incredibly misogynistic, promoting rape and rape culture, and just TERRIBLE. I’m looking at you, Blurred Lines.

I’m just going to turn this into a post about the song Blurred Lines because while I’m trying to type other stuff about conscious music, my mind keeps going back to Blurred Lines; it’s so bad I can’t get over it right now. I hate that I’m even “promoting” the song in a way because controversy sells so hard nowadays, but IT’S SO BAD. I’m not going to post a link to the song because it’s just so friggin’  bad, but I’ll post the lyrics to emphasize how bad this song is. It’s so bad. I don’t know how many times I have to repeat how bad this song…

Okay, I’m just going to start from the first verse:

If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page
Maybe I’m going deaf,
Maybe I’m going blind
Maybe I’m out of my mind

Can we just start off with mixed messages??? In high risk situations, say alone somewhere, you (a guy or girl) are talking to another person (a guy or girl), and hypothetically speaking, they’re trying to “get in yo pantz.” If you don’t want to have any intimate relations with them, then say so. In the eyes of the law, “no” can be through body language, lack of reciprocation or with any other indicators, but to be safe, verbally saying what you feel is the best way of projecting your emotions. Unfortunately, adults are teaching their children “don’t get raped” instead of “don’t rape.” Because of this, there’s horrible, horrible, terrible, bad victim blaming because the rapist doesn’t know what consent is. Here’s a little video with great importance on what consent is:

To summarize, the first part is bad because he seems to be completely unaware of not wanting to be intimate.

Prechorus:

OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
Hey, hey, hey
You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey
That man is not your maker

What’s up with this cult of domestication? Like, why??? Women aren’t here to clean up your mess–you’re a fully grown man learn to pick up after yourself. Like, no duh, it didn’t work from the last guy. “But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature” is just gross. It makes me want to throw up. The liberate you thing is also just gross and creepy. I’m not really sure if the papers thing is just a dig at immigration or something, but there’s that. “That man is not you maker.” Maybe some Pinocchio thing going on with trying to control a woman??? This song is so bad.

Chorus (so bad):

And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

Ugh. Get over yourself, Robin. Why are there so many gender roles with women??? Like, I’m not going to even try to rationalize why. It’s so bad. The “I know you want it”s make me want to stab my ears repeatedly because just because you want it doesn’t mean the other person wants it… see previous video on consent. “The way you grab me/ Must wanna get nasty/ Go ahead, get at me.” I hate it. Consent can be withdrawn at any time. Just saying.

I’m giving up on this song because I can’t. Blurred Lines is actually the worst song ever, and I don’t care that you think it’s catchy because Robin Thicke has actually said some of the most misogynistic things ever, “What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman,” he said. “I’ve never gotten to do that before.” RELAX EVERY2, IT’S JUST A JOKE. ROBIN THICKE IS ACTUALLY JUST A COMEDIC JEANIUS,

In his interview with GQ, he talks about catcalling like old men on porches, but that doesn’t really make his song any better. I think catcalling is actually really gross, and I don’t know a single girl who has ever taken a catcall as a compliment. Because it’s not a compliment. It’s degrading (and not in the “fun” way, as “jokes” were made about it), and it’s horrible to know that in the eyes of certain people, you’re just a sexual object. It’s easily one of the worst ways to view human beings, and you sure don’t look cool doing it from the passenger’s side of your best friends ride. 

And if you just say this song is about a guy hitting on a girl with a boyfriend, then that’s great, but really his comments are unneccessary and feed onto the patriarchal society we live in. We could’ve done better without this song.

Anyways, I’m tired. I still don’t like this song. I hate gender roles. That’s all for tonight. I’ll leave you with a good song with a good message:

I really admire Andrew Garfield for showing his support for people of the LGBT+ community with this video. Serious props.

-Jean

 

Music: Waiting Game by BANKS

Waiting Game is pretty much modern-day Romeo and Juliet. Okay the first verse doesn’t really enforce this idea, but after that, this song is just that tangle of emotions. The lyric, “What if I never even see you cuz we’re both on a stage,” is seriously screaming Romeo and Juliet because, guess what,  Romeo and Juliet is a play; plays are performed on a stage… yeah? yeah? yeah. The second verse though is me just obnoxiously raising my eyebrows up and down at how similar this song is to the story of  Romeo and Juliet.

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