Sunday, April 12, 2009

She Likes to Shake Her Ass: My Addiction to Sexist Alternative Rock Songs

I have recently discovered a disturbing addiction. I'll be in my car and Nickelback's song “Something in Her Mouth” will start playing on the radio. Then, horror of horrors, I'll start singing. I become completely engrossed in singing along with this masochistic, chauvinist display of male debauchery…and for some inexplicable reason, I seem to enjoy it.

Is it wrong for a proud, independent, respectful woman to like this and similar alternative rock songs with lyrics such as, “I like your pants around your feet,” “Hey, you’re crazy b*tch but you f**k so good I’m on top of it,” or my personal favorite, “My girlfriend's a dick magnet, my girlfriend's got to have it?” Umm, YES. Yes it is.

Or is it? I have reflected over my unabashed love of these offensive lyrics and have come to several conclusions. This is a very good thing as my excuses, “but they’re so catchy” and “they have a great beat” were just not cutting it anymore.

Conclusion #1: We all, in large or small part, want to be a bad girl. Secretly I want to be the girl that guys think of when they hear someone say it’s the quiet ones you have to watch out for. Embarrassing, yes. True? Absolutely. Usually I am the witty, sarcastic, kind of entertaining but not relationship-material mother hen when I go out with my pretty friends. That sassy intellectual stereotype does not leave much room for ass-shaking or downing shots on top of the bar. So if I want to indulge in a little fantasy through the magic of song, is that so terrible?

Conclusion #2: We all, in large or small part, want a bad boy. This is so cliché it pains mentioning, but in this context it is about the lyrics themselves and what they literally say. If someone talked to me like this in a bar I would smile while simultaneously punching them in their mouth. However in lyrical form, the line blurs. Again, it is that fantasy factor. You want to smack the lead singer, but at the same time you want to take him home to spite your parents. Oh the bad boy complex…when will we ever learn?

Conclusion #3: I like being in control. One thing all these songs have in common is the projection of sexual and social power on the female subject. These guys want these girls BAD. This feeling of power is pretty intoxicating. Thanks goes to our patriarchal society for always making women feel that to be powerful and independent we need to act more like the men. In doing that, we are giving men exactly what they want; the dirty girl with no inhibition (aka the college frat boy in female form). SIGH. I blame the sexual revolution…as Kim Blum eloquently stated, “The sexual revolution is over and everybody lost.”

Conclusion #4: They really are catchy and they really do have a great beat.

So against my better judgment I will continue to listen to and yes ENJOY these songs. On the inside, my rational self will be screaming about the unfair objectification of women and the societal programming that has turned me into this poor excuse for a feminist. But my naughty alter-ego? She’ll be ripping up the dance floor.

Here are my current favorites...please do not lose all respect for me:
  • "Something in Your Mouth" by Nickelback
  • "Shakin' Hands" by Nickelback
  • "Crazy B*tch" by Buckcherry
  • "Bad Girlfriend" by Theory of a Deadman
  • "Blue Jeans" by Silvertide
  • "New Tattoo" by Saving Abel
  • "Addicted" by Saving Abel


  1. So...hey! I have a thought that came to mind...

    I remember liking songs like Eminem sings b/c I loved the beat, but then, well, I began reading the lyrics and I feel like I heard something like this..."Ali, I hear you say you want to hear my voice, but how are you going to hear my voice when you spend a good part of your time listening to this?" I thought about the phrase, "entertaining demons" and then thought that I might be doing that. an experiment, I didn't listen to those and other songs for one month. Well, what I found was rather shocking...that voice was right. I had begun to hear His voice again and well, the rest is history. Now, I'm not saying that I only listen to Christian music or that all other music is bad, but there must be something to it if the lyrics are pulling me away from Jesus. That's really it for me...thoughts?

  2. That is a good point. I listen to the lyrics and at the same time think, "This is NOT how I want men to treat women!" It definitely conflicts with my spirituality.

    The phrase about entertaining demons is interesting though because it brought up a new thought as to why I enjoy this type of music. I have a lot of inner demons and they demand an outlet. I would rather my outlet be art, journaling, and listening to alternative rock than something more destructive like drugs or alcohol. This allows me to be more spiritual because my demons are distracted. Until I eliminate those demons completely, healthy outlets are necessary for me to continue opening my heart to God.

    I might try what you did though and have a musical fast for one month and see if I notice any difference.

  3. Hm...that's a very interesting perspective, and one I hadn't thought of. I appreciate having discussions like this where both sides share their heart, so thanks. I'm thankful for you.