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Exploring The Misogyny in The Pop Punk I Grew Up Listening To

Brittany Valentine

Posted on October 7, 2018 15:22

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When we peel back layers of preconceived notions that black men of hip hop are the only ones perpetuating misogyny in the music industry, a whole new world opens up, and it's very unsettling.

The white men of rock, pop, indie and pop punk remain untouched by criticism because their misogynistic lyrics tend to be more subtle and must be examined by a well versed feminist mind.

At least that’s what I thought until I dug a little deeper, and found loads of lyrics that were just as gross and explicit, yet completely unquestioned. Growing up, one of my favorite bands was Fall Out Boy, and I was consuming lyrics such as these:


“I wanna see your animal side. Let it all out. I wanna see the dirt under your skin. I need your broken promises.”


“Oh there you go; undress to impress. You can wear a crown but you’re no princess.”


So, FOB wants us to “let out our animal side,” but when we undress, it’s because we have nothing else to provide, it is our way to impress, and once we have sex, we are seen as a disgusting whore.

They love whores, but they hate whores. They make fun of virgins, but everybody wants a virgin, and everybody wants to take a girl’s virginity. Honestly, it’s exhausting.


“So put the “D” in “dirt” now baby, baby. Let’s get you wasted and alone.”


This last line is terrifying. The goal is to get a girl too wasted to know what she’s doing, get her alone, and then take advantage of her. This truly sounds like revenge rape. The song is angry and implies that women are dirty, disgusting, less than human, and not worthy of autonomy.

Teenage girls listen to your music. Whether they like it or not, this music influences the youth; and they are very susceptible to these messages during the tumultuous years of puberty and sensual exploration. What kind of message is this sending to teens?


Let’s move on to another band I listened to in high school: Cute Is What We Aim For.

One of my favorite songs was called Newport Living and it begins with, “In every circle of friends, there’s a whore,” and forges ahead with, “You are a sell out, but you couldn't even do that right, so your price tag has been slashed, and now you're chilling on the half price clearance rack.”


These lyrics imply that a girl’s sexuality is not her own. If a girl lets “too many” men into her body, her “price tag is slashed,” and ultimately she is worth less. That is what these lines say.

It’s troubling to think about how many times I would sing along to these lyrics at 15, 16, and 17 years old and not give it a second thought. These were the messages I was receiving about sex and my worth as a teen girl. I can't help but feel that these lyrics had a profound effect on the way I viewed sex, gender, power, sexual assault and my own worth.

 

Brittany Valentine

Posted on October 7, 2018 15:22

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