An article published last month at Mic.com blamed Meghan Trainor for inspiring a generation of young women to subject themselves to the unreasonable and oppressive life of a wife and homemaker. Calling the music video for Trainor’s song, “the most sexist thing you’ll see today,” the author, Kate Beaudoin, went to great lengths to explain why a song titled “Dear Future Husband,” written theoretically to the man Trainor hopes to marry someday, is not only an obscenely terrible song, but “is enough to set women back five decades.”
Mic describes Trainor’s song as one that “bases her self-worth on male acceptance” and “the most sexist song of the year.” Here are some of the lyrics:
Take me on a date
I deserve it, babe
And don’t forget the flowers every anniversary
‘Cause if you’ll treat me right
I’ll be the perfect wife
Buy-buying what you need
You got that 9 to 5
But, baby, so do I
So don’t be thinking I’ll be home and baking apple pies
I never learned to cook
But I can write a hook
Sing along with me
Sing-sing along with me (hey)
You gotta know how to treat me like a lady
Even when I’m acting crazy
Tell me everything’s alright
My goodness, what an egregiously offensive song about female empowerment!
It appears, however, that the author missed the release of David Guetta’s song “Hey Mama” on which Nicki Minaj sings a good portion. Beaudoin later praised Minaj for “destroying sexism” and helping advance women’s place in society (ya know, as long as you forget that part about women submitting to men with no questions asked).
The problem? Minaj’s lyrics in “Hey Mama” are far more degrading to women than anything Meghan Trainor could have dreamed of including in her song about high standards and self-worth. A quick look at some of Minaj’s lyrics confirms my point:
Yes I be your woman
Yes I be your baby
Yes I be whatever that you tell me when you ready
Yes I be your girl, forever your lady
You ain’t never gotta worry, I’m down for you baby
Best believe that when you need that
Ill provide that you will always have it
I be on deck keep it in check
When you need that I’mma let you have it
Cue the feminist outrage?
While Meghan Trainor’s song, which encourages high standards and displays a refusal to settle for anything less, is ridiculed, Nicki Minaj’s lyrics are given a pass. Even just a quick glance through them reveals a clearly sexist standard that Minaj apparently finds perfectly acceptable. While Trainor says “you gotta know how to treat me like a lady,” Minaj seems to just willingly submit to her male counterpart: “Yes I be your woman.” If one of these tunes is going to be highlighted as derogatory to women and their successes, it should be the latter.
Unfortunately, this isn’t the first time that the degradation of women has been allowed for the sake of a political agenda. When television actress Lena Dunham created a video likening her first time voting to her first time having sex, feminists turned the other cheek and excused it as a clever effort at youth outreach. And as if this wasn’t bad enough, feminists are even willing to go so far as to dress up as certain body parts to advocate voting with “lady parts” (presumably as opposed to voting with one’s brain). These are only two examples of feminists sacrificing a message of self-worth and female empowerment to young women and instead choosing to define them based solely on their body parts and the sexual provocativeness that has become such an accepted part of our society. Trainor’s song, containing no nudity and no inappropriate lyrics, has come under fire from feminists for daring to question the outlandish new image of a “woman” that modern feminism has sought to create.
Shortly after Kate Beaudoin wrote at Mic.com about Trainor’s allegedly sexist, degrading, and all around awful-for-women song, Beaudoin published an article titled “17 Times Nicki Minaj Perfectly Shut Down Sexism.” This is, of course, the same Minaj whose lyrics call for blind submission to men’s wishes and whose music videos promote a level of sexual promiscuity that no young woman should idolize. Sorry, feminists, but I’m confused– is it Trainor’s bold confidence in having high standards, or her cleverly choreographed and clean music video that has you so upset?
Help me out here, feminists, because I’m having a hard time grasping this concept. Meghan Trainor, whose song shares high standards that she expects of her future husband and keeps it classy by keeping her clothes on, is degrading and sexist. But Nicki Minaj, by placing herself under the control of a man with no standards or preconditions whatsoever and leaving little to the imagination in music videos, is the role model?
This is a conversation society must have about what type of role models we want for today’s young women. This has nothing to do with musical genres, but it does have everything to do with lyrics and the messages being sent by people who society has placed in positions of influence. Is “getting down and dirty” the type of life we want for our young women? Or, on the other hand, do we want to truly empower a generation of girls to recognize their self-worth and not succumb to society’s standards of sexuality and lawlessness?
If the latter view of empowerment is preferred, Meghan Trainor may be one of the few positive role models we have left, and “Dear Future Husband” is a strong example of that.