It’s 1981 and your girlfriend leaves you. You don’t know why, she just left. What do you do? You write a pop song and call it “My Girl”. In the song there are a few lines where you wish her well, even from your location of pain and sadness, “I hope she’s doing alright. I got no way to know. Unless she gets to hear this song … Hear it on the radio”.
It’s 2010 and your girlfriend leaves you. You’ll never know why because you’re too busy pretending to be persecuted. What do you do? You write a pop song and it’s the hidden track on your latest CD. In the song there are a few lines where you fantasize about violently killing her, making it clear that you are both a sociopath and misogynist, “Does this look like an arcade? Tryna play games? See this saw blade? See the silhouette of a stalker in your walk-way? Better co-operate. Or get saute’d and rotisseried while you’re hog-tied.”
There is no excuse for Eminem any longer. I was once a fan and an apologist but not any longer. This is not about art or freedom of expression or role-playing. I’m not asking for him to be censored or banned from performing anywhere. I’m asking how anyone who supports equality for women, safety for women, love for women can choose to accept, perhaps even celebrate, such violence? You can’t.
Hearing Chilliwack on the radio this morning made me realize we don’t hear a lot of vulnerability in our pop songs lately and frankly I miss it. My Girl made me smile and feel good. Isn’t that what pop music is supposed to do? This eventually led me to Eminem (the antithesis of vulnerable, happy pop music) and to further wonder – is there a correlation between women’s economic independence and misogyny in pop music – the more money women make, the more they must be threatened via society’s cultural vehicles. Something to think about…
On another note, The Key of Awesome folks have the best Eminem parody I’ve ever seen. Go on, pee your pants or I just might come to your house, hog tie you and cook you real good-like, like the chicken you are.