It’s the first weekend of Jazz Fest – and again, I’m not going. I’m not anti-Jazz Fest. Not at all. I love Jazz Fest. I just think I am still at a time in my life where I am spending my weekends going to kids’ birthday parties and my hand-earned cash on Disney on Ice.
But even if we are spared a big household-wide debate over whether to see The Who or John Legend tomorrow, we are still in the midst of a musical disagreement – it hasn’t spread into the house yet, and my husband (Mr. Indie Rock) could not possibly care less, so I will just characterize this pop music brouhaha as a minvan-wide debate as it only concerns my older daughter and me and is pretty much only an issue on our morning commute to school and on any errands she chooses to run with me on the weekends.
Up until now, Ruby and I have agreed on music, more or less. She likes The Beatles, James Taylor and Paul Simon; she likes Taylor Swift, Ke$ha and Rihanna – all of that is mostly music I introduced her to or else it’s music that we discovered (via Top 40 radio) and liked together.
But now we have a disagreement, and that disagreement is named Meghan Trainor. I can’t, as the kids say, with her. Everything about Meghan Trainor’s songs – all of them – sets my teeth on edge. Ruby, though, thinks she is the greatest.
“All About That Bass,” the inescapable “body acceptance” song that really only emphasizes that big butts are great because men like them and then goes on to call skinny women “bitches,” is probably Ruby’s favorite song ever.
Then we had the lyrical mess that was “Lips Are Movin’,” which I literally cannot listen to without getting angry. It’s just so stupid. I can’t even talk about it anymore.
But man, nothing prepared me for the atrocity that is “Dear Future Husband,” which is possibly Ruby’s second favorite song.
If you don’t listen to the lyrics, it’s catchy as hell. But God, if you do? It’s just like “All About That Bass” in that it is superficially a “girl power” type song that actually just continues to reinforce gender stereotypes.
I absolutely don’t have a problem with a woman being a stay-at-home mom or even a stay-at-home wife with no kids (which actually sounds like heaven). If you, as a woman, want to stay home and scrub the floors, more power to you! Fantastic! You made that choice, and I respect it.
What bugs me about the song is the way in which sex is held up as a reward, something women only give to men when the men behave, don’t ever contradict them, and completely acquiesce to a laundry list of demands: open doors, buy flowers, embrace her family while distancing yourself from your own (seriously, what is going on in this song?).
The whole song just strikes me as bubble-gum-poppy fodder for the men’s rights movement, which is probably the most subversive type of fodder. That sounds too extreme, I guess, and like I’m taking this really seriously, which I’m not. I’m not even saying she’s a bad feminist. I’m just saying it’s a stupid song, and I hate it, and I refuse to listen to it. Period.
Ruby and I have had lots of deep, weighty conversations about current events, and frankly, I get a little worn out having them, so I haven’t sat down with her and thoroughly unpacked why I hate this latest song so much (we discussed the “problematic” messages in “All About That Bass” to death).
Instead I just rely on the old mom standard: my car, my rules, my music.