So we’re all heard the term “humorless feminist” right? Or panties in a twist? It’s when feminists get outraged over something that is obviously a joke. Right. Like when feminists hate on Liz Lemon or 500 Days of Summer. (Sorry to beat up on Tiger Beatdown. They are one of my favorite blogs to lurk on, but sometimes they make demands on characters that seem a bit unreasonable, or assume that Tom in 500 Days of Summer is the moral compass of the film, which he isn’t. His little sister is.)
So here’s my humorless feminist moment for the month. I really don’t like this song:
I understand the sentiment, and I understand why people find it so satisfying to sing. Cursing is fun, and getting back at exes is more fun. But listen to the lyrics:
I see you driving ’round town
With the girl I love and I’m like,
Oo, oo, ooo
I guess the change in my pocket
Wasn’t enough I’m like,
And fuck her too!
I said, if I was richer, I’d still be with ya
Ha, now ain’t that some shit? (ain’t that some shit?)
And although there’s pain in my chest
I still wish you the best with a…
Oo, oo, ooo
I feel like I’m somehow out of the loop, but I’ve never actually met a woman who was only with a man for the dough. Not to say they don’t exist but it seems like a really cruel thing to say about somebody that you supposedly still love. Point is everyone eventually has a bad ex story, which is part of the reason why the song’s so popular (aside from the joy that comes from saying “FUCK YOU” as soulfully as possible.) For a long time I had real issues articulating exactly what upset me about it.
Then I heard this response from actress and singer Whitney Avalon:
Oh. Now I get it. “Fuck You” is based around a lot of common misogynist insults towards women. They’re gold diggers, they’re using you, they treated you badly so you have the right to insult or harass them. But the reality is that one woman is not all women, and being dumped does not always involve being treated badly. It’s the other person’s right to get out. It sucks, but it’s true. Why would you want to stay in a relationship that the other person didn’t want to be in?
I can’t help but bring up one of my favorite feminist movies, 500 Days of Summer. (Take that Tiger Beatdown!) There’s a moment in it where Tom (played by Joseph Gordon-Levitt) is on a blind date and he begins talking about his ex. He begins saying all these horrible things about her. [A note: This is from the shooting script, so it’s a bit different from the final film.]
Tom: Either she’s an evil, emotionless, miserable human being, or… she’s a robot.
Alison: Can I ask you a question?
Alison: She never cheated on you?
Tom: No. Never.
Alison: Did she ever steal or take advantage of you in any way?
Alison: And she told you up front she didn’t want a relationship?
Alison: Jesus Tom…Did she break your heart or did you?
I understand dealing with a bad breakup can be hard, and bashing your ex is part of the grieving process, but do you really have to use misogyny to give your insults that little extra punch?
I will now remind myself why I love Cee Lo Green. St. Elsewhere is not just a great album, this video is just hypnotizing. And the lyrics have depth.
All I can say can be said by Lily Allen…
See you soon Lemons! I missed you so!