Anti-feminist: Carrie Underwood is mean to boys!

You know, i think Carey Roberts is maybe my favorite anti-feminist. He’s at least in the top five. Because he’s nothing if not original. First it was that feminists have a mental disorder (which he called “FIPH – feminist-induced phobic hysteria.”). Then it was that feminists ruined Amnesty International.
Roberts’ latest gripe? American Idol winner Carrie Underwood:

Dial up your local Country and Western station and you may soon find your fingers tapping out the beat of Carrie Underwood’s latest hit, Before He Cheats. Underwood suspects her boyfriend is probably cheating on her (in matters of infidelity, I guess “probably� is proof enough).
This how she extracts her revenge:
“I dug my key into the side
of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive,
Carved my name into his leather seats…
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
slashed a hole in all four tires…�
Trashing your boyfriend’s car has little to do with sugar and spice and everything nice. But it’s the title — Before He Cheats – that turns this song into a bitter gender tirade. Just imagine a male star reaching platinum for crooning, Before She Aborts.

I’m unsure how Roberts makes the leap to abortion here, but I’m impressed. (Equally as impressive is how he goes from Carrie Underwood to The Color Purple to women feminizing the church all in the same article–kudos, Carey!)
But you have to love that anti-feminists hold on to things like this (and Lifetime and Oprah to prove that women have power!) for dear life in order to prove how the world is out to get men. I mean, Carrie Underwood is the best they can do. Yeah.

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60 Comments

  1. SarahMC
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 12:37 pm | Permalink

    I’m not a fan of country, but I sing along with this song whenever I hear it on non-country stations.
    I heard about this “controversy” a while ago, and it’s so pathetic. Just ignore all the songs by male artists that demean women. This Nickelback song, for instance:
    I like your pants around your feet
    And I like the dirt that’s on your knees
    And I like the way you still say please
    While you’re looking up at me
    You’re like my favorite damn disease


    And I love your lack of self-respect
    While you passed out on the deck
    I love my hands around your neck

    But this guy has a blind spot where woman-hating’s concerned.

  2. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    Song: “I dug my key into the side
    of his pretty little souped-up four-wheel drive,
    Carved my name into his leather seats…
    I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
    slashed a hole in all four tires…�
    Umm.. that’s pretty disturbing. A violent abuser is still a violent abuser. If a man sang about that, there would be a firestorm.
    I dug my key into the side
    of her pretty little convertible, Carved my name into her leather seats…I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
    slashed a hole in all four tires.
    Anyways, slap a restraining order on her.

  3. SarahMC
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 12:45 pm | Permalink

    Also, cheating is a “crime” against your partner, who (I’m assuming) expects fidelity.
    Abortion is a “crime” against noone.

  4. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 12:52 pm | Permalink

    WHAT’SHISNAME: “Just imagine a male star reaching platinum for crooning, Before She Aborts.”
    Huh? Wouldn’t the more direct comparison be “just imagine a male star reaching platinum for crooning Before She Cheats?”

  5. W. Kiernan
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    UCLAbodyimage: Umm.. that’s pretty disturbing. A violent abuser is still a violent abuser. If a man sang about that, there would be a firestorm.
    Hey Joe, where you goin with that gun in your hand?
    Hey Joe, where you goin with that gun in your hand?
    I’m going down to shoot my old lady
    Caught her messin round with another man

  6. SamBarge
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    Actually, the whole lyric is:
    “maybe next time he’ll think before he cheats”
    I think the operative words in the lyric are “NEXT TIME.” This isn’t a pre-emptive strike against a possible infidelity. Then again, I don’t suppose this guy really lets facts get in the way of his hissy-fits.
    I’m not a huge fan of the song or the destruction of property thing but, for the love of Pete, at least complain about something real.
    Now, a good song that you could say was over the edge is The Dixie Chicks’ “Earl’s Got to Die.” It’s a brilliant sing along.

  7. Kimmy
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

    I used to love
    But I had to kill her
    I used to love her, oh yeah
    But I had to kill her
    I had to put her six feet under
    And I can still hear her complain

    Songs about men doing violence to women are legion. Songs about women doing violence to men are much fewer. And, let’s point out, the woman in the song is engaging in property damage, not abuse of a person. While I don’t support property damage as a reaction to infidelity, let’s not conflate that with abusing a person.

  8. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

    “Songs about men doing violence to women are legion. Songs about women doing violence to men are much fewer.”
    And both are problematic.
    KIMMY “While I don’t support property damage as a reaction to infidelity, let’s not conflate that with abusing a person.”
    I think it’s a thin line. When a man punches a wall during an argument, that’s meant to intimidate and terrify in order to keep the woman in line. No actual physical contact needs to take place.
    The case here is similar – if you step out of line, I’m capable of doing great harm.

  9. Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:04 pm | Permalink

    If you want a contemporary equivalent, try Maroon 5′s “Wake Up Call.” (Though in that one, he shoots the boyfriend she’s cheating on him with, not her.)

  10. glxthtr
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    There are songs by both men and women which advocate violence/abuse against both men and women. I think Roberts’ assessment of the issue is wrong. I think SamBarge is right, especially if you watch the video: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=T56vLzS5i5w (Does anyone know why everything starts exploding in the background at the end?)
    This does remind me of an earlier post on feministing, though: http://www.feministing.com/archives/006935.html
    In that post Toby Keith’s music video for “A Little Too Late” was analyzed. I think the actions his character takes in that video are more serious and disturbing than Underwood’s character, but they are in a similar vein of intimate partner violence.

  11. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

    UCLAbodyimage: “Umm.. that’s pretty disturbing. A violent abuser is still a violent abuser. If a man sang about that, there would be a firestorm.”
    WKIERNAN: “Hey Joe, where you goin with that gun in your hand? I’m going down to shoot my old lady
    Caught her messin round with another man”
    That’s a great example. Why people keep buying that stuff I’ll never know. Reminds me of all the eminem controversies.

  12. Shinobi
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:12 pm | Permalink

    Hate country, love this song.
    Maybe Roberts went strait to “before she aborts” because he doesn’t think women cheat. After all, we all think sex is icky, except the sluts who get pregnant and have abortions constantly.

  13. Seraph
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I hate this song. I really do. UCLAbodyimage has already said why.
    That being said, however, I can’t argue with the point other posters are making that there are far more songs about men being far more violent to women, and no one makes a peep about them. Even as mild-mannered a fellow as Kenny Rogers has a song praising the idea of killing a cheatin’ wife: “And if I could, I’d get my gun and put you in the ground…oh Ruuu-uby, don’t take your love to town.”
    However, what I’m *really* interested in is this fool’s comparison. The violent stalker in “Before He Cheats” is responding to infidelity (or the suspicion thereof), which is a personal betrayal. So Carey Roberts sees abortion as a personal betrayal. I wonder how many other anti-feminist fools out there see it in the same way…abortion is a personal attack on *them*, and must be retaliated against, thus the violent responses.

  14. UltraMagnus
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:16 pm | Permalink

    Some people have already beaten me to it but, yeah, apparently Carey was just not listening to the song at all. The boyfriend IS cheating and she’s doing this so that next time he’ll think before he does it to another girl.
    As far as violence in songs, love/sex can make people react violently sometimes, battles have been started over infidelity (or, probably at the time “property theft”) and I can see how it can be a part of human nature.
    I don’t necessarily think that these songs are outright advocating violence against either gender. There are plenty of same gender on same gender songs about killing, didn’t Johnny Cash sing that he shot a man just to watch him die?
    Methinks this is just Carey’s fevered imagination and he doesn’t like it that the woman of the song is reacting in a very aggressive (i.e. male) way against her boyfriends cheating, instead of being a good little girl and looking the other way.

  15. Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

    Damn, that is an impressive leap.
    You know, I hate country, I hate the song, and I also think that the lyrics do cross the line. On the other hand, the huge furor that has erupted over the song outdoes anything you’d see of male songs promoting violence against women. And this is only violence against someone’s property. Still wrong, still threatening, still reprehensible, but not nearly as bad as actually injuring a person.
    The hypocrisy and blatant misogyny of so many who bemoan the song almost make me want to stand up and defend it.

  16. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

    Seraph: “That being said, however, I can’t argue with the point other posters are making that there are far more songs about men being far more violent to women, and no one makes a peep about them.”
    Yes, I’m sorry, I should have been more clear. I meant there would be a “firestorm on this blog”, not necessarily in the world at large.
    Seraph: “And if I could, I’d get my gun and put you in the ground…oh Ruuu-uby, don’t take your love to town.”
    Wow, didn’t realize there were so many songs out there like that.

  17. l.short.1230
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:28 pm | Permalink

    Holy crap, there were like three messages before I tried to sign in, and now there’s a zillion.
    Anyway, I think the song is hilarious. It cracks me up, and I sing along to it. Why? Because I’m a bad person, but I’m cool with that.
    My boyfriend hates this song. He hates most songs about cheating, especially when the supposed solution is violence. And he’s right, I agree, in real life, violence is bad.
    Does this song mean you/she hate(s) all men? Nooo, it specifically talks about getting revenge on one particular guy in response to serial cheating.
    There’s tons of songs by both women and men stereotyping their gender of choice as all bad/good for various personal reasons. There’s plenty of songs worse than this one, in terms of violence and ‘supporting’ various crimes. I don’t know why people’s panties wedge themselves about this particular song. I think it’s because you can so clearly hear her lyrics.

  18. SarahMC
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:29 pm | Permalink

    It’s because she’s a “she,” l.short.1230.
    I like it ’cause I’m a bad person too. :)

  19. jp
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    Jesus on toast points, it’s just a stupid song. This is about the 5th wingnut rant I’ve read about it…It must be that the image of an angry woman lashing out really gets under their skin.
    I’m reminded of the brouhaha last year over “My Humps”–OH NOES! Woman is singing about how she uses her sexual charms to get her bf to buy her stuff! This shows how Western Civilization is in TEH DECLINE!!!!
    Although the sentiments expressed in the song are no different from those crooned by Marilyn in “Diamonds Are A Girl’s Best Friend”, performed some 50 years ago, and last I looked, the world was still turning.

  20. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:40 pm | Permalink

    JP “I’m reminded of the brouhaha last year over “My Humps”–OH NOES! Woman is singing about how she uses her sexual charms to get her bf to buy her stuff! ”
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W91sqAs-_-g
    Just in case people haven’t heard Alanis Morissette’s version of My Humps. It’s hilarious.

  21. Posted August 31, 2007 at 1:53 pm | Permalink

    Huh? Wouldn’t the more direct comparison be “just imagine a male star reaching platinum for crooning Before She Cheats?”
    It’s funny, because it just shows that Roberts thinks abortion is something women either do a) for kicks, or b) to spite their boyfriends. A man gets bored or mad at his partner, he have a fling. A woman get bored of mad at her partner, she gets herself pregnant just so they can abort his baby. Obviously.

  22. Posted August 31, 2007 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    I think that guy is an idiot, but honestly I hate that song. I don’t think running out with a baseball bat and smashing someone’s car up is the right way for women to combat the Men Are Dogs factor, and I think that song sends the wrong message to young women and girls that if some guy wrongs you, property damage will set things right. The big picture issue there is the sexual double standard–that men can cheat, but they’re just being guys. If women cheat, they’re whores. If I had to pick a pop song to answer Carrie Underwood, I’d say To The Left by Beyonce. I like that song because it shows a woman who has been wronged by a man standing on her own two feet and saying NO MORE without having to sink to the level of vandalism or anything like that.

  23. Posted August 31, 2007 at 2:14 pm | Permalink

    I think I’d care more if I didn’t think that 99% of American Idol participants were unartistic hacks. Of course, that’s what the populace seems to enjoy…

  24. Misspelled
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 2:36 pm | Permalink

    The title is the best part: “Misandry in the Least Likely of Places.” “Oh noes! I thought country was so *manly*! You see these black crocodile boots? See the embossed design and the handsomely stitched accents on the seams? They cost $699! They go with my hat! Are you telling me I have to return them now?”
    Personally, I think this is a song about how cool the singer is, and in that genre (narcissistic grandstanding, not country), if there’s an ulterior disdain for a group of people in the way the singer tells the story, you probably don’t have to look for it — it usually makes itself evident. And this song is clearly about getting back at the one individual guy, not about how it was typical of a man to cheat on her and she’s vindicating all womanhood by slashing his tires.
    Truth be told, I’m more concerned with what she assumes about the hypothetical woman he’s now with — “bleach-blonde tramp,” “probably getting frisky,” can’t hold her liquor or shoot pool or hold a candle to the kind of woman Carrie Underwood fancies herself. Talk about a “bitter gender tirade.”

  25. Misspelled
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

    The title is the best part: “Misandry in the Least Likely of Places.” “Oh noes! I thought country was so *manly*! You see these black crocodile boots? See the embossed design and the handsomely stitched accents on the seams? They cost $699! They go with my hat! Are you telling me I have to return them now?”
    Personally, I think this is a song about how cool the singer is, and in that genre (narcissistic grandstanding, not country), if there’s an ulterior disdain for a group of people in the way the singer tells the story, you probably don’t have to look for it — it usually makes itself evident. And this song is clearly about getting back at the one individual guy, not about how it was typical of a man to cheat on her and she’s vindicating all womanhood by slashing his tires.
    Truth be told, I’m more concerned with what she assumes about the hypothetical woman he’s now with — “bleach-blonde tramp,” “probably getting frisky,” can’t hold her liquor or shoot pool or hold a candle to the kind of woman Carrie Underwood fancies herself. Talk about a “bitter gender tirade.”

  26. SarahMC
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 2:47 pm | Permalink

    Re: the Men Are Dogs factor…
    I guess this kind of relates to the anti-cat thread, but I cringe whenever I hear someone insulted with the word “dog,” whether it’s a a woman’s appearance or a man’s bad behavior.
    Dogs are wonderful and adorable and personally I like them more than people. It’s too much of a compliment to cheating men to call them “dogs.”

  27. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 2:51 pm | Permalink

    “It’s funny, because it just shows that Roberts thinks abortion is something women either do a) for kicks, or b) to spite their boyfriends. A man gets bored or mad at his partner, he have a fling. A woman get bored of mad at her partner, she gets herself pregnant just so they can abort his baby. Obviously.”
    I wonder what he would think about a woman getting an abortion after getting pregnant with her secret lover? Makes my head spin.

  28. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 3:00 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of dogs, here is my little puppy!!! He is so good.
    His name is Maychie, which is Bulgarian for “little bear”.
    http://viewmorepics.myspace.com/index.cfm?fuseaction=user.viewPicture&friendID=80767226&albumId=0

  29. Posted August 31, 2007 at 3:05 pm | Permalink

    My first thought when I heard this song was, “good lord, it’s stupid for her to carve her NAME in the seats! That’s practically asking to get a ticket or thrown in jail for vandalism!”
    But although it is a catchy tune, I just can’t stand to listen to it. Mostly because Carrie Underwood annoys me. :)

  30. mrljdavid
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Nobody’s mentioned “I Shot the Sheriff” (either reggae or blues-rock version)? Wanton man-on man violence AND disrespect for the law!!! Plus an avowed denial of shooting the deputy, as if that’s going to get you clemency from the court.
    Seriously though, how much of an idiot can this Carey Roberts be? If you’re going to attack a song, at least LISTEN to it or READ the lyrics. With critical reading and interpretive skills like that, I’d have hated to have been this guy’s high school English teacher. I can see it now: “‘The Catcher in the Rye’ is a book about a baseball player in a rye field.” Or, “‘A Farewell To Arms’ is the sad story of a man’s attempts to adjust to being an amputee.”
    What a hoser….

  31. Posted August 31, 2007 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    One of the problems I have with the proponents of various “equality” movements can be seem brilliantly illustrated in about half of the above posts–the “they started it” ideal.
    If the feminists of the 60s and 70s who wrote decrying “Hey Joe” or the more contemporary feminists of pointing out the content of Nickelback or Puddle of Mudd’s lyrics are to be taken seriously, then it works both ways.
    Personally, I think taking “My Humps” or “Before He Cheats” seriously is as worthy of ridicule as is taking “Hey Joe” or the like.
    That having been said, the author of this article is a moron for much more persuasive reasons than “guys started it”.

  32. unconscionable
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

    I knew, as soon as I heard that song however many months ago it debuted, that some would use it as “proof” that feminism has gone too far and that we’re living in a female-dominated culture where men are victimized for being men, etc. He’s got such a blind spot, what with all the music and movies where victimization and exploitation of women is almost a staple.
    I’ve seen this guy on LiveJournal. He’s concernedfather, in case anyone’s interested. His journal is, um, pretty crazy, to put it lightly.

  33. scue
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 3:56 pm | Permalink

    I agree with UCLAbodyimage’s earlier posts about this topic. “Before He Cheats” is a song I despise, but at the same time, I also dislike the Nickelback song to which SarahMC alluded earlier.

  34. Posted August 31, 2007 at 4:21 pm | Permalink

    Umm.. that’s pretty disturbing. A violent abuser is still a violent abuser. If a man sang about that, there would be a firestorm.

    Men sing about those things all the time. Interestingly, Carrie Underwood’s song is about damage to property, whereas male artists of various genres have sung and rapped about doing damage to a woman’s person. I also wonder if there was a firestorm over Rehab’s “Sittin’ at a Bar:

    She broke my heart in the trailer park
    So I jacked the keys to her fuckin’ car
    Crashed that piece o’ shit and then stepped away

    This song, like Before He Cheats, is about doing damage to property, in both cases a car, though perhaps people are pissed off because Carrie Underwood is singing about wrecking a “pretty little souped-up four wheel drive” rather than “crash[ing a] piece o’ shit.”

  35. Posted August 31, 2007 at 4:26 pm | Permalink

    Re the Kenny Rogers song: As an elderly fart who actually bought this record when it came out (I was about 7, granted), I feel obligated to point out that the lyric to this was sung from the point of view of a physically and mentally wounded Vietnam War veteran, and it’s pretty clear from the entire lyric that the intended effect is that the listener will understand that this guy is not coloring with a full box of crayons. (And incidentally, the line referenced is, “if I could move, I’d get my gun and put her in the ground,” not “put you in the ground.”)
    FWIW, Mel Tillis was the author of “Ruby,” and reportedly wrote the song based on a neighbor of his, whose wife was seeing another man while he was in the hospital being treated for war wounds. IRL, the man killed the wife in a murder-suicide.
    Songfacts linky:
    http://www.songfacts.com/detail.php?id=2113
    Did I get all that when I was 7? Not completely, but it didn’t exactly make me keen to enlist, put it that way. Very different from “Hey Joe,” “Run for Your Life,” et al.

  36. ogre
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

    “When a man punches a wall during an argument, that’s meant to intimidate and terrify in order to keep the woman in line.”
    That’s an overstatement. It may mean that. Or it may not. Is my son, raging at me when he’s angry, and punching a hole in the wall, attempting to intimidate me?
    No, he’s not. He’s raging, and he’s venting that in a tolerable, if not entirely acceptable, way.
    If a couple are arguing and she goes and smashes a plate on the counter or floor, is she trying to intimidate him? Or is she simply venting rage?

  37. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    ELISE:
    “Men sing about those things all the time… I also wonder if there was a firestorm over Rehab’s “Sittin’ at a Bar”
    Later I clarified that: “Yes, I’m sorry, I should have been more clear. I meant there would be a “firestorm on this blog”, not necessarily in the world at large.”
    ELISE: “This song, like Before He Cheats, is about doing damage to property”
    To quote myself from earlier in the blog: “I think it’s a thin line. When a man punches a wall during an argument, that’s meant to intimidate and terrify in order to keep the woman in line. No actual physical contact needs to take place. The case here is similar – if you step out of line, I’m capable of doing great harm.”

  38. j.helene
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    Truth be told, I’m more concerned with what she assumes about the hypothetical woman he’s now with — “bleach-blonde tramp,” “probably getting frisky,” can’t hold her liquor or shoot pool or hold a candle to the kind of woman Carrie Underwood fancies herself. Talk about a “bitter gender tirade.”
    Olivia, you took the words right out of my mouth. That part of the song is what has always bothered me the most. I cannot STAND it when women separate themselves from “lesser” women by taking on characteristics society generally thinks of as being more masculine. I actually think of the attack on his car as an extension of that; she’s such a wild and cool chick that she lashed out violently rather than a more passive and typically “feminine” response.

  39. Posted August 31, 2007 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    First of all, I didn’t notice your clarification until after I submitted the post.


    To quote myself from earlier in the blog: “I think it’s a thin line. When a man punches a wall during an argument, that’s meant to intimidate and terrify in order to keep the woman in line. No actual physical contact needs to take place. The case here is similar – if you step out of line, I’m capable of doing great harm.”

    There are a couple of things I’d point out. The first is that we are talking about fantasy here, and I read Carrie Underwood’s particular fantasy more as a revenge fantasy rather than intimidation (which would seem to be the case in the Rehab song, as well).
    For another thing, men and women are often not on equal footing in relationships. Certainly, women have much more reason to fear intimate partner violence of any kind than men do. Because of that, the real-world consequences of airing a particular fantasy also differ. Carrie Underwood’s song, whatever one may think of it, is about a fantasy that women may entertain, but rarely act on, whereas the songs about male violence against women speak positively about something that is not uncommonly taken out of the realm of fantasy and practiced in reality. I don’t think it’s improper to look at the two things differently.

  40. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 5:29 pm | Permalink

    UCLA: “When a man punches a wall during an argument, that’s meant to intimidate and terrify in order to keep the woman in line.”
    OGRE: “That’s an overstatement.It may mean that. Or it may not. Is my son, raging at me when he’s angry, and punching a hole in the wall, attempting to intimidate me?”
    Yes. it is an overstatement. There are a number of possiblities, all of which occur. For example:
    1) VENT-INTENT; FEAR REACT
    The aggressor only intends to vent, but the violence produces fear in the other person. Your example with your son could fall here.
    2) VENT+FEAR-INTENT; FEAR REACT.
    The aggressor intends to both vent and intimidate, which produces fear in the other person. Your example with your son could also fall here.
    Also, the other person might not have a fear reaction.
    But I still think my overall point holds:

  41. under_zenith
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    Jer, it’s not a mentality of: “They started it.” It’s just pointing out that it’s ridiculous to take one song about a woman’s violent behaviour toward male property as evidence of rampant misandry in our culture, when for every one of those songs there has to be ten about men acting violently toward women.

  42. DrkEyedCajn
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 5:49 pm | Permalink

    Geez, people. This song has been out for several months. Can we talk about some recent, more pressing news? For instance, the big news in Iowa, possibly legalizing gay marriage?
    I mean, instead of agonizing over the ethical nuances of a country song about a jealous woman destroying her man’s precious, precious SUV/truck/whatever it is. (It’s 4-wheel drive, at least.)

  43. Mina
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 6:22 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, doesn’t the intimidation value of wrecking someone’s car depend in part on whether the owner of the wrecked car has any other transportation options?
    Wreck someone’s car in Manhattan, at least she or he can still take the subway to the grocery store. Wreck someone’s car in a rural part of Rhode Island, she or he may be totally stranded…
    http://www.projo.com/news/content/FOOD_DESERT_08-23-07_7S6G8AN.3301350.html
    “SOUTH KINGSTOWN — Seventy-nine-year-old Claire Sherman has never driven a car. Growing up in Providence, where she worked as a jewelry press operator for 33 years, she took the bus. Or her husband drove.
    “Sherman and her family moved to South County 11 years ago to get away from the bustle of the city. In 2001, her husband, a shellfisherman, died.
    “Living on Social Security, with no driver’s license, no car and no nearby bus line, Sherman found that one of her most basic needs — healthy, fresh food — was nearly out of reach.
    “Sherman is living in a food desert…”

  44. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 6:52 pm | Permalink

    ELISE: “First of all, I didn’t notice your clarification until after I submitted the post.”
    That’s what I assumed, so I just cut and paste.
    ELISE: “There are a couple of things I’d point out. The first is that we are talking about fantasy here”
    That makes sense to me- there are lots of entertainment that mimic some people’s fantasies (e.g., war movies, action flicks where people are slaughtered by the dozens, violent crime against children, etc.).
    I’m not saying that any of that should be censored. Only that it is important to think about what message is being conveyed. Here it is a message that women should beat the hell out their bf’s property for suspected/known cheating.
    ELISE: “Revenge fantasy rather than intimidation (which would seem to be the case in the Rehab song, as well).”
    I read it as both. Isn’t that the “before you cheat on me” aspect of the song? I.e., think twice about cheating on me again, because this is what I’ll do to you? And, more generally, as a warning to men about what will happen to you.
    ELISE: “For another thing, men and women are often not on equal footing in relationships. Certainly, women have much more reason to fear intimate partner violence of any kind than men do….I don’t think it’s improper to look at the two things differently”
    I completely agree with you that because of the sex difference in assault rates, that the implications of this video are somewhat different than for male on female violence.
    That doesn’t mean, however, that there isn’t some level of hypocrisy in denouncing male-on-female violence fantasies/videos/songs yet remaining null on female-on-male fantasies/videos/songs.
    Certainly the rates differ.
    And it isn’t as black and white as you paint it. Men and women are about equally likely to engage in common couple violence (e.g., slapping – around 12% each) but men are much more likely to engage in “patriarchal terrorism (i.e., systematic, violent, controlling behavior). I don’t know about destruction of property off the top of my head.
    I really don’t think this is a super serious issue. All I’m pointing out is that it does send somewhat of a negative message, and is intended as a somewhat threatening warning. And is interpreted as such.
    For example, read some of the quotes from the message board at YouTube:
    QUOTES:
    This should teach men exactly what will happen if they ever decide to mess with a girl. You go girl!
    a guy cheated on me so i put the first letter of my name in his car seat
    if any boy cheats on me, boy u might wanna take back ur key cuz i wud do the same thing. i hate cheaters!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I Think she may have over reacted… lol (not) I’d beat the shit outa my bf if he eva did that to meh
    OMG i love this song i should take notes lmao
    I should take notes from her when she come out with this song my bf was cheating on me lmao
    luv this song it’s a warning sooooo you better watch out boys!!!
    great song…a warning to all guys out there…

  45. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    ELISE – on a different topic, have you considered submitting your critique of the Blanchard model to Archives of Sexual Behavior? Sort of a reply to Dreger? It would be interesting to see what happens.
    The submission site is here:
    http://www.springer.com/east/home?SGWID=5-102-70-35506865-0

  46. werechick
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 7:45 pm | Permalink

    I have to say, his “before she aborts” comment seems pretty revealing. “Before He Cheats” is about destruction of his property. He sees a parallel in “Before She Aborts,” which kind of suggests that is his property as well. Ugh.
    On a different note, songs that suggest the worst one partner can do to another is “cheating,” well, that’s stupid. There’s a hundred kinds of betrayal much worse, and I’m a little sick of the “OMG, sexual transgression is the worst kind!” concept. What crap.

  47. Posted August 31, 2007 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

    UCLA – “Archives of Sexual Behavior” is the journal I referenced in my section on the creation of a hypothetical BBL-style taxonomy for BBL adherents. It’s a journal run by Blanchard and cronies (including Ken Zucker, who continues to pathologise homosexuality and advocate “reparative therapy”). It’s about the only scientific outlet around that will publish BBL articles, and is not known for its willingness to publish critiques.

  48. Rebecca C
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

    Regarding “Before He Cheats”, I think the most important line when putting the song into context is “’cause the next time that he cheats/oh, you know it won’t be on me”. The line implies that the speaker isn’t just destroying the truck, but also ending the relationship.
    I’m definitely not saying that property destruction immediately before a breakup is advisable. Property destruction in general is not. What I’m saying is that “Before He Cheats” isn’t only a “last straw” song, but it’s a mild one compared to SheDaisy’s “A Night To Remember”, where:

    She whispers in his ear and tells him that she knows
    She throws the car in gear, plunging to the earth below
    She whispers in his ear and tells him that she knows
    She throws the car in gear, it blossoms like a firey rose

    Maybe Carey isn’t afraid of a wife committing murder/suicide because “A Night To Remember” was an album track, not a single. I don’t know. I just know that anger directed at cheating men has been around for most of pop country history, and I’m surprised Carey didn’t even bring up “The Night the Lights Went Out In Georgia”.

  49. Posted August 31, 2007 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

    Murder ballads are old as the hills, but it’s rare that it’s a woman doing the murdering in them.

  50. UCLAbodyimage
    Posted August 31, 2007 at 10:29 pm | Permalink

    “UCLA – “Archives of Sexual Behavior” is the journal I referenced in my section on the creation of a hypothetical BBL-style taxonomy for BBL adherents”
    Hey Elise – that’s why I suggested it. It would be interesting to see if they consider it – they have a letters to the editor section as well – no harm in trying.
    I’d certainly be interested in how they handle a contrary position (e.g., would they send it out for review? who would they assign as managing editor?). It has one of the top Impact factors in terms of Sexuality journals so would be high-profile in the sex research world. After that, it would be the Journal of Sex Research (put out by Society for the Scientific Study of Sexuality).

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