In August, I got an iPhone. It was primarily because I now have a job for which I need my email to be accessible as often as possible, as well as my poor sense of direction causing me to constantly get lost. One of most random yet significant benefits, however, is that it has allowed me to listen to the radio. I have Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder and, among other stupid neuroticisms, get extremely stressed out if I have to listen to music where I don’t know the words. Due to Shazam being the best app ever (it allows you to identify songs being played using your phone), I have been able to discover lots of new artists and songs that I would not have otherwise. However, I have also found that I enjoy a lot of artists whose lyrics and lives I find somewhat deplorable. I genuinely enjoy some sexist music, and I’m having a hard time trying to reconcile that.
Via the wonderful world of Shazam, I realized I liked a Justin Bieber song. Actually, this wasn’t sexist or conflicting so much as a little “?!” on my part, but I very quickly accepted it because who cares, right? I also realized I have a huge soft spot for Ke$ha; while I think she is just so bizarre and sometimes her voice makes my stomach feel strange, I admittedly played, “Die Young” on New Year’s Eve like seven times because it’s goddamn catchy. But then…then I realized I liked several Chris Brown songs. And that, for lack of a better expression, confused the shit out of me.
First off, I absolutely consider myself a feminist. I don’t think there needs to be a cool, new, fresh way of calling myself that, nor do I think that we’ve somehow moved past the need for it. The first tattoo I ever got with a feminist symbol because I knew it was an ideal I would not and could not (barring any brain transplant or some sort of serious disassociative disorder) outgrow and leave behind. I want for people of all genders to be treated and seen as equals. Insert peace signs and tie-dye shirts.
So how is it that somebody who identifies as a feminist can enjoy music written by a known woman abuser, misogynist and overall childish douchebag? I have no idea.
For a while, I thought it was because I have always loved dancing and while doing so, it’s rare that you wind up listening to lyrics word-for-word and keeping track of their societal value. Then, of course, I had to ruin this by paying attention to the actual words of some of the songs I was regularly out dancing to. For example, Brown’s “Look At Me Now,” which my old roommates and I used to listen to on repeat regularly:
Better cuff your chick if you with her, I can get her
And she accidentally slip and fall on my dick
Oops, I said on my dick
I ain’t really mean to say on my dick
But since we talking about my dick
All of you haters say hi to it, I’m done.
He’s no William Carlos Williams. I know. There are no tasty plums. Just dicks. SO MANY DICKS. But I know all those words, and that is confusing, and I feel like an asshole because of it.