Sep 282016
 

Is it ok to make a post complaining about something? I don’t do it very often. Every now and then is alright, right?

This freakin’ song man. It’s so pro-patriarchy and mono-normative it makes me want to puke. The chorus made my flesh crawl. I now understand how people who had bad reactions to Blurred Lines felt. No wonder they disliked the song so much – it’s a visceral physical reaction that you can’t really prevent (aside from not listening to the song in the first place, which is hard if it’s being played in a public area)

Lyrics

The possessiveness on display here–of someone he acknowledges isn’t even his primary!– is gag-inducing. Plus the implication that if he “made up his mind” to move this relationship up to primary that he’d have the right to be possessive like that. Bleh.

And he had to top it off with a reference to Genghis Khan. I guess it’s far enough in the past that people don’t care anymore, but I still associate the name with genocide and mass-rape.

A friend who really liked the music tried to argue that he’s struggling to understand his own feelings,  calling himself “selfish” and “obscene”. That he’s exposing all of his own faults, and if I hate this song because he’s singing about being a terrible person, and acknowledging himself as terrible, then there’s a lot more music that I need to also hate for the same reasons.

I do like the juxtaposition of upbeat music with tragic lyrics sometimes. Hey Ya is fantastic for this! But Hey Ya is about a break-up, which doesn’t normalize anything. I understand that Khan can be interpreted as a struggle over trying to not be a shitty person, and mad props to anyone who hears it that way. But I know there are people who find this possessive attitude sexy, because I was married to one for several years. And she certainly wasn’t in the minority among her friends. I’d be surprised if Khan wasn’t seen as a sexy song of desire, that normalized those attitudes among those listeners.

Which is not to say the song should be banned or anything. Just… ew ew ew. This is as horrifying to me as the women who write love letters to serial killers. What is wrong with people??

  4 Responses to “Genghis Khan was not a groovy dude”

  1. Sometimes it’s weird when you see what trying to be “normal” does to people.

    Still, I think this is as much about the recent is ristoricla revising of the mogol empire as anything else.

  2. In the culture-bubble I perceive, mono-normative attitudes are already so normalised that this song is actually transgressive against the local norms of that culture. To wit, it treats the no-strings-attached relationship as something otherwise healthy and sustainable if it weren’t for the protagonist’s ugly jealousy, as opposed to something wrong and degenerate. The “Green-Eyed Epiphany” trope is nowhere to be seen; http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/GreenEyedEpiphany. What the hell is your bubble like that this is weird?

    And how is it pro-patriarchy? Except insofar as mono-normativity is enforced by the patriarchy or whatever, I don’t see anything patriarchal here except that the jealous protagonist happens to be male.

    • > What the hell is your bubble like that this is weird?

      Well to be honest, among my non-poly friends I don’t think any of them dislike it. And none of my poly-friends listen to this style of music, so I dunno if they’ve even heard it yet. I’ll expose a few and ask them if they have any feelings. But as far as I know, I may be an outlier. This post is about how much I personally dislike this song, not a reflection of my community. :)

      > And how is it pro-patriarchy? Except insofar as mono-normativity is enforced by the patriarchy or whatever, I don’t see anything patriarchal here except that the jealous protagonist happens to be male.

      Reinforces the narrative that Real Men are jealous. They can’t help it, even the enlightened ones, it’s just what Men do. To police a woman’s sexuality is instinctive, and it’s sexy. Patriarchy is not just about subjugating women or whatever, it’s about normalizing behavioral norms for both genders that are corrosive. Men who fail to conform are punished as well.

      And especially the “I wanna make up my mind” verse just smacks of entitlement. “If I decide I *do* like you enough, then these feelings will all be justified.” Way to pre-emptively excuse abusive behavior. :/

  3. I think the beatles song “Run for your life” is worse. But I still like it. XD

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wRczG47AkJc

    I only thought of that just now because I heard it just now.

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