Currently there is much in the news and in politics about the #MeToo movement and how women are so often mistreated, sexually harassed, or worse, especially by men in power. Of course such treatment of women is terrible. What I’m curious about is why men feel they can treat women that way. Part of the reason for sure is that they can and they can get away with it. Just look at who’s president (past and present). For some reason, even a great many women seem to accept this. I think a good part of it is that a lot of people, women included, are brought up being taught that’s the natural order of things – men dominate and maltreat women and it’s their place to accept it. This may not be the message they get from their parents, but they are being taught this every day in pop culture such as music.
Here are some lyrics going back a ways. The women accept that they love their man so much he can treat them horribly and they’ll still be there for him.
Walk (Back to Your Arms) – Tami Neilson
No matter what you say or do or
What kinda hell you gonna put me through
I’m gonna walk (walk walk walk)
Back to your arms
Under My Thumb – Rolling Stones
The way she does just what she’s told
Down to me, the change has come
She’s under my thumb
A Fool In Love – Ike & Tina Turner
You know you love him, you can’t understand
Why he treats you like he do when he’s such a good man
Without a man I don’t wanna live
You think I’m lying but I’m telling you like it is
He’s got my nose open and that’s no lie
And I, I’m gonna keep him satisfied
These are tame compared to a whole bunch of the more modern lyrics in the rap/hip hop world, such as eminem’s. As long as people keep listening to (and buying) such “music” the attitude isn’t going to change much. Watching a few politicians or movie stars fall from grace isn’t going to change it. We need to stop the abuse of “freedom of expression,” a term that’s used as a false justification for glorifying violence in many forms.
It’s more than music, too. I’ll skip YouTube, Reddit and other media outlets, but there’s plenty to find there. If you watch the local TV news you’ll see cases every week of some abused woman who sticks by her abuser when he commits some violent crime. Unfortunately there are plenty of women who feel totally dependent on their men, even very bad men, and will take the abuse in exchange for financial or even emotional support. This teaches women, especially impressionable young girls, that “sticking by your man” is the right thing to do no matter what. This has to change.