Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Women According to Country Music

There's one woman in country music. That is, if you spend a week listening to your local country music radio station, you'll keep hearing about a particular girl who lives in both the lyrics of some of the most popular songs right now, as well as the nightmares of gender studies majors across the country. This woman is simultaneously your dirty dirty secret and the future mother of your children. She's a sweet little lady who is also still trying to get all the hay out of her hair from that last visit to the barn.

I went through the top 15 most popular songs listed on the website for Nashville's WSIX and pulled from the lyrics some of the most common attributes of this country girl. Here's her dossier. 

She wears:  Jeans (preferably tight, points for holes), or cut-offs, no shoes.

She drinks: Beer, moonshine, whiskey, or rum

Activities you can do with her:  Drink, dance (preferably on a table, or in the dark, or under moonlight), make out, watch trains, watch her cook, get drunk and park on her lawn, have babies

Places you can take her: Bar, secluded rural area, truck (riding shotgun)

In this day and age, it feels weird to think that Keith Urban can sing about how he wants a chick who will cook for him while, Chris Young wants blue jeans painted on, or Florida Georgia Line want a boozed up girl with a "sugar shaker" and no one feels queasy. We usually take issue at everything. But I guess it goes back to the old idea that if you don't like it, you don't have to listen to it. The country music audience seems to be fine with a narrow and antiquated idea of women that fills one of the most troubling stereotypes– the woman who is infantilized and sexualized at the same time. 

Not that other genres don't dabble in misogyny– I cringe every time I hear "Blurred Lines"– but I couldn't help but notice this one specific spin on females that's congealed in country. It's 2013. The farmer's daughter owns the farm these days.

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