Monday, July 25, 2005

What was that sound? Oh, just the women's movement being set back a hundred years... (And Beyonce running Jay-Z's bath water.)

Now, I was never one to say that Destiny's Child were a band with a feminist agenda. I mean, they're hardly this century's answer to Mary Wollstonecraft (or even to Helen Reddy). But one could say that Bills, Bills, Bills and Independent Woman both had a pretty positive message about women standing on their own two feet and taking care of themselves, (even if said message was delivered by women who were almost naked and shakin' their booty for the camera). But the message of the bands soon-to-be-number-one single Cater 2 U is about as poxy as the grammar and the spelling of it's title. It's basically a big promotion for the idea that women should slavishly pander to men in order to prove their love and devotion. To illustrate my point I was going to include the unabridged lyrics, but the song is so long and boring that you'd probably die if you tried to read it all. Instead, here are the misogynistic highlights:

"My life would be purposeless without you
Let me help you take off your shoes
Untie your shoe strings, take off your cufflinks
What you wanna eat, Boo, let me feed you
Let me run your bath water
Whatever you desire, I'll aspire
Sing you a song, turn the game on
I'll brush your hair, help you put your do-rag on
Wanna foot rub, want a manicure
I got your slippers, your dinner, your dessert
And so much more, anything you want
Let me cater to you
Making sure your that I'm doing my part
Boy, is there something you need me to do
If you want (I got it)
Just say the word I (I'm a try it)
I know whatever I'm not fulfillin'
Another woman is willing
I promise ya, I keep myself up
Remain the same chick you fell in love with
I'll keep it tight, keep my figure right
I'll keep my hair fixed, rockin' the hottest outfits
When you come home late, tap me on my shoulder I'll roll over
Baby, I heard you, I'm here to serve you
All I wanna do
Is cater to you, boy
I put my life in your hands
Fulfill your every desire, your wish is my command.

There's so much wrong with this song that it's hard to know where to start... The lyrics are really self-loathing and insecure. For example, the bit about wearing sexy outfits and staying thin to maintain his interest. Did TLC teach us nothing?! It sounds to me as though the members of Destiny's Child are giving their men permission to make them feel damn unpretty! And that whole whole bit about rolling over and having sex with him whenever he wants... I don't know whether the lyrics make the band sound more like trained dogs or prostitutes! What a grotesque message to be sending to young women: if you love a man then the best way to show them is to become a slave to his every whim. Shouldn't relationships be based on mutual respect and care for each other, rather than keeping your figure right and putting on do-rags? I'm not saying that it's a crime for a woman to occasionally spoil the man she loves, but it should be a two-way street. And she should be doing these things because she wants to, not because she afraid that if she doesn't the guy is going to ditch her for a girl who will! The lyrics are so over the top that the song actually sounds more like a pastiche of the values it's espousing than a genuine endorsement of them. But, unfortunately, I think we're actually supposed to take this shit seriously.

Conspiracy Theories:
1. Cater 2 U was only chosen for the title of the song when the writer realised that Britney had already used Slave 4 U.
2. Destiny's Child are actually all Stepford wives in disguise. (Or fembots.)
3. The draft chorus had an extra line that was removed from the final edit:
"Tonight I'm going to pander like it's 1949..."
(Sorry, Prince.)


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Women being sexist to themselves make me furious. What else would you expect from Bush supporter's. Whoever wrote this song is seriously fucked in the head and should be taken out and shot.

1:26 PM  
Blogger divinetrash said...

Woo! Go Nick! This country has a serious lack of vigilantes, and I think that you're the man to fill that void...

6:55 PM  
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