CLOSE YOUR EYES. TAKE A DEEP BREATH. OPEN YOUR HEART.

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR

SHADY DEL KNIGHT, ADMINISTRATOR
High School Yearbook Photo

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight

"More than a place, the Shady Dell was and will forever remain a state of mind." - Shady Del Knight
HELLO STRANGER ... IT SEEMS LIKE A MIGHTY LONG TIME!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Is It Just Me... or Is This Just Wrong? Volume 1: Little Miss Ogynistic


Today I ask the question

"Is it just me...

or is this just wrong?"

This new series is not about music appreciation.
It's not a battle of the bands.  My goal is to spark
discussion about the lyrics of certain songs and
the images presented in popular music videos.

A post published by my dear friend Cherdo at
Cherdo On The Flipside inspired me to begin this
controversial new series. Another dear friend,
Janie Junebug at WOMEN: WE'RE GONNA
 KICK BUTT AND TAKE NAMES! reminded
me about an early 60s record that
serves as an ideal starting point.


 YOU BEAT ME TO THE PUNCH 


Shortly after its release in 1962, "He Hit Me
(And it Felt Like a Kiss)," a Carole King - Gerry Goffin
song recorded by Phil Spector's girl group, the Crystals,
drew protests on the grounds that it promoted domestic
violence against women. The record was quickly
banned by radio stations and failed to chart.

 "He Hit Me (And It Felt Like a Kiss)" 
 The Crystals (July 1962, uncharted) 




I suppose it seemed like a good idea at the time, but we've come a long way, baby, since the days when songs for teenagers that were essentially tutorials on the acceptable rules of dating, gave
a free pass to bad boys (aka "rebels")
to smack their girlfriends around, osten-
sibly as a way of proving their true love.

HEY, LEADER OF THE PACK...

GET A CLUE!

Seems to me that "He Hit Me" leaves little room
for debate. The record was rejected by the public
in 1962. It was wrong then and it's wrong today.


 "BORN A WOMAN" 


A woman's place in this old world
Is under some man's thumb

Feminists in particular might have a hard time
believing that a song based on that Stone Age
notion earned country pop singer Sandy Posey
two Grammy nominations. Sandy's 1966 single,
"Born a Woman," sold over a million copies.

 "Born a Woman" - Sandy Posey 
 (Sept. 1966, highest chart pos. #12) 




I wonder how many women of all ages embraced their low self esteem as normal after listening to Sandy's message. How many others were outraged by it, spurred into action and reinvented themselves as strong, independent women?
(Think Janie Junebug.)


Now that you have listened to both songs,
pick the answer below that most closely
matches your opinion, or tell me in your
own words how you feel about what
you heard.  Which song do you find
more offensive? Or don't you think
 either one is offensive?

 YOU BE THE JUDGE, CITIZEN! 


 YOU MAKE THE CALL! 


 * Shady, I agree with you. These two songs 
 are just plain wrong.  They send the wrong 
 message to boys, girls, men and women 
 that controlling, dominating and hitting 
 are normal and acceptable in a relationship. 


 * Shady, get real, dude!  A little misogyny 
 is good for business and sells records. For 
 decades, popular songs have endorsed the idea 
 that women are male possessions and should 
 be treated accordingly. By today's standards,  
 these songs are not only tame...they're lame! 


Let me hear from you.

Let's discuss it.

Have a Shady day!

46 comments:

  1. Hahaha...Janie needs to change her blog title.

    I agree with the green words of Shady wisdom.

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    1. Hi, Susie! Thanks for coming over, dear friend. So that's one vote for the green words of Shady wisdom. Thank you for making your vote count. I will announce the winner (green wisdom words or red wisdom words) on the last day of this post's run. It won't be a slam dunk, because we still haven't heard from Andrew Dice Clay!

      Delete
  2. Is it possible that Born a Woman was a put on? I certainly hope so.

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    1. Hi, dear Kathryn! Thanks for coming by. You've been missed.

      The song "Born a Woman" laments yet accepts the fact that a woman's place, in 1966 America, was under a man's thumb. I can't help believing that the record produced an unexpected result. I think many women were outraged by its message and spurred out of their complacency. They became empowered and realized that they didn't have to accept a subservient role in a relationship with a man. Regardless of the song's original meaning, intention and target audience, I believe it acted as a catalyst for change and helped to fuel the Women's Liberation Movement which was beginning to take shape around that time.

      Thank you very much for your visit and comment, dear Kathryn, and please come back again soon!

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    2. I detest the term "feminazi." I consider myself a feminist. Women shouldn't earn 77 cents for every dollar a man earns. Women shouldn't be punished in their careers because they have children. Women shouldn't be punished for being women.

      Delete
    3. Amen, sister! I put this post together with you in mind and I am very grateful to you for bringing your strong opinions to the forum this evening.

      Thank you very much for the double dose, dear friend Janie!

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  3. Dear Shady,

    Kathryn echoed my comment exactly. I just read your response and thanks for that. As far as the Women's Liberation Movement goes, some of the things are positive but some...it makes me wonder if some of that group are even happy or proud to be women, and it makes me sad. I believe in equal pay for both men and women for the same job, but when a gentleman holds a door for a lady, why not appreciate the kindness and graciously say, "Thank you" instead of, "I can do it myself".? :)

    ReplyDelete
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    1. Hi, Linda! Thank you very much for coming down to visit as I begin this new series designed to instigate discussion about controversial topics.

      Throughout history every movement that seeks to bring about change has had its share of hardcore extremists. "Man hating" is counterproductive to the women's rights movement and I think today's feminist leaders would be the first to agree that hate has no place in civilized society. A woman can join the fight for equal rights, equal pay and equal opportunity for advancement while embracing the difference between the sexes and behaving in a ladylike fashion. That is my belief and apparently yours as well.

      Thank you very much for expressing your opinion, dear friend Linda!

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  4. Definitely definitely green!

    I found it interesting reading about "Born a Woman", how it was critically acclaimed and had mixed reactions among women of the time. It reminds me of the recent song "Blurred Lines" - an abhorrent record promoting rape that both sold by the millions and outraged just as many! Which perhaps shows that things haven't changed as much during all of this time as we'd like to think.

    I like this new series a lot, there's nothing wrong with a bit of controversy and I like being given something to think about!

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    1. Hi, dear Faye! Thank you for checking out this week's post and weighing in on this topic. I think you're right. Whether it's race relations we're talking about or the gender gap, not enough has changed in the last 50 years.

      Here in the comments section I will be making reference to more songs with misogynistic lyrics. Another example I found is "Pistol Whipped," a track on the 2012 Marilyn Manson album Born Villain:

      << You look so pretty
      when you cry.
      Don't wanna hit you
      but the only thing,
      between our love is
      a bloody nose
      a busted lip
      and a blackened eye >>

      Thank you again for your visit and comment, dear friend Faye. Good night to you and have a delightful Thursday!

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  5. Well Shady...I pick the GREEN box!!!

    Both songs show a huge disrespect for women...and sadly, that was prevalent in the music industry back then. I hope it's not the case now.

    I remember the 1960s, as a child, when many of those songs were played on the 'wireless'. I remember feeling confused that those attitudes seemed 'normal'.

    But they were simply lies spread by certain men in control of that industry.

    Unfortunately, many uneducated women of the time (and many had only a very basic education back then) thought that was their lot!!! And suffered immensely because of those lies.

    Come to think of it, young men listening to that music of the time must have been really confused too!!!!!

    So BRAVO education I say....and treating ourselves and others with respect. That's the key isn't it Shady?

    Love the new concept Shady...so elegantly written as usual...have you ever thought of writing a book Shady??? I'd buy it!!!!!!!!!!

    Ciao

    Robyn

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    1. Hi and good Thursday morning to you, dear Robyn! Thank you very much for coming.

      As we grow older we tend to view the past through rose colored glasses. If we took time to read the song lyrics of hit records that formed the soundtrack of our youth, we would no doubt be shocked by how many of them perpetuated the notion that women are male possessions and that, when a girl says "no" she actually means "yes."

      Even the much loved hit by Sting, "Every Breath You Take," can be interpreted as an endorsement of stalking behavior, obsessing over someone, spying on an ex, refusing to take no for answer and refusing to let her move on with her life.

      << Every breath you take
      And every move you make
      Every bond you break, every step you take
      I'll be watching you

      Every single day
      And every word you say
      Every game you play, every night you stay
      I'll be watching you

      Oh, can't you see
      You belong to me? >>

      Thank you again, dear friend Robyn, for making time to visit and for posting this excellent comment. SDMM is, for all intents and purposes, my "book," a diary of my years at the Shady Dell and the years since, and I hope to keep it going the rest of my life.

      Have a terrific day there in Australia, dear Robyn!

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  6. Some people use The Police's or Sting's (was he still with The Police?) Every Breath You Take as a wedding song. They're quite confused, kind of like Ronald Reagan's camp selecting Born In The U.S.A. as a song to represent him. I think Bruce Springsteen put the kibosh on that pretty quickly.

    The lyrics you quoted from Marilyn Manson are frightening, and, unfortunately, are not uncommon. I'm tired of women being called bitches and hos. What are men tired of being called by women?

    It's sad that Carole King participated in writing He Hit Me. I wonder how she feels about it now. I'd never heard Born A Woman before. I suspect it was successful because so many women related to it. A lot of women still live under a man's thumb. I have a fear of angry men that will probably never go away. Even Willy Dunne Wooters can frighten me. He's shocked when I say that I'm afraid of him.

    I had to ask my ex-husband a question by email recently--the first contact I've had with him in about a year. He responded by telling me I'm evil. I've had some terrible panic attacks since then. When I think of evil, I think of Nazis sending Jews off to concentration camps. I think of pogroms. I think of Saddam Hussein's son putting living people in a wood chipper. But to the man who was my husband for thirty years, the man with whom I had two children he decided he didn't want, I am evil and having that word applied to me makes me sick and terrifies me. Am I evil? Do I not see myself clearly? He will never stop. Never. I hope I never have the need to ask him another question, but sometimes things come up about taxes and finances. What am I to do? He hit me, and it did not feel like a kiss. It felt like being punched because that's what it was. I guess if I have a question in the future, I'll have to contact a lawyer to handle it, or write to the court.

    I'm disturbed by the many articles I've read of late about the "rape culture" on college campuses. While the Rolling Stone story about UVA seems to have been misleading, the stories about some students at Yale and other universities chanting "No means yes, and yes means anal" disturbs me greatly.

    When I visited The Hurricane and she took me to Berkeley, I was terrified by the area around the university. Homeless people who are mentally ill don't want to be homeless people who are mentally ill, but they are darn scary. The Hurricane said she put on her "game face" when she walked down the street. She warned me not to look anyone in the eyes, and not to say anything loudly enough that it could be overheard. During the Occupy movement, I was appalled to see all those police officers in riot gear attacking members of a non-violent protest. Where are all those officers every day and every night when the campus is dangerous, and not because of a protest, but just because it is? The Hurricane is careful to leave her office and arrive in her home before the sun sets.

    I agree with Susie that I need to change the name of my blog now.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hello again, dear Janie. Thank you for touching on some of the related issues that go along with this discussion, including the verbal and physical abuse that is often inflicted by an ex-spouse or lover. I'm glad you could identify the hidden or even overt messages contained in the song lyric examples I posted in my other replies.

      Here's another example just for you. There's a Kiss song that goes as follows:

      << Well I told you once, I told you twice
      Hey listen babe, there's trouble in paradise
      Well I found a lipstick stain of your kiss
      Well you can sink your teeth into this, bitch, so
      I'm gonna dance, dance all over your face >>

      << You played your hand, and now you lose,
      well listen bitch, I've got news
      Yes, I saw you with another man
      and you put me in disgrace, so
      I'm gonna dance, dance all over your face >>

      It's true that the lyrics above were written to please a narrow audience, hard rock and heavy metal enthusiasts, mostly young men. Should we excuse it by saying "boys will be boys" and accept that angry, violent language like this appeals to young male record buyers and that it always has been and always will be a fundamental part of rock?

      You are not evil, dear Janie. You have a big heart and infinite love for your children, for your dogs and for your friends. You care about the women's movement and other civil rights initiatives. You care about this country and where it's headed. You are principled and opinionated and never afraid to fight for what you believe is right. I admire and respect you, Janie Junebug. Thank you again for taking time to visit, read, listen and leave such thoughtful comments!

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    2. I don't believe in boys will be boys, and I never have. Thank you for your kindness.

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    3. I tell the truth as I see it, Janie, and I meant every word of it. You are the direct opposite of evil.

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  7. Wow, you have lit up blog world with this! I'm in the green big time with this topic...I work in health care and I see the faces and broken bones and other horrible things that happen with domestic violence. I can't stand to watch violence on TV or movies. The older I get the more I detest it. I remember the Born a Woman song...never liked it! I can see why the first song was pulled. I hope that if anyone is in a violent relationship that they find a way out. I grew up with 4 brothers who never treated my sister or myself or our Mom with anything but respect...the same with Dad...never even heard an argument...well, maybe a few disagreements! I know they treat their wives in the same manner. I'm grateful I had a good example of what to look for in a relationship and I'm glad my sons were taught the same.

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    1. Hi, dear YaYa! Thank you very much for joining the discussion this evening. I remember you recently posting the love letter your father wrote to your mother. It doesn't surprise me one bit that all the men in your family were raised properly and taught to treat women with kindness and respect. It seems too few families are teaching those principles. I don't envy you for having to witness and treat the devastating effects of abuse on women of all ages. It compounds the tragedy when women believe they have no other choice but to endure it. By remaining stuck in a volatile relationship they place themselves and their children at constant risk and it is only a matter of time before the situation goes from bad to worse. Let's hope reverse psychology kicked in when songs like "Born a Woman" were played on the radio and many women became motivated to free themselves from controlling men and domestic violence.

      Thank you again for making time for me, dear friend YaYa. I hope your knees are coming along just fine and that you will enjoy the rest of your week and weekend. God bless!

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  8. A good discussion. I'm with the green party. 'He Hit Me' was a horrible record and 'Born a Woman' not much better.''
    In Canada, we just had a shocking incident in Dalhousie University where 12 male students were on Facebook saying how they would like to have "hate sex" (rape) with some of the girls there. It is a huge story here.

    Women are getting madder and madder at men who look at women as things to use instead of people with feelings. Not only to use, but to hurt!

    I don't know how you change that kind of thinking. Maybe it would be good if the public schools started teaching a class on respecting others and really drive it home. What with bullying too - something drastic needs to be done.

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    1. Good morning, dear Belle, and thank you very much for returning to participate in our discussion. I hadn't heard of that incident at the university in Canada. The concept of "sex as a weapon" seems to have taken on a new meaning in recent years. It is very disturbing. I wish we could figure out what's causing the rise in misogyny, bullying and hate crime and come up with solutions to prevent these things from happening. Popular songs typically reflect the prevailing attitudes of society so we can't lay the blame squarely on song lyrics for driving these phenomena.

      Thank you again for taking time to add to the conversation, dear friend Belle. I hope you are having a great week and I wish you a safe and happy weekend! God bless!

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  9. I remember "Born A Woman" on the radio. Never heard "He Hit Me" but it would have fit right in with the mentality of the day. One of the first songs I remember on the radio was "It's My Party" which was followed up with "It's Judy's Turn To Cry". No one thought--who would want this cheating a$$hole? Because we grew up with all those songs like "Born A Woman".

    I remember being taught in Home Ec class that if you liked a guy and you were lucky enough that he asked you out on a date that you should learn as much as you possibly could about his interests before the date so you could get him to talk and, heaven forbid, don't talk about yourself. Our teacher talked about how when you were married that you should take the time to fix yourself up before your husband came home--and clean up the house and the kids--and keep the kids occupied so they don't disturb him after his hard day. I am not kidding you! This is what we learned in Home Ec class!

    I am so glad times have changed and men and women can be more equal. I tried to raise my son differently and am thrilled to see the wonderful relationship he has always had with his wife. And that he is a hands-on dad and shares with the child rearing, too. Can bring tears to my eyes when I think about it.

    Just hearing these songs fills me with a deep sadness. And to know that it still goes on.

    Up here recently in the news: "According to a study from the University of North Dakota, 31.7 percent of the men surveyed said they would force a woman to have sexual intercourse." But when they asked them if they would rape a woman then 13% said yes. Talk about a disconnect! And over 1 out of 10 of our young males admit they would rape??

    That is awful beyond words.

    Some things have changed and some haven't. But with all the constant violence on TV, in movies, and in lyrics...it should be no surprise, I guess.

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    1. Hi, dear Rita! I am thrilled by your visit and this marvelous series of comments from you. Thank you very much! I can't wait for Janie Junebug to see what you've written here.

      I've got some song lyrics for you from a song recorded in the early 60s by Ginny Arnell in which she calls herself a "Dumb Head."

      << Well, gee, now I'm convinced
      That I must be insane
      Or else I was born with
      A peanut for a brain

      Cause I'm a dumb head (dumb head)
      I'm a stupid little girl
      Just a dumb head (dumb head)
      Do do do do... >>

      Not exactly empowering, is it? Seems like Ginny could be the poster girl for low self esteem.

      I agree. Early and mid 20th century, Home Ec classes and training films portrayed the ideal woman as one who stays out of a man's way and keeps her mouth shut. Education of women was primarily geared toward keeping them in their rightful place, in the home, barefoot and pregnant, child rearing, baking cookies and serving her husband's every need. Women were supposed to be seen and not heard, to speak only when spoken to. The man was the decision maker and disciplinarian and that was that. Is it any wonder a song like "Born a Woman" seemed to make sense back then? Its lyrics include the following:

      << Because to be his woman
      No price is too great to pay >>

      Really? Seriously? I wonder if Janie Junebug would agree to that philosophy.

      Back in the day it was considered a shame and a disgrace if a girl couldn't "land" a husband and needed to remain an "old maid." Fortunately that thinking has changed.

      This trend you and others have mentioned, this mentality among many of today's boys and men that women are not human beings but objects and that men are entitled to "use them and lose them," is very disturbing. I agree that the mass media bombards young people with destructive messages and too many of them aren't getting the kind of nurturing and training at home from their parents to offset those harmful messages.

      Thank you again, dear Rita, for contributing so much to the discussion here today. I deeply appreciate it. Please hug Karma for me and enjoy the rest of your day in Fargo!

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  10. Hi Shady,
    To your surprise , I'm kinda in the middle of both options. Yes , it's wrong for famous song singers/writers that listeners idolize to write these disturbing songs. True, they sell records. Also true, t'was the time in the 60's when woman were stereotyped as "the little woman/ housewives/ mothers" (before the feminist movement, the burning the bra/ equal rights days!)
    Unfortunately, it is STILL going on today and sending the wrong messages. One of last yrs. biggest hits by Beyoncé and husband Jay-Z , "Drunk in Love" lyrics , "Now eat the cake Anne Mae" stirred up big controversy. It was in reference to Tina Turner before she became famous, her name was Anna Mae. When she was in a diner, after she released her first single, Ike ordered a cake to celebrate. Two kids came up to her and asked for her autograph, not her husband's, Ike. He got jealous. but when Anna Mae didn't want to eat it, he said, "Eat the cake, Anna Mae!" and forced the cake into her mouth and started attacking her.
    In Recent years women have retaliated with hits like, Independence Day , Martina McBride and Dixie Chicks, Good bye , Earl!
    It's all "freedom of speech/music" but for me I say. . .
    BRING BACK THE LOVE SONGS!!!! lol!

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    1. Hi, dear Toni! Thank you very much for being here today as we continue to discuss how women and girls were depicted in popular songs in the 50s and 60s and, in some cases, still are. You gave some excellent examples here. Most of us are familiar with Tina Turner's story and how for years she suffered beatings and verbal abuse from a husband who resented her for getting what he considered to be more than her fair share of the attention in their act.

      I'm glad you could see it either way. A case could be made for the green answer or the red answer. After all, the record business is part of show business and the key word here is "business," the business of making money. Sex sells. Violence sells. Conflict sells. Controversy sells. Look how Tipper Gore's watchdog group, the PMRC, tried to clean up rock music by insisting that stickers be placed on record albums warning parents about explicit lyrics (many of them misogynistic). The plan backfired because young people flocked to the stores to buy the very records singled out as the worst offenders.

      It's hard to know where freedom of speech should end and censorship should begin. All I know is that most people who are exposed to things like sexual images and graphic violence can process those stimuli responsibly and do not act out against society, but there is always a small percentage of people who are adversely affected and do act out.

      Thank you again for taking time to add your two cents, dear friend Toni. I greatly appreciate it. Enjoy the rest of your day!

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  11. If we could make good melody with good lyrics, I don't think it will be a problem. So I don't know why good music is hard to come by. It's sad really because the young generation feed their minds with different kinds of music every day and we're not aware of the effect of music to them.

    The message is so distorted sometimes that most people accept it as normal because we hear it all the time. We forget what good really is and when bad needs to stop.

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    1. Hi, dear SuperLux! Thank you very much for swinging over to comment on this topic relating to women.

      How far from innocence we have strayed! What seems normal to today's young people would haved shocked the pants off of teenagers of the 60s. I remember many of the old school Dell rats complaining in 1966 and 1967 when hard, psychedelic rock began to take over the pop music scene and the Dell's jukebox, replacing traditional love songs. Even the heavy metal that was so popular in the 80s seems tame now compared with modern genres like metalcore, thrash, death metal and horror metal. I don't know what will become of a generation that is fed a steady diet of extreme music, graphic images on TV and movies, messages telling them it's okay to cheat to succeed and to use and hurt other people for sport or personal gain.

      "Born a Woman" is actually a beautiful song and highly enjoyable if you merely tune out the words and don't think about them. For the countless women who actually do spend their lives under some man's thumb, that isn't easy.

      Thank you again for your kind visit and comment, dear friend SuperLux!

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  12. interesting topic!
    i can sort of see the point of view that He Hit Me came from, but i don't think that makes it right. I totally understand that when someone you love does something you still love them anyway. i get it. but part of being a public figure, entertaining or selling something is being wise of your influence.
    Born a Woman could go either way, though, right? just like you said. it empowered some, but might have been bad for others. i'd like to think that this song is an empowering song. i hope it is. i like to hope it's biting back at some stereotypical views, making folks think. Like in the 50s when Hank Wilson sang: "I didn't know God made honky tonk angels, i might have known you'd never make a wife, you gave up the only one that ever loved you, and went back to the wild side of life."
    well, sure. nice song. nice sad country song.
    but Kitty Wells didn't think so. she, one of the few women country artists at the time, saw how so many songs were written by men, and the girl had done the wrong. so she wrote a song to the same tune, "It wasn't God who made honky tonk angels, as you wrote in the words of your song, too many times married men think they're still single, that has caused many a good girl to go wrong."
    BAM!
    so while it's maybe a little off topic, i do enjoy this discussion.
    well done!

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    1. Hi, dear Abigail! You never need to worry about being off topic here. SDMM is a very casual place and we're all friends. I always appreciate knowing what's on your mind.

      I think your argument has merit. Helen Reddy spelled it out literally by proclaiming "I Am Woman (hear me roar)," but if the end result of "Born a Woman" was that it lit a fire under a large percentage of the female population and empowered them to become strong and independent, think for themselves and not have to become dependent on a man for support, then it was just as effective as Helen Reddy's hit. I have learned that there are always at least two ways of looking at everything, even that which at first glance seems obvious.

      Now I want to share with you the lyrics of another song which has what I consider to be questionable lyrics. In fact. I cringe every time I listen to this record or watch the video. It's the 1986 R&B hit "The Rain" by Oran "Juice" Jones, a top 10 pop hit that reached #1 on the R&B singles chart and received two Grammy nominations. Here are excerpts from Oran's rap near the end of the song in which he kicks a cheating girlfriend to the curb:

      << You know my first impulse was to run up on you and do a Rambo. I was about to jam you and flat blast both of you, but I didn't wanna mess up this 37-hundred dollar lynx coat
      So instead I chilled -- that's right chilled. >>

      << Silly rabbit, tricks are made for kids, don't you know that? You without me is like corn flakes without the milk! This is my world. You're just a squirrel trying to get a nut! Now get on outta here. Scat! >>

      Pretty brutal stuff in my opinion, and a song that seemed to foretell the grisly murders that the other famous "Juice" was charged with eight years later. Yet nobody I know of objected to the tone or language used in this recording, certainly not the Grammy nominating committee.

      Thanks a million for your excellent comments, dear friend Abigail. Take care of yourself and Daisy and have a great weekend!

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  13. Hello Shady…..Robyn again from Down Under.

    I've been reading all the above excellent comments….and doesn't it spotlight what a dysfunctional society we live in.

    I'm so pleased you've started this conversation Shady…because that's what we need more of.

    Let's call this behaviour for what it is….disrespectful and not to be tolerated.

    My hope is that we can all bring more balance to our lives….with a stronger personal self, stronger family and community ties. Yes, I know…easier said than done. But we can try!!!!!

    We are bombarded with so much garbage….but I can tell you Shady, since I've turned off the TV and stopped reading a lot of political rubbish (and Facebook)….I'm a whole lot happier.

    Thank you again Shady.

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    1. Hi again, dear Robyn! Good morning to you and thank you for the return visit. I am very pleased to know that the words written in these comment boxes are not going to waste and that so many of my followers are reading them and continuing the threads. Ever since I started this blog I have believed that the comments section is just as important if not more important than the body of the post. This is where we can all join in, get down to the real nitty gritty, share opinions, identify trends, trace the root causes of problems and seek solutions.

      I agree with you wholeheartedly that we all need to achieve balance in our lives, take time to meditate, give thanks, appreciate the natural and man made wonders that surround us, be kinder and gentler to our families, to our friends and especially to strangers.

      I also agree that turning off the electronics and disconnecting from social media is essential to a balanced life. Younger generations have come to believe that they need to be in touch with 100 friends 24-7, tweeting about every little thing they are thinking, saying and doing all day long. It's all consuming. I urge them to break free of the devices and the need to stay in touch and experience the simple, low tech and no tech pleasures of life as did past generations.

      Thank you again for coming back over, sweet friend Robyn. Enjoy your Friday and your Australian weekend!

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  14. Wear your hair just for him. Do the things he likes to do now. . . . You won't get him wishin' and hopin, thinkin' and prayin'. . . . Plannin' and dreamin' each night of his charms. That won't get you into his arms. So if you're thinkin' how great true love is, all you gotta do is turn yourself into a Barbie doll and you'll be his.

    What is it with the rape culture these days? Was it always as bad, but people didn't talk about it as openly?

    I remember the scene in the movie when Ike made Anna Mae eat the cake, and when he choked her while he raped her. The movie was based on her autobiography. I read that she said she never saw the movie because she had lived it.

    I remember Helen Reddy accepting a Grammy award and thanking God because she made all things possible. It makes sense that the creator of the universe, the deity who gave birth to the world, is female.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Hi again Janie!

      Countless seemingly innocent songs like 'Wishin' and Hopin'" were produced during the 50s and 60s. They were not overtly sexist but they nevertheless reflected a long standing sexist mentality. They kept women in their place as male accessories, eye candy and trophy wives. Even the benign Neil Sedaka song "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen" can be interpreted in this manner, It describes an ugly ducking girl next door who has finally become worthy of love now that she has blossomed into an angel faced teen goddess.

      << But since you've grown up
      Your future is sewn up
      From now on you're gonna be mine >>

      The lesson in that song is that pretty girls get the man and live happily ever after. It also implies that the boy has the final word about their courtship and that the girl has nothing to say about it, even if she doesn't happen to be interested in him. Are we saying that when a boy sees a girl he wants he should club her over the head and drag her off to his cave like men did in olden days?

      There's more evidence of that line of thinking in the Kiss song "Christine Sixteen":

      << I don't usually say things
      like this to girls your age
      (Christine sixteen)
      But when I saw you coming
      out of the school that day
      That day I knew, I knew,
      I've got to have you,
      I've got to have you >>

      That Tina Turner movie was hard to watch. I'm know you agree with me when I remind everyone that abusive words hit just as hard and do as much damage as a fist and verbal abuse of women is widespread.

      Thank you very much for coming back over to continue the threads, dear Janie!

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    2. I wonder why "being in love" or lust leads so many people to say that person "belongs" to me. Willy Dunne Wooters doesn't own me. He's my lover, but I don't own him. I suspect that one of X's great disappointments was that I started to look my age. I had always tended to look very young. He related to me with joy that people asked him all the time if I was his second wife because they thought I was so much younger than he was. I was his trophy wife, except I wasn't. He didn't want me after I went through menopause and gained some weight. Of course, there were lots of reasons he didn't want me. I don't like the concept of ownership in a relationship. It's not supposed to be slavery, but all too often it is.

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    3. Good point, Janie Junebug! I'm very happy to see you this evening and yet I can't help wondering why you and WDW and Franklin aren't curled up in front of the boob tube watching a movie on a Saturday night.

      There's no getting around it. If you look at the lyrics to most love songs over the years they imply that "You Belong To Me," (the title of the doo-wop hit by the Duprees). Possessiveness, jealousy and even obsession and stalking behavior are framed as appropriate and romantic and the woman (or man) being relentlessly pursued finds it flattering. If a girl says no she is merely being coy and actually means yes. I suppose popular songs draw upon everybody's fear of winding up alone and unloved. They try to make us believe that our lives will have meaning and purpose only if we belong to someone. I have always believed that I am a free spirit and that I belong to everyone in the whole world and not to one single individual.

      Thank you very much for making time for a visit, dear friend Janie. I hope you are having a peaceful and restful weekend, Bless you!

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  15. I came back to see your response and I can't even find my post - did I leave without hitting enter or something. Dang, I'm turning into my mother. Please find me a support group.

    This is a brilliant idea and I love the theme.

    "He Hit Me"
    Oh no he didn't! And trust me, baby, it won't feel like a kiss. That steady beat in the background just makes me think he is thumping on her more. And then the angelic background voices arrive - what?? Are angels helping her? They need to speed it up. She's not thinking right. It might be a concussion that feels like a kiss.

    "Born a Woman"
    Bummer for you. 'Cause all the songs will tell you it's better to have been born a man. A song would NEVER lie (unless it was The Rolling Stones: Lies...or the Castaways: Liar, Liar...or the Eagles: Lying Eyes...or Queen, The Sex Pistols or Henry Rollins, who all chose the unique song name: Liar).

    Okay, I must admit I may have been premature with that pronouncement.

    Is there a third, maybe blue, choice? I'm not down with either one, but I think the more offensive one has to be He Hit Me...the implication is disturbing. That chick is rationalizing, ha ha.

    Born A Woman...well, lamenting your lot. That's depression. I'd take to the street and burn my bra. Spoiler alert: there goes the whole neighborhood.

    So, I'm BLUE. The blue vote says my modern woman brain rejects both, but I'm not so rigid that I don't see that this was music from a different time, heard with different ears.

    BIG, DUMB, LOW-SELF ESTEEM EARS.

    Thank you, Shady, my friend. Sorry I messed up yesterday's post (and I think it was funnier...)


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    1. Hello, dear Cherdo! I'm going to be late getting to you blog today because my policy is to always reply first to comments on my own blog. I am very sorry that you wrote a long comment here only to have it disappear. I promise you that I did not remove it. Perhaps Janie Junebug managed to hack her way in and do it! :)

      Your blue answer is quite acceptable to me. I happen to like the color blue... especially during an election year.

      (BA-DUM-BUMP)

      You are absolutely right. We need to remember that these songs were written and sung 50 years ago. They were products of a different time and their messages fell on different ears. What we consider jarring and politically incorrect today seemed perfectly natural and normal back then.

      It is hard for most of us, particularly Millennials and Generation Z kids, to realize how much has changed in our world since the 60s. I was shocked when I recently saw this 1994 clip of Katie Couric and Bryant Gumble hosting The Today Show. Have you seen this?

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JUs7iG1mNjI

      The times they are a changin' and
      You've come a long way, baby...

      but there's still a long way to go.

      Thank you very much for coming back and formulating another superb comment, dear friend Cherdo. I'll be over to your place as soon as I get Marcia and Greg off to school :)

      God bless!

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  16. Oh, one more thing: I nominated you for The Very Inspiring Blogger Award!

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    1. That was very kind and considerate of you, dear friend. Thank you very much! I will be over a.s.a.p.

      God bless!

      Delete
  17. Hi Shady Del,

    Power to you for posting on such emotive issues - haven't got any answers except people are complex and I trust your readers can take pleasure in simple activities and I do know a lot of people prefer to hang out with their pets over dealing with other people's issues which can impact on them. Expect the best and plan for the worst :) to all and keep safe x that's all for now, cheers Allie-Millie

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    1. Hi, dear Allie-Millie! It's great so see you back here again, my good friend. I agree that the answers to these long standing, complex and challenging issues are hard to come by. Each of us has a unique set of filters used to interpret external stimuli. What seems normal and natural to one person might seem shocking and revolting to another. I hope these two recordings, their lyrics and the discussion threads generated by them gave you something to think about and I also hope you enjoyed your visit. I certainly enjoyed having you,

      Happy Sunday, dear friend Allie-Millie, and have a great week ahead!

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  18. Hi Shady! It's a rainy Saturday nite, and I thought I might sign on to blogger, since I haven't been around in a while. Hope you are doing well! Very interesting post tonite, Shady! I'm really with Kathryn on the Sandy Posey song! Funny to me she came out with 'Single Woman', resigning herself to the fact that she would just have to make it on her own. I'm just not sure if that was before or after 'Born a Woman'. Oh, I think some of us fell for that notion of accepting how it should be under a man's thumb during that time! But, it was too hard for me to do that. I had always done a lot on my own, even as a young teen, and I was pretty bull headed about doing things my way. This song was very popular, but I thing as the later 60's came around, we just scoffed at the very idea of being under the man's thumb. I can remember when women finally won the fight about wearing pants in the workplace! YaY! I mean, women had dirty jobs then too, and it was hard working in dresses with stockings and heels. That was a fun time...a great win!

    I think I heard that Crystals song back then-it sure sounds familiar! They were a great group. But, that song was pretty bad. They actually say in the song that they liked being hit! Well, I have to ask...why was that song even written? I guess it would have appealed to someone, but I don't know who! I guess some guys would have loved to hear their girlfriends brag about being hit by them. So, I'll have to go with, "Shady, I agree with you!" Bad to the Bone, on both counts!

    Very good points being made here. And, these issues are not as present in our music as in the early 60's, we now have bloodshed and, drug issues that should be dealt with.

    So good to see you Shady, you've stayed very busy. Karo's been home from the hospital for a few weeks now...he had to spend some time in a physical therapy facility, so it's been a slow process. But, I'm glad to have him home now. Just trying to catch up on some things. Have a great weekend, hope to see you soon! ♫

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    1. Hi, dear Suzanne! I am delighted to see you and to know that things are going better now for husband Karo and that he has been able to return home from the hospital. I've been praying for a good outcome for him. Thank you for letting me know the latest about his condition. Please tell him I say hello and that I wish him the best.

      Thanks for weighing in on these two songs. Sandy Posey's "Single Girl" was released late in 1966 a few months after "Born a Woman" and reached the same chart position, #12, in January 1967. A "countrypolitan" style song, "Single Girl" was a slight improvement over "Born a Woman" in that it did not imply that a woman has no choice but to spend her life under a man's thumb. However, the words to the song do reveal that having a man to "lean on" was a priority for many women during that transitional year:

      << The single girl all alone in a great big town
      The single girl gets so tired of love lettin' her down
      The life's unreal and the people are phony
      And the nights can get so lonely
      The single girl needs a sweet lovin' man to lean on >>

      I agree with you about "He Hit Me." I can't imagine how veteran songwriters Carole King and Gerry Goffin ever came up with such a song. Why couldn't they tell there would be a backlash? How did the song get the green light to be recorded by Phil Spector's hit girl group the Crystals? From today's perspective the song seems like it would have been a career buster but, as we all know, Goffin and King continued with their hugely successful partnership, the Crystals continued to record hits and Phil Spector became a legend for his wall-of-sound recordings.

      Thank you again for letting me know that you and Karo are AOK, dear friend Suzanne. I am very happy to have you back and look forward to keeping you entertained throughout 2015. Enjoy your weekend, dear friend!

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  19. An excellent, timely discussion, my friend! I am thankful that times are changing, although we have a far piece to go. I have missed your posts while I've out of blogging, but this was just like coming home today!

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    1. Hi, Shelly! Welcome back to Shady Dell Music & Memories, your home away from home. I've missed you and hope you and your family have been well.

      I'm glad you found this post interesting. As you can see it drew a lot of animated response from readers.

      Thank you for your visit and comment, dear friend Shelly. I hope to see you back here again soon!

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  20. Hi Shady, long time! I hadn't seen any of your posts on my bloglovin' feed for quite some time and had assumed that you hadn't been about to posting. I've only just realized that the reason I hadn't seen your posts is that I had forgot to add your blog to my bloglovin' feed way back when I stopped reading my feed from blogger!

    I really think this post series is an interesting concept and topic of discussion. I have to say, though I appreciate the singing and sound of the background music, I am not at all for the lyrics of these songs. Perhaps if Sandy Posey's lyrics were actually meant to be interpreted as a protest against the sexism women experienced in that era, I may think differently. But I really don't get the feel that that was the intentional message! And I think the radio stations made the right choice about banning "He Hit Me" back then - I'd have hated for any girls (and boys) out there to get 'misleading' ideas!

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  21. Hi, dear Lucy in the Sky! Forgive me, too, because I am just now finding your comment. I clicked back here and checked this post after receiving comments from our friend Catherine who sometimes comments on two posts at once, the latest one and the previous. That is what led me to check this post and find your great comment. Forgive me also for being absent from your blog lately. Turns out it was a misunderstanding all the way around because I assumed you were no longer interested in following me or having me follow you. I assure you I am. You are an important friend to me, Lucy, so let us consider this a renewal of our relationship.

    Thank you for these wise observations about this controversial post. If not for the politically incorrect lyrics, the melody and arrangement of "Born a Woman" is quite pleasing to listen to. Old school country songs tend to deal with themes like hard times, drinking, gambling, committing adultery and other manifestations of human weakness. I think "Born a Woman" fit right in with the thinking among many in the mid 60s that a good woman's rightful place was in the home raising the kids while her man did whatever he pleased, including hanging out in taverns, drinking excessively and hooking up with bad girls. Women who didn't have careers needed a man's support and were willing to look the other way if he was unfaithful or even put up with abuse and neglect, all in the name of security.

    Thank you again, Lucy, for being my friend for a long time now and I hope a long time to come!

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