Song of the month September 2016

AWOLNATION “Woman, Woman”

This is one of those songs that gets a lot of radio play and I don’t switch the station.   I could never decide if he was saying, “You made me a natural woman,” or “You may be a natural woman.” (It was the latter, as that is the lyric that makes the most sense. The former is the lyric that’s more fun.) I also liked the reputation of “woman woman”.

But I’ve just watched the video and I feel very conflicted.

The use of attractive women recalls Robert Plant’s [by which I mean Robert Palmer] “Simply Irresistible” and “Addicted to Love.” And they’re naked.  I get it.  “Natural woman” in the AWOLNATION world equals “naked woman.”  I watched the entire video cringing.  Yes, it looks like they are all having great fun pretending to play (or perhaps actually playing–they could be musicians) and singing this song.  Googling “AWOLNATION Woman Woman commentary” gets me this link which says the video is “a hymn to celebrate all females in their natural glory.” Which is a nice sentiment, though to me the video seems to celebrate “women of a specific age (their 20s) who are mostly of the properly accepted weight aesthetic and are nicely diverse in race/ethnicity.”

This is one of those things that purports to celebrate women, while exploiting them.  A group of naked women who look like they are having fun is actually a specifically chosen–probably by a man–group of women who are paid to take off their clothes and look like they are having fun, mostly so a certain population can watch the video and think, “boobs!”

That the whole thing is carried off without an internet peep (googling “AWOLNATION Woman Woman controversy” got me nothing) shows me just how far from gender equality we are.  I want girls to grow up in a world where they think they can make music, not be the people paid to take off their clothes and pretend to make music.  I want boys to grow up in a world where girls are not just something to look at, but are people who can start bands, conceive and direct videos, and do more than be objects.

(I just wanted to download a song and write a quick bit about why I like it.  Thanks AWOLNATION, for complicating my blogging time.)