Friday, May 22, 2015

Dear Future Husbands of Tomorrow, My Sympathies

Unless you've been living under the same rock which I have been, you've probably heard of the latest singing sensation, Meghan Trainor. I'd heard of her in passing, especially for her hit 'All About that Bass'. And I had heard of her gaining praise for being a feminist (something she apparently may or may not actually identify as). Anyway, this morning I was lounging and enjoying the beginning of my long weekend with the Today show on in the background. Somewhere along the way I started paying attention when Meghan Trainor started to perform her hit song Dear Future Husband. In the crowd, singing along, were numerous little girls obviously not yet out of elementary school. I was perturbed by both the lyrics and the fact that this song is clearly going to have an impact on young girls.

Now let me set the record straight, I am a firm believer that women are equal with men. Equal. Not less than. Not better than. Equal. Different but equal. I think that women and girls should have the same opportunities. Women are just as smart and as capable. But I don't think that it's right that girls should grow up thinking that they are better than men. Because that's not equality. In recent years, I've had the opportunity to be around many different children and it's concerning to me to hear girls say things like: 'Girls are better than boys' or 'Girls are smarter than boys' and that 'Boys are stupid'. And I can tell the difference between 'Ewww, boys have coooties, gross' and 'Girls are not just equal but better'.

And this song just reminded me of this. In her song, Meghan Trainor sings of what she wants from her future husband. She says if he treats her right, then she'll be the perfect wife. Am I the only one who sees a problem with this attitude? You do what I want, then I'll be a good (I'm using good, because it's not possible to be perfect) wife. What about being a good wife because it's the right thing to do? She also states that her husband should not ever disagree with her, he must always do the apologizing and that he should accept that she is always right. If he does these things (along with many other demands), then he would get 'special loving'. Does that sound like the making of a good marriage? That one person is always right? That one person should always do the apologizing?

Now, I am not saying that men should walk all over women. Far from. I enjoy when Mr Caramel opens doors for me and does nice things for me. One person being treated better than another is not equality. And before you tell me that it's just a song, think about the fact that songs become popular because they usually reflect feelings that are decently popular with their listening audience. And it's undeniable that repeating words frequently have an impact on the persons saying and listening to them. If young girls are thinking that this is the way future marriages should be, divorce lawyers should be very happy.

Think of it this way too. Suppose we took Meghan Trainor's lyrics and changed them ever so slightly, so that it was a man speaking of a woman:

Dear future wife,
If you wanna get that special lovin'
Tell me I'm handsome each and every night

After every fight
Just apologize
And maybe then I'll let you try and rock my body right
Even if I was wrong
You know I'm never wrong
Why disagree?
Why, why disagree?

Wouldn't we start yelling about misogyny and warping the thinking of young boys? We'd start talking about how unfair that is to women and how women deserve better treatment. Not every man is a misogynist. Not every man is responsible for the mistreatment of women throughout history and the world. And not every man should have to bend over backwards to please a woman. 

Marriage is a partnership of two equal persons who become one in the sight of God. No one person in a marriage is more important or more deserving of respect. Not the man. Not the woman. They should both strive to make the other person happy. They should both try to be the best spouse that they can be, even if the other person forgot the flowers. They should both apologize and be willing to accept that they are wrong sometimes.

Dear Future husbands of tomorrow, if your future spouses all believe Meghan Trainor's lyrics, you have my sympathies.

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