Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Lessons to Learn in Song

I'm no fan of new singers. I know that makes me sound like an old curmudgeon, but most new music and new singers just fail to move me with their lack of greatness. Or substance. But today, as I was out driving, the radio playing white noise in the background of my thoughts, some new music pushed through. I heard a song by Lyfe Jennings called "Statistics." I listened because he starts in the classroom like Lauryn Hill does in the interludes on The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill (a great CD) and I was misled to think it was one of her songs. Plus, any song beginning in a classroom has my attention! But then he started giving all these statistics about men in society and the likelihood of women finding one. I'm not sure how true his statistics are, but his chorus is definitely true.
It goes:

RULE #1 Don't be a booty call
If he don't respect you girl he gon forget you girl

RULE #2 If he's in a relationship
If he will cheat on her that means he will cheat on you

RULE #3 Tell him that you're celibate
And if he wants some of your goodies he gon have to work for it

RULE #4 Be the person you wanna find
Don't be a nickel out here lookin' for a dime

DH said, "He had to put that in a song?" Apparently, yes.

These are things my mother taught me growing up, but I don't think young girls are taught these things anymore. For instance, rules #1 & 3. Why isn't this common knowledge? I have heard countless male students say that they don't respect girls who give it up so freely and easily. They'll gladly have sex with those girls, but they won't have relationships with them. But, oddly, my female students will counter that statement with comments about how guys will have relationships with girls like that and they should be able to be as free sexually as the guys. They should, but I try to point out to the female students that this is what the guy is telling you; this is how he feels. Now that you have the information, you have to make a decision about what you want, what's important to you. But it's like they live in this world of disconnect. It reminds me of that episode of Sex & the City in which the women make up these reasons why the guy hasn't called and the guy says "He's just not that into you" and her friends say, "Oh don't listen to him; he doesn't know what he is talking about." Really? You're just gonna make up your own truth in spite of the reliability of the source?

Far more disturbing are the many stories I have heard of tween and teen girls performing oral sex on groups of boys in the Boys bathroom, having sex with random boys in the school auditorium or the library (the library? don't defile the library!), and sextexting. Does any guy have to work for the goods anymore?

Anyway, I think this song makes a lot of sense; I like it. It probably won't be around 20 years from now like songs by Marvin Gaye, but hopefully, the lessons it teaches will. They should.


The Steel Magnolia said...

The Diva, I'm wondering what the younguns think about this. We should ask students and report back. You're right that it's those crazy teens who don't know common sense from a hole in their (empty) heads, but my students tell me some crazy stories about college women, too. The thing is, they can clearly see the crazy in another woman, but they act as if their own actions are totally different. I always wonder if they really are. Anyhoo, let's just hope that OUR girls (and my boy) get the point!

The Steel Magnolia said...

You know what else occurs to me? As your DH well knows, many of the other, counterproductive messages (get naked, dance, and be as nasty as possible while trying to get rich) are in songs, so maybe this message has to be delivered the same way. Maybe it helps to balance the universe.