At least, it is in regards to its depiction of women. Granted, country music isn’t for everyone, but it’s my favorite genre. From old fashioned fiddle music to the more modern, pop-ish country, I love it all. Recently, though, I’ve been more and more disappointed by the formulaic consistency to a lot of what’s coming out right now (and I’m focusing on the more mainstream stuff, there will always be exceptions to the rule).
This video by Grady Smith explains a lot of what I’m talking about. If you’re a male artist in country music right now, chances are you’re singing about trucks (specifically Chevys), dirt roads, and girls.
It’s the girls part, though, that’s really been getting tiresome. I’ll start off by mentioning that on Billboard’s top 10 for country music, only two women are to be found. Not surprisingly, they are Miranda Lambert and Carrie Underwood (and Carrie Underwood is featured in both songs).
But I digress. What I really want to focus on is how women are depicted in these songs, if mentioned at all. Recently, country duo Maddie and Tae released their single Girl in a Country Song. It’s spot on, and was the main inspiration behind this post.
I’ll reiterate the chorus for you:
Bein’ the girl in a country song
How in the world did it go so wrong?
Like all we’re good for
Is looking good for you and your friends on the weekend
We used to get a little respect
Now we’re lucky if we even get
To climb up in your truck, keep my mouth shut and ride along
And be the girl in a country song
When women are mentioned in country music, they are nameless and faceless, except for their blue eyes. They have long tan legs, are Georgia peaches, and are always in some sort of tight denim. They shake their moneymakers and dance in their bare feet.
Guys in country music are always up to something fun: they’re out with their friends at a bonfire, drinking, smoking, enjoying a good tussle with the intruding city boys. It’s badass and a great listen. Take, for instance, Small Town Throwdown by Brantley Gilbert ft. Justin Moore & Thomas Rhett. It’s all about getting together with some friends after a long hard week of work.
Then come the girls:
Got a keg of beer and a bunch of girls,
Sure enough gonna be a good time
Ok. Beer and girls are their checklist, accessories to their party. If that wasn’t irritating enough, it continues:
Now we got a field full of daisy dukes
Round here we know how to grow ’em
Rockin’ little body and long tan legs
Sure ain’t scared to show ’em, no
Show a little somethin’, girl
Ah, the ever popular daisy dukes and little bodies, good for some ogling and little else.
Sadly, this was just one example of many, and this problem isn’t limited to country music. The solution is twofold – bringing more women artists to the forefront (Kacey Musgraves, my friends) and shutting down the blatant sexism. As Maddie and Tae would say,
Aww y’all, we ain’t a cliché
That ain’t no way
To treat a lady
Also…can we get some country songs about us bundled up Northern girls? 😉