Oh, Taylor Swift. How I love you. Tall. Blonde. Beautiful. Honest. My mother is not a fan of yours, thus cementing our fairy-tale, forbidden romance. It’s all too perfect. Aside from the fact that we will never meet and if I ramble on any longer people will think you need to take a restraining order against me. But I assure you, I’m not creepy…damn it. That sounded creepy. How about, I’m creepy, but pretend I’m laughing so I don’t sound creepy. Ugh. Now I just sound crazy.
All I’m trying to say is that she’s perfect and we’ll be married someday and…um…this is sounding even crazier. Let’s just move on.
An honest female singer-songwriter – they’re hard to find nowadays. I was rocking out to Jewel and Indigo Girls the other day and couldn’t help but think: What happened to all the good, honest female singer-songwriters? Why isn’t there anybody out there like Tracy Chapman anymore? There’s Colbie Caillat, but I’m not talking about women who make music that would be played in a dentist office that would also put the dentist to sleep.
You may be asking yourself: “But Jeffrey, why do you care? Aren’t you a hard-rockin’, beer-drinkin’, country music and rock lovin’ hairy-chested American male?” Well, first, thank you for your question. Second, it’s true. I don’t shave my chest. Be impressed. And third, it’s true – you’ll more than likely find me blasting some Clash or Hank Williams or Living Colour or Foo Fighters, but also find me listening to Heart or Tracy Chapman or Joan Jett.
Being able to count on one hand the popular, strong female artists in this country is a hard task. I want to hear some honesty out of women. I want to see women rock. Instead, it seems women just sing about what men either want or expect them to sing about. Katy Perry and Ke$ha sing about being drunk, wild and overtly sexual – all things men want to hear and see. Why is it that Rihanna gets physically abused by a man and responds by getting a tiny tattoo of a gun and then making the most sexual videos she has ever made? That doesn’t scream women’s independence. It just seems like men want to control and dominate women and then have them respond by being eye candy. That reflects as poorly on men as it does on women.
Forty years ago, Aretha Franklin turned “Respect” into a powerhouse women’s anthem. Then women went out and earned it – now there are more females in college than males. Soon they’ll be dollar-for-dollar even with males. In popular culture, there was a short time – mid 80s to mid 90s – that women earned respect with their music. There was the excessive (the whole Spice Girls “girl power” thing), and there was the honest, smart songwriting that matched and exceeded the songwriting of contemplative male artists. Women had moved from having songs written for them and being told how to act to writing and performing their own music.
Now female artists think equality is trying to be more drunk and sleazy than any male. If that’s the equality that they want, they’re getting it. It’s popular. But quite frankly, I’m sick of it. There is zero challenge intellectually or emotionally to female artists today. There are a few strong females like Sara Bareilles, Taylor Swift and maybe even Pink. But there are no more great female singer-songwriters. And there are certainly no women out there getting famous through rock and roll.
Come on, female artists. It’s great to show your femininity and sensuality. I enjoy it. I, like every male, am guilty of objectifying women. I won’t act like some feminist or some stand-up guy who fights for women’s rights. I don’t. Sometimes I can sound downright chauvinistic. I know you can get drunk and look at pictures of yourself on Facebook that you don’t remember. But now a lot of you are turning into sleazy drunkards like Snooki and it’s truly disgusting and unattractive.
And when you do pick up a guitar and start making good music and you encounter Taylor Swift at a party, tell her I said I love her. No, don’t. That still sounds creepy.