‘It’s my right to get hellish’…Orly?

When I was on holidays recently a pop song called Jealous (link to lyrics) by American singer/songwriter Nick Jonas, from the group The Jonas Brothers, was on high rotation. After the first few plays I actually started listening to the lyrics and, dear reader, I was somewhat appalled at what I heard. It’s not a nasty song, it’s not a rapey song (unlike Blurred Lines), but it is a disturbing song. Here’s why:

The singer claims a right to act ‘hellish’, whatever that means, because he still gets jealous. I don’t believe jealousy gives you any rights actually, apart from the right to STFU and deal with your own shit. The relationship between the person who he is getting jealous over and himself is never clear. Is he husband/boyfriend/partner or ex/stalker/fan for whom the distinction between friends and fans does not exist? Even the film clip doesn’t make it any clearer. He doesn’t like how this person posts stuff on social media, he admits to being possessive, passive aggressive and puffing out his chest to defend what he sees as his territory. All this in a pop song. On high rotation. The overtones of control and violence are really worrying.

But I can’t say that this song is the worst offender in the ‘OFFS can you stop playing that crap please for the love of fluffy kittens’ stakes. One Direction make a good claim for that crown with their ‘Steal my girl’

I got it all
’cause she is the one
Her mom calls me ‘love’,
Her dad calls me ‘son’,
Alright (alright)

I know, I know, I know for sure

Everybody wanna steal my girl
Everybody wanna take her heart away
Couple billion in the whole wide world
Find another one ’cause she belongs to me

Again, the context of this relationship isn’t entirely clear. The assumption is that they are together, but if you get down to it just because her Mum calls you love doesn’t mean that’s because she thinks of you as part of the family. It could be that she feels sorry for you when she says ‘She’s not home love’ while her daughter hides so you don’t know that she really is home. Likewise her dad could be calling you son while he says ‘It’s time to move on son, she’s not interested.’ Also, whether she is your girlfriend or not she is not a freaking piece of property. As we are no longer in the late 19th century (thank you Cambridge Family Law Practice) she is neither a good nor a chattel so she does not in fact belong to you.

But for me I think the crown belongs to Ed Sheeran for this piece of unbelieveable shittiness:

 Trust and respect is what we do this for
I never intended to be next
But you didn’t need to take him to bed that’s all
And I never saw him as a threat
Until you disappeared with him to have sex of course
It’s not like we were both on tour
We were staying on the same f*cking hotel floor
And I wasn’t looking for a promise or commitment
But it was never just fun and I thought you were different (my emphasis)

So Ed wasn’t looking for a promise or commitment but it was never just fun? How does that work? I think what Ed perhaps meant to say is that he wanted her to be at his beck and call but never knowing if he was offering anything with a future. I mean, sheesh, where do I sign up for that? Then he can write angry slut shaming songs that get lots of airplay. Of course YMMV and feel free to put any other songs that irritate you in comments.

While noodling around looking at things for this post I came across this. This blog, called Angry Harry is specifically for young women. I am probably breaking the rules by looking at it, given that I am only a young woman in the eyes of people in their 80’s these days. This is part of the response to a question about women being chattels in times past. Please note I do not take any responsibility for any rabbit holes readers fall down, rage induced screaming or anything else caused by reading that blog, but I do promise to feel a little bit guilty if required.

Well, from what I can see, the same kind of considerations applied when it came to men and women. The women were always more vulnerable – especially in those more dark and more dangerous days – and it was their men who were charged with looking after them.

Imagine a child walking down the street a thousand years ago. What is to stop some stranger from picking up the child and saying, “Hmm. I think I’ll have this one.”

After all, if the child does not ‘belong’ to anyone then why not scoop it up for your own purposes?

Well, I imagine that the same sort of thing applied to women. You couldn’t just pick them up off the street and haul them off somewhere because they belonged to someone else!

With logic like that how can you fail?

Categories: arts & entertainment, fun & hobbies, media

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4 replies

  1. Urgh, now there’s a candidate for fractal wrongness.
    I hate the possessive thing so much. I don’t listen to popular music so much, but it’s very common in romance novels, especially historic ones, and I just put those down now. Sorry dude. Do not want.

  2. That must be why slaves do so well. With the issue of ownership clear, life must be sweet! I can only guess that it’s open season on the homeless, since no one owns them.
    I suppose it hasn’t occurred to him that people count, just because they are people, even if you aren’t related to them, or they look different, or think differently, that they’re still people.

  3. Ouch. The lack of logic, it huuuuurrrrrrts.
    So, trying to explain for the complete modernistic relativist moral vacuum at Angry Harry, here’s the way things were a thousand years ago (back in 1014).
    To start with, people back then were religious. As in “believed in god, because God made sense to them”. So they knew their actions were being watched all the time by a force more powerful than any government surveillance program or set of security cameras currently extant – they were being watched by an all-seeing, all-knowing, all-powerful deity who knew why you were doing what you did. Which sorta had a bit of a deterrent effect on everyday criminals, the same way “someone might be watching” has an effect on criminals today.
    Secondly, in the England of 1000 years ago, women were still independent persons, who owned themselves (the doctrine of women being goods and chattels belonging to their fathers or husbands was something which came over with the Norman Conquest, in 1066). They were citizens under the Anglo-Saxon law of the time, which meant they, like the men, owed certain duties to their local lord (or lady; and through them to the king), and in return, they had certain rights and privileges granted them, as well as being entitled to protection from their local lord. If they were harmed, they were able to sue for the redress of the wrong done to them in their own right. If a woman was abducted, her liege lord was obliged to remedy the situation – the same as he would have been if a man or child had been abducted.
    Thirdly, trials at that time were trials by ordeal (or in other words, you were tortured, and the results of that torture were used to determine your guilt or innocence). Things like pressing (putting stones on the chest of the accused), ducking (attempting to drown the accused), trial by fire (burning the accused), trial by water (drowning again), etc. Trial by a jury of your peers wasn’t something which was guaranteed until well after Magna Carta (which didn’t come along until 1215, and was primarily concerned with the rights of the barons in any case). Among the various rights which were brought in by Magna Carta was the notion of habeus corpus, which in this case meant “do you have the person you’re accusing of the crime?” – prior to this, being tried in absentia was legal, so you could be tried, condemned and sentenced all without having been caught. Magna Carta also guaranteed a swift trial, rather than having you hanging around in prison for a number of months, or even years, before the lord got around to trying you.
    [Long story short, the technological, cultural and legal environment of 1000 years ago was so very different to the modern one that viewing it from a modern perspective gives an entirely false view of what’s going on, and there were certainly more restraints which worked to stop strange men from abducting unwilling women from the village square than just the few I’ve listed here. I’m not going to go into them in depth right now because it’s late and I’m tired.]

  4. Am reminded of “Push” by Matchbox 20 – very troubling song.
    I think I stumbled across Angry Harry a few years ago. He had advice for his daughters-?- that was so rage inducing I can no longer recall what it was. I am a bit worried I’m going to read his blog and remember. If he is the same man, he is need of some attention from Dave Futrelle.
    His premise appears to be “when men owned women it was better for them”.
    Nope. It really wasn’t.

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