Monday, February 9, 2009

Love Story

In the spirit of all top 40 songs on the radio, "Love Story" by Taylor Swift plays maybe 20 gajillion times a day. Here's the synopsis:

1. Father and boyfriend regulate the sexuality and mobility of the girl. Father tells boy to go away, ultimately the boyfriend convinces the father that he is worthy of taking his daughter. Under this scenario, only men make decisions and shape the life of so called Juliet.

2. Female dependency on the male and passive femininity are the basic themes of this song. Juliet waits to Romeo to "take her", "save her", etcetera. Again, there is a lack of female mobility and autonomy. It's insulting for all of the reasons that mainstream fairy tails are oppressive to female development.

But somewhere along the way, I began to really like the song. How can this be? Well, there are two answers. Simply, I enjoy narratives of romance, love, and lust--and despite sexist and patriarchal undertones, this narrative is a sort of fantasy/reality that is very much alive in our culture--even if I undervalue it.

More importantly, however, I am currently reading Propaganda by Jacques Ellul. One of his overarching points is that propaganda is not in and of itself effective--it needs to play on a specific need, and in fact, an unconscious desire for such propaganda or direction or meaning or fulfillment or whatever you want to call it. This is why propaganda is not per se the "evil" manipulating the "innocent."

Because I have lost the need for sexism to structure my worldview, and because I am over the shock/anger/sadness that it ever was, I suppose I can enjoy a silly song on the radio and even recognize sexist remnants in my own lifestyle. It's actually a liberating feeling that certain cultural artifacts have lost meaning--meaning in terms of "truth" and meaning in terms of angering me.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

loving this... :D

visit my site for more great articles about life and love... there are also funny entries... please don't forget to leave a comment... hehehe