Another day, another feminist flap …. As if calling tennis players “sweetheart” weren’t bad enough, now we’re faced with Meghan Trainor’s evil attempt to throw all women back into the forties when they were nothing but kitchen hands in cute dresses waiting for their hunky hubby to come home with flowers. How on earth is the human race going to be able to withstand this crippling blow to our enlightened civilization? For those who havn’t heard it yet, “Dear Future Husband” is Meghan Trainor’s newest single. It’s a frothy little doo-wop confection laying down the terms between the singer and any man she marries. You can watch the video here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ShlW5plD_40.
Seconds after the video joined the long parade of internet offerings, people started complaining. There was this whiny manifesto from one mother who declares that her children will not be allowed to watch the video, because Meghan Trainor and the men in the video are subscribing to classic male and female roles. Then there was this piece of self-righteous drivel about how songs like “Dear Future Husband” “force unhealthy relationships” because they romanticize outdated gender roles. There have been many angry tweets along the lines of “thanks for sending us back five generations” and “nothing she writes is a feminist anthem”. This Evening Times article features a tweeter accusing Trainor of being a robot created to “reinforce the patriarchy through sexist propaganda”.
Why are all these people so upset over a pop star’s song and video? Let’s look into the anti-feminist charges being laid against Meghan Trainor’s “Dear Future Husband” …. Here are the complaints I’ve read so far: the video features Trainor scrubbing a floor and burning an apple pie, goofy men trying to please her in various ways, and lots of colourful fifties decor. Trainor sings about wanting her man to tell her she’s beautiful, take her on a date, buy her flowers and a ring, and treat her “like a lady”. In return, she will buy groceries (and “what you need”), and give him kisses and “special lovin'”. She admits she can’t cook, but mentions her musical talent. She playfully says she’s always right, so he shouldn’t even bother to disagree with her – and that they’re never going to see his family more than hers.
I have thirty-four years of experience being a woman, and knowing women. Guess what: lots of women scrub floors. If you have a floor, it needs to be washed on the regular. This is not a political statement, it’s a household chore. (A chore that, I admit, has not been performed recently in my house – hey, spills provide traction. I’m looking out for my family here!) Some women scrub floors for a living. I guess they’re really letting down the feminist front. Every woman I know loves to be told she’s beautiful, and welcomes tokens of affection like flowers and dinner out. And, yes, many women have chosen – or will choose – to accept a ring from a man, and embrace traditional gender roles. I guess we didn’t get the memo. We owe feminists everywhere an apology for blasting them back to the dark ages by living our lives the way we want to.
Wait a minute – isn’t that what feminism is supposed to be all about? Women living their lives the way they want to, with no justification other than that it’s what they choose? Maybe the perma-bunched-panties crowd I quoted above should leave other women alone and go write their own feminist anthem …. Meghan Trainor’s fluffy, sugary pop is what she wants to produce, and it should be her choice. Feminists should defend her right to it, but not many of them will – because, too often, people like the ones I quoted above make feminism more about conformity than choice.