Well, I teased it last week. I might as well say for real this time; I have no trust or faith left in Meghan Trainor as an artist.
What started as a few misgivings I noticed in All About That Bass devolved into anti-male insults in Lips Are Movin’ and again into outdated 50’s patriarchal family values in Dear Future Husband. But I feel that it’s her latest offering, NØ, that encapsulates everything wrong her message as an artist.
I could complain about how she’s sold out and traded in the 50’s classic rock sound for a generic ‘angry girl’ pop sound, but this isn’t about her sound. This is about the text and subtext of her work; what she wants us to do with our lives as a society and how she’s demonstrably wrong.
So let’s waste no time. I’m going to breakdown Trainor’s lyrics to prove that she A) genuinely hates men and B) doesn’t know how feminism works.
“I think it’s so cute and I think it’s so sweet/How you let your friends encourage you to try and talk to me”
Wait, that’s a charming trait to you? Most people I know would take having to be goaded to do something as a sign of cowardice or lack of character. It’s not an accurate assessment I grant you, but it is the prevailing knowledge.
Also, please remember this; it’s going come back to bite her in her bass (*obligatory reference achieved*)
“But let me stop you there, oh, before you speak”
You might want to remember this too because she’s about to make a bunch of snap judgments on this guy without exchanging two words with him.
“My name is no/My sign is no/My number is no”
Okay, so this is ACTUALLY a good message to preach. After all, it’s important for everyone – men, women, and otherwise – to know that they have the right to refuse to put up with sexual harassment. I have no problems with this. It’s how she’s going to try to preach this word that bugs me.
Also, and I realize how petty a complaint this is, but has ANYONE worth being taken seriously ever used the phrase ‘what’s your sign’ unironically? I’m sorry, but I hear people treat that like a legit pick-up line and want to immediately want to deduct 20 IQ points.
“First you gonna say you ain’t runnin’ game, thinkin’ I’m believing every word”
That’s a pretty big leap in logic considering you stopped him before he could even speak to you. For all you know, you left your purse at the bar after your third Long Island Iced Ted and he just wants to return it.
“Call me beautiful, so original, telling me I’m not like other girls”
You know what Meg, You’re right. I shouldn’t pay you unoriginal complements. I should just tell you that you’re a sloppy bitch with the face of a bulldog and be on my way.
I understand the feeling of being approached by an undesirable. I really do. But even I’m not such a dick as to throw a legit compliment back in someone’s face. Are you telling me there was no more gentle way to turn this guy down? ESPECIALLY when you consider that you know he’s already so emotionally frail and nervous around you that he needed his friends to encourage him to even speak?
Actually, no. You don’t even KNOW that he was going to pay you a backhanded compliment because you shot him down before he got a word out.
“I was in my zone before you came along, now I’m thinking maybe you should go”
Well, how the hell did I know what you wanted? I’m not psychic; I’m human. We talk and communicate in order to exchange thoughts and ideas. Are you seeing the problem here, yet?
Wait, this song implies that we’re at a club. If you didn’t what to socialize with people, why the F*** are you in a social setting? If you just wanted to get drunk and dance with friends, you could have done that with fewer interruptions and less money with a bottle of rum and your Spotify playlist in your overpriced seaside house in Nantucket, Massachusetts.
“Blah, blah, blah, I be like nah to the ah to the no, no, no”
You know what OTHER phrase makes me deduct IQ points from you? ‘Blah blah blah.’ Not only does it sound childish, but it also implies that the speaker is closed minded and unthinking.
Seriously, Meg, You would have been better off saying ‘Yadda yadda yadda’ at this point.
“All my ladies, listen up/If that boy ain’t giving up/Lick your lips and swing your hips”
HOLY S***, that is TERRIBLE advice!
Girls, listen to me. Generally speaking, directed lip-licking and booty shaking are signs of sexual interest. So when you flirt like that with someone and then IMMEDIATELY shoot them down, you aren’t being some unstoppable valkyrie; you are mercilessly taunting a total stranger.
Now, for the sake of argument, let’s say Trainor is right and this guy IS a massive douchebag trying to get in her pants. What do you think a large, aggressive, primitive thinking and sexually frustrated human is likely to do when the woman of his affections taunts him with the fact that he ain’t getting any?
… Yeah, let that sink in. And if it’s not you because there are too many people around to get away with it, he’ll find someone just like you.
Congratulations, Meg. You just made the Men’s Rights Activists look right. Now we have to deal with even MORE of their ignorant garbage.
“Thank you in advance, I don’t wanna dance/I don’t need your hands all over me/If I want a man, then I’mma get a man/But it’s never my priority”
Okay, I could reiterate how you don’t ACTUALLY know this guy’s intent and the paradox of being anti-social in a social setting, but this is significantly better. We’re back to the message of sexual independence and not owing anyone anything in regards to sex. Awesome. Can we stay on this path?
“I was in my zone, before you came along, don’t want you to take this personal”
Of course not…
Meg, when you flat-out admit that you knew how nervous I was to speak to you, make massive assumptions about my intent, and then actively build up my confidence just to break me down again, HOW AM I TO TAKE THAT ANY OTHER WAY THAN PERSONAL?
Also, please stop saying, “… in my zone.” You’re just reminding me of Kanye West and you have enough problems without being associated with an egomaniacal rapper… though that may be an apt description if you keep on the path you’re on now.
“I’m feeling/Untouchable, untouchable”
And speaking as someone who was routinely targeted by bullies throughout his public school life – including having his hand broken, being thrown head first into a concrete wall, and being wheeled out of school with a concussion – THAT’S when you need to be most on guard.
Nothing will get you in more trouble than acting like you’re indestructible. You start to overestimate yourself and are more likely to treat others as beneath you. All it takes is one person to get sick of your pompous B.S. and you’re headed for a fall.
Also, this bridge is infuriatingly repetitive. Like, to the point where it feels a lot longer than it actually is.
So, all that being said, how should you ACTUALLY handle a pushy prick at the bar?
Well, for starters, be on guard while maintaining a respectful atmosphere. Let them say their piece and if you aren’t interested, politely decline.
If they press the matter, don’t be afraid to seek help. This is something these Faux-Feminist anthems tend to leave out since the authorities that could help (bartenders and bouncers, in this case) are typically men. And, “we can’t have men around to aid the cause of women. That would make us seem hypocritical and won’t sell albums. Sorry, can’t hear your logic and legitimate concerns over the sound of all this MONEY!”
So to conclude the longest rant I’ve ever gone on, I hate this song and, by extension, the woman who sings it because they promote a ‘us versus them’ mentality to sexual politics, give potentially dangerous advice, and think that the best way to combat gender discrimination is to objectify the other side even more than what they were inflicting on you.
I can’t be the only one that sees the folly in acting like this; emulating the worst aspects of arrogance and cruelty found in the people we can’t stand. Even if you do buy into Trainor’s ‘boys are stupid; throw rocks at them’ mentality, do you really want to live in a world where the only way to be respected as a woman… is to act like a man?