Monday, August 05, 2013

A Man Is Talking: Misogyny and My Faaavorite Music Videos

Editor's Note: The title of this post is a joke from "30 Rock," so please, not me.

Above is the video for a song called "Talk to Me" by an artist named Ms Voice. I first became acquainted with this song and artist and video when it was featured on television program "The Soup" last month. Let me see if I can accurately convey my feelings about it.

If someone told me that the next time I pressed play on Ms Voice's "Talk to Me," that someone random in the world would die, I would press play. If someone told me that I could either choose between finding true love or never listening to Ms Voice's "Talk to Me" ever again, I would hesitate for a really long period of time. If someone told me that they would take away my air if I ever listened to Ms Voice's "Talk to Me" again, I would probably try to bargain with them. Why?

Because my life is not complete unless I am listening to this song.

I wish I could explain it, but I really can't. I'm just addicted to this song. Watch it. Tell me it's not addictive. It's terrible in an objective way, but the component parts are strangely not half bad. Ms Voice's warble. The atonal piano. The subtitled beginning. The bras. Put my heart in fire. And leave it there to burn. I mean, it's terrible, and it makes me laugh until my laughter turns into singing and I find myself singing this song all over my apartment all night long to my neighbors' delight. However, one day when I was enjoying myself, I remembered that I felt this kind of love about another special snowflake that YouTube bestowed upon me one day. And her name is Gnesa.

This video has almost 4 million YouTube views so I'm pretty sure you've seen it, but I had to go back to it because while enjoying the stylings of Ms Voice, I realized that laughing so hard at these women doing their best to make a music video (and actually doing a pretty good job, have you made a music video, exactly) and doing their best to sing well (Ms Voice, true to her name, doing a much better job than Gnesa who sounds like when you sing along to a song at the club in the hopes that no one hears you over the music...) Anyway, I realized that in watching these videos back to back to back over and over again and laughing so much, that maybe what I was laughing at wasn't a good thing.

Was I laughing at the bad production values, which really for self-produced stuff online, is not that bad? Was I laughing at these women thinking they are really good, when they really aren't? Or was I laughing at something else? Was I laughing because these were women making themselves look foolish for me, a man? Was I laughing because I'm a misogynist? Am I a misogynist?

The reason I ask it in this way is because I, IN NO WAY, consider myself a misogynist. As a gay man, I don't consider myself anything that ends with "-ist": racist, misogynist, sexist, elitist, thinnist. I happen to love all people, especially women, and think that the rights of women are not only important for them, but for men too, FOR EVERYONE. Women are literally why we're all here.

The fact that in the US, women's rights are being attacked left and right makes me sick. It's something we all should stand up for not only because women are the majority on the face of the earth, but because they are human beings and being female shouldn't relegate you to second-class status and...

Lalalalalalaaaaaaaa Lalalalalalaaaaaaaa...

Sorry, I started listening to Gnesa again. Side note: I try to affect this look at right on an almost daily basis and never achieve this level of glamour. Can you see where my problem lies? Yes, I'm more than subtly making fun of these women, but not for their womanness, it's because they're so funny.

Right? Right?

Now, these two ladies do have other things in common. For starters, they are both seemingly singing with some kind of accent, except that I'm not laughing at that nor will I touch the implication of that with a 10-foot pole. They are also both beautiful in a conventional meets non-conventional way. The songs they are singing are also each ridiculously simplistic because who has time for verses and hooks when there are pillows to be dodged or laser effects to swirl behind your head. I think it's the combination of all these things that makes me love each of these ladies. But I'll leave it up to you. You'll let me know if I'm a misogynist, but before you do, let me make one more case for myself.

I think, and this is a theory, that I love these ladies so much (and one other lady who I think is insane so it's not as funny, except it's still kinda funny) is a direct result of me NOT being a misogynist.

I love that these women stood in front of the camera, and unlike reality stars or video girls, they decided that they had something to say, they wanted to sing it, and be damned if they didn't have a whole lot of talent, they were going to do it anyway because it was inside them and needed to come out. That's not a quality our society appreciates in women. Basically, society says do the opposite of stand up and sing. Instead, these women were being strong and courageous and said "Have fun with me while I perform this song and you're gonna like it." And you know what? I DO LIKE IT. I like them.

I think their work is great. And I also think it's hilarious, because it is, and there's nothing wrong with saying so because these women were strong enough to stand tall and as such, I have the right to laugh if I want to... I'm probably a misogynist, you guys, right?

NO! I just proved that I wasn't. Maybe you can help. Question Time: Am I misogynist for laughing at these songstresses? Why does there always seem to be a Rebecca Black (whom I follow on Vine, and whom is delightful), but too few William Hungs (whom I'm not linking to because no). Do women just have more of an ability to seem likeable and fun even when they're doing something possibly ridiculous and men don't, which is why goofy men's songs never seem as funny? Who else would see a double bill with Ms Voice and Gnesa? I would be in line TOMORROW.


Anonymous said...

Junior- you are right- the Ms Voice video is god awful. Watching and listening beyond the first 10 secs deserves a medal.

Junior said...

Then, I deserve about another 3 medals cause I listened again in the time it took me to write this comment!

I'm addicted!

Anonymous said...

Her new video is suck too. She is proving she's a hooker.

Junior said...

Thank Anonymous, for giving me something to watch 1,000 times until I can act it out in my sleep.

I know it's bad. I do. I DO. It's just too funny for me to pass up.

Anonymous said...

It's hard to deny these ladies. They just look so pleased and happy with their "result".
but also aye ca-rumba!

Junior said...

I know, Anon! They certainly are happy with themselves. And for that, I can't hate on them.

flavp said...

Dear Junior,

It's been such a long time since I last commented on your blog; however believe you me that I kept reading and enjoying every funny or tortured bit of it.

Funny? Because you are and God bless you for that!

Tortured? Well, at times... but what are blogs for if not to discharge the stuff life throws at us?

Anyhow, are you mysoginistic because you laughed at what these two women did? No.

If you were mysoginistic, you might have mentioned that the first one produced a song fit for a cheap, C-rated, amateurish porn BDSM video (I thought surely the cat was undergoing torture in the video; someone should signal this to whatever animal protection agency exists in your country) and the second one only got 4 million hits on You Tube because every sex-starved, nerdy straight guy (who couldn't get laid at that precise moment of time) was concentrating more on her undulating hips than at the way she was singing.

The fact is that it's great that these two want to be creative. However this is a free world and we have the right to say our own 2 cents worth of opinion (OK, maybe "opur" opinioon might be worth a bit more, you get what I mean!). You laughed and I groaned. This doesn't make us mysoginistic, at all!

Junior said...

Flavio! How are you?! Long time is right! I'm glad to know that you've been keeping up with the blog (the few posts I can think of to write) while hopefully enjoying your life.

Thank you for calling me funny before you called me tortured because it's the funny that keeps the tortured at bay!

I would talk about the videos, but I mostly want to know what you've been up to because I'm that nosy! Do tell! Sorry for all the exclamation points.

flavp said...

Dear Junior,

Well, what have I been up to? Lesse, you got a couple of hours? Just kidding.

Well, I published a Sci Fi story. That's right, I'm a self-published author, now, and my friends suddenly look at me with that sort of unwarranted glint in their eyes -- like I am some kind of god, or something. It's great... if a bit uncomfortable.

Still, I made them all by the book and I promised (not threatened, because I felt rather good about myself right then) to forget who they are if they would not read it. It works.

Other than that, life drudges on between "baby-sitting" customers at work and parents at home.

No Mr Flav yet on the horizon for me. It seems I am not sufficiently famous yet. I did have a couple of people at work (who are also gay -- yes, we are taking over the world one temp job at a time) who, from one day to the next, started calling me "their husband". I believe I have just solved all your problems, too, sweetie.

Write a book, bring it to work, force your colleagues to read it and, with nonchalance, drop a few lines from other obscure authors who have "inspired" you.

Suddenly, you are "husband" material. Now you can weed out those that are obvious "no, never in the world, am I ever going to think of getting together with you, despite your tight buns and your sky-blue eyes," and then you can nurture those that "show promise" (they might not be all Jake Gyllenhal look-alikes but they can be fashion trained).

There you go. This should give you and idea.

Love, Flavio.

Junior said...

Flavio, I'm working on a novel too so hopefully your advice will work on me!

Glad you're well and don't be a stranger!