The Shocking Reason Millennials are Binging on Songs about Binging on Drugs
Holly Wood, PhD 🌹
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The fear-mongering of the feminine has been going on since the dawn of time — from Eve in the garden to the first “witch” burnt at the stake — and continues to this day in both big ways and small, like on playgrounds where little boys mock other little boys with lines like “you throw like a girl.” But make no mistake, this state of affairs is bad for everyone, especially the young, women and men alike. As someone who could never understand nor relate to the value and status society places on male promiscuity, I always thought it funny that the “freedom” you spoke of in “now we can bone like the boys” feminism was exactly as you pointed out: no freedom at all. I’d laugh to myself and think “why would anyone wish that upon themselves?”

And while the empty sexualization of American society does different harmful things to boys, I think you’ve really hit on something with the multifaceted nature of it in regards to women. While I was taught to feel like less if I hadn’t done this or that with a girl, whether doing this or that with a girl made me feel completely empty inside or not, women have the added bonus of the whole “but this is what you wanted, right?” angle. You’re sad? Lonely? Empty? Too bad, it’s what you wanted. Society allows me (in small ways) to acknowledge that my male problems with intimacy can be blamed in part on society. But for a woman, it’s her fault that she got herself here and hers alone. Hence the coping mechanisms, the search for a numbing agent…

And I will say this about the music choices. It’s pop music. And pop songs, by their nature, are rarely confessional. They can be, on a level, but because they are products first, they operate like any other product: they’re aspirational. Which is the saddest part about it all. Because whether these lyrics are genuinely felt by the artists or not , someone (and I’ll give you a hint: it’s men) saw the demand for such supply, and is now packaging this heartache and selling it back to the very same demographic most likely to be feeling this hopelessness. Instead of offering anything close to cathartic or empowering, it offers commiseration (at best) and permission (at worse), with a side order of dreamy synth and some four-on-the-floor. “Sorry ladies, this can’t actually help you. But you can dance to it!”

What’s that line in Fight Club, the one about the soap… “It was beautiful. We were selling rich women their own fat asses back to them.” How fitting that The Narrator, the personification of modern male concerns, would so flippantly find such a scheme against women “beautiful”…

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