It doesn’t take a guy who minored in Women’s Studies to get with chicks to tell you that there’s still sexism in America. Women earn only seventy-six cents for every dollar a man makes, manage only 15 of the Fortune 500 companies, and any given sitcom’s female characters all fall into the same four archetypes: bitchy whore, ditzy girly girl, insecure victim who plays aloof to avoid getting hurt, and frigid but successful businesswoman. There’s been progress sure, but when my high-school Biology teacher tells the class not to use the word “fetus” because it encourages abortion, it gives everyone a crystal-clear picture of how unequal things really still are. But if you’re still skeptical, Theory of a Deadman’s song “Bitch Came Back” off of their 2011 album The Truth Is… may just be about the biggest insult to feminism since the invention of the burka.
“Bitch Came Back” starts with the chorus, which explains to us that no matter how hard he tries, Tyler Connelly just can’t seem to rid himself of one particular ex-lover. We know they were previously involved, and that during this time, Tyler “liked her so much better” when she was “down on her knees.” We’re never entirely sure why Tyler hates her, except that she “wanted a ring,” and tried to make him “a dog on a leash.” He also gives us the solid dating advice that “all girls are the same” and that the trouble with them is that “love to complain and never shut up.” In an attempt to avoid this “bitch,” he turns off his phone, which only convinces her that he was cheating. Exasperated, Tyler finally kicks her out of his home and will not allow her back in.
What the hell in this song remotely suggests that this girl is a bitch? She’s a bitch because she likes spending time with you, Tyler? When all you want out of the relationship is for her to give you oral sex, you’re lucky that “bitch” even wants to be in the same fucking room with you. And, Jesus, quit lecturing us with your crap about how women are all nagging pains in the ass. Your opinions on gender roles are about as enlightened as the Facebook posts of a newly single fourteen-year-old boy, and the worst part is that you should be a grown-ass man by now. You can’t even have the high school attitude of “girls-are-either-virgins-or-whores.” You just have the attitude of “Women are crawling all over me at all times but I should hate them for no reason. Woo! Kegger!”
Despite a lot of richly hilarious bigotry, my favorite line of the song is when Tyler addresses the girl, apparently an avid fan of his music, by informing her she’s “so fucking stupid, (she’s) probably singing along.” To be fair to her, Tyler, she is at a Theory of a Deadman concert. She can’t be that smart. You might write sexist bullshit to make money, but that takes ten times as many brain cells as it does to want to buy this sexist bullshit for some reason. It can’t be that every single person who purchased this song is fully aware of how insanely misogynistic it is, but number eight on the Billboard charts? Christ Jesus. “Ahab the Arab” was less offensive than this. It’s not like anyone’s buying this shit for the music- if you want an Alice in Chains ripoff, you could just, I dunno, turn on the fucking radio. Anyone who actually listens to these lyrics has to hear what it says and agree with it, and the fact that enough people did that to make it number eight on the Billboard charts is just genuinely scary. I know our society has enough generalizations and blanket statements, but one more can’t hurt: if you listen to this song and think its lyrics hold any truth, you are either a fucking moron or a fucking asshole. Maybe I’m a romantic blinded by crazy idealism, but I don’t think we have to live in a world where a woman is either a complacent cumbucket or a “bitch.” So to the drunken fratboys that make up Theory of a Deadman’s entire fanbase, please, just listen to any other generic post-grunge asshole rock band, and let’s not legitimize sexism like this so much.
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