Rock music means a song with a driving beat, the element of electric instruments, and a deep, strong vocalist. When diving into the politics of rock music, we find that misogyny and gender stereotypes tainted a good bit of it. For the purpose of reflecting on misogynistic rock songs, we’ve compiled a list of ten below.
1. Walk This Way, Aerosmith
Steven Tyler penned this song with a catchy electric guitar riff disguising the cringy lyrics. If you listen closely, you’ll hear how Tyler speaks about the underage girls in a high school he’s keenly interested in. Through each verse, he suggests the girls encourage him to come over to them and give him attention.
2. Stranglehold, Ted Nugent
The title of this Nugent song is quite literal. He experienced a breakup with a woman who no longer wishes to see him, but he won’t accept that narrative. Instead, he has the woman in a “stranglehold” after she left him.
3. Under My Thumb, The Rolling Stones
Here’s a stereotypical example of misogyny. “Under My Thumb’s” lyrics are as follows, “Under my thumb, a girl who has just changed her ways. It’s down to me, yes it is, the way she does just what she’s told.” Jagger assumes responsibility for the woman’s actions, implying that the girl’s behavior belongs to her boyfriend.
4. My Sharona, The Knack
Many music fans don’t realize the narrative of My Sharona due to the jamming guitar riff and addicting drum beat. “Ooh, my little pretty one, my pretty one. When you gonna give me some time, Sharona?” the lyricist opens the tune with a plead for Sharona to grant him the undeserved award of her time. Plus, he alludes to Sharona’s young age, leaving a bitter taste in my mouth.
5. Don’t Stand So Close To Me, The Police
This band is no stranger to writing creepy lyrics. “Don’t Stand So Close To Me” paints a portrait of a female teacher’s pet from a male perspective but then flips the script and blames the girl for nearing the man. Also, this song references the novel Lolita, which centers around a young girl’s relationship with an older man.
6. A Little Piece of Heaven, Avenged Sevenfold
The starting lyrics to this Avenged Sevenfold song assert dominance and property rights over a woman. “Is it such a sin to take what’s mine until the end of time?” After that confession, the vocalist describes how he dismembered, ate the woman’s heart, and preserved her body.
7. Dazed and Confused, Led Zeppelin
“Dazed and Confused” introduces the listener to a one-way relationship where the male narrator deals with a constant state of hazy confusion. That is red flag number one. Red flag number two comes with the second verse, “Every day I work so hard, bringin’ home my hard-earned pay/ Try to love you baby, but you push me away.” The female figure doesn’t have an opinion or a voice in this unrequited love.
8. Maneater, Hall & Oates
“Oh, here she comes, watch out, boy, she’ll chew you up. Oh, here she comes. She’s a man-eater.” All these songs share the idea that women are harmful, subservient creatures without thoughts of their own. However, these songs hurtled to popularity because infectious beats mask the controversial lyrics.
9. Down the River, Neil Young
“Down by the river, I shot my baby,” Young croons through the chorus. Young utters his lamentations, admitting he caused the death of his lover, and faces insurmountable grief.
10. Brown Sugar, The Rolling Stones
You can’t sugarcoat this one. “Brown Sugar” is about taking advantage of underaged enslaved women. “Brown Sugar, how come you taste so good? Brown Sugar, just like a young girl should, yeah.”
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