11 votes

Country Hits Increasingly Objectify Women and Glorify Whiteness

11 comments

  1. [4]
    junya Link
    I used to really like mainstream country music. However, I haven't been able to listen to any country radio stations for 6 years because all the songs just started to sound more and more like...

    I used to really like mainstream country music. However, I haven't been able to listen to any country radio stations for 6 years because all the songs just started to sound more and more like overmanufactured pop and for the reason outlined in the article. Once Florida Georgia Line came out with their first song I basically gave up on commercial country.

    A couple years ago Steve Earle said that country music is now "hip hop for people who are afraid of black people". Based on what I hear now when I briefly listen to commercial country music, I would agree. Except actual hip hop tends to be better.

    The good thing is that there's a lot of good alternative country out that seems to buck the trend an I have unlimited music through my phone.

    10 votes
    1. [2]
      ras Link Parent
      This is exactly my situation. I used to love radio country but I gag when I hear it today. You're correct about alternative country. It's funny that the music that sounds most like what I grew up...

      This is exactly my situation. I used to love radio country but I gag when I hear it today. You're correct about alternative country. It's funny that the music that sounds most like what I grew up with as country music is called alternative country today.

      5 votes
      1. junya Link Parent
        Yeah it seems a little bit ridiculous honestly. My SO used to swear up and down that he wouldn't listen to country. He was pleasantly surprised when I showed him the "country" music I grew up...

        Yeah it seems a little bit ridiculous honestly.

        My SO used to swear up and down that he wouldn't listen to country. He was pleasantly surprised when I showed him the "country" music I grew up with.

        I was thinking about this a bit more, and my problem with the current mainstream country is that it really doesn't take the best parts of any music genre. Instead, it takes generic pop sounds and puts it to "country" sounding lyrics.

        I have a lot of respect for bands like Gangstagrass as they at least seem to blend the best parts of rap and bluegrassy country to make something, while unconventional, quite good.

        6 votes
    2. culturedleftfoot Link Parent
      The labels have essentially applied the template that made rap music the new pop to country, making the stuff on radio nauseatingly homogenous... which just amplifies exactly what the article (and...

      The labels have essentially applied the template that made rap music the new pop to country, making the stuff on radio nauseatingly homogenous... which just amplifies exactly what the article (and Earle) is talking about.

      Then, there's the whole Old Town Road mess.

      3 votes
  2. [2]
    Cananopie Link
    I am a lover of all genres of music and even have quite a collection of older country music (often termed outlaw country today). But it does not take any knowledge of music to recognize how...

    I am a lover of all genres of music and even have quite a collection of older country music (often termed outlaw country today). But it does not take any knowledge of music to recognize how corporate and bland country music has gotten. The play on nostalgia is hard. The music is beyond predictable. Rural life is more than the tropes of cigarettes, alcohol, trucks, tractors, horses, and women in the same easy-to-profit-from pop country variants. Even the people I know who listen to that stuff, having grown up and lived in a rural area, often have no genuine appreciation of music and use it to fill an empty space otherwise. This statement might be strong and I'm willing to hear out counter arguments but I think being a fan of modern country is a character flaw in and of itself.

    6 votes
    1. Akir Link Parent
      This is personally why I can't stand this kind of country music myself. I've heard many complaints from people in the South upset thinking that people in the rest of the US think they are idiots....

      Rural life is more than the tropes of cigarettes, alcohol, trucks, tractors, horses, and women in the same easy-to-profit-from pop country variants.

      This is personally why I can't stand this kind of country music myself.

      I've heard many complaints from people in the South upset thinking that people in the rest of the US think they are idiots. But there is a whole genre of music filled with people glorifying a way of living that includes alcoholism, tobacco addiction, misogyny, and some bizarre power fantasy involving trucks and tractors. Heck, I'm angry they're being painted like this too.

      But honestly, this isn't just a problem with Country music. Look at pop music with their songs about sex and materialism. Look at how often women are objectified in rap. At some point you have to realize the problem is our culture, not our music.

      4 votes
  3. [5]
    mooseknuckle Link
    This article seems more like a thinly veiled attempt to paint country music fans as misogynistic racists than a substantive critique of modern country music. It attacks positive views of...

    This article seems more like a thinly veiled attempt to paint country music fans as misogynistic racists than a substantive critique of modern country music. It attacks positive views of 'whiteness' as a negative thing. Nothing wrong with being proud of who you are and what you look like, as long as you don't see yourself as superior to others.

    4 votes
    1. [3]
      NaraVara Link Parent
      The whole point of Whiteness as a construct is to see yourself as superior to others. If it was about being proud of who you are and what you look like then the focus would be on actual ethnic or...

      Nothing wrong with being proud of who you are and what you look like, as long as you don't see yourself as superior to others.

      The whole point of Whiteness as a construct is to see yourself as superior to others. If it was about being proud of who you are and what you look like then the focus would be on actual ethnic or cultural markers, like being Scotch Irish or being descended from folks on the Mayflower.

      Calling oneself "White" instead is just a way to set apart from everyone who is not. White has always stood in for "civilized" and put in opposition to the idea of a barbarian "other." The category expands and contracts based on who society wants to exclude. Irish and Italians didn't used to be White. Now they are because the previous WASP standard of Whiteness was too numerically small to maintain the hegemony. Now you see some tentative expansion of Whiteness to Asian Americans and some White Hispanics. It's not a culture in itself, just a fence erected around what the in-groups and out-groups are.

      9 votes
      1. [2]
        mooseknuckle Link Parent
        You make a good point. White isn't a culture or ethnic group, it's an artificial racial categorization. Reading the article, I understood the author's use of the term Whiteness differently than...

        You make a good point. White isn't a culture or ethnic group, it's an artificial racial categorization. Reading the article, I understood the author's use of the term Whiteness differently than you. I didn't think of Whiteness as an ideology or a class. I think of whiteness as a descriptive adjective of the physical characteristics of a person. I think the author does a poor job of clarifying this distinction.

        2 votes
        1. NaraVara Link Parent
          It's one of those things where the meaning has drifted between political tribes. Some people are versed enough in it that they don't feel the need to explain it any more than they need to explain...

          It's one of those things where the meaning has drifted between political tribes. Some people are versed enough in it that they don't feel the need to explain it any more than they need to explain how marginal tax rates work. But then you talk to someone who has never had to think about it and it's like "no no no. It's only applied to every dollar above a certain amount."

          3 votes
    2. mooseknuckle Link Parent
      That being said, I do agree that modern country music is overly-saturated with lyrics sexualizing women. The same formula is getting old.

      That being said, I do agree that modern country music is overly-saturated with lyrics sexualizing women. The same formula is getting old.

      1 vote