Monday, December 01, 2008

Britney Spears "Womanizer"; playing the blame game?

I guess I question the motivation behind this song simply because of the apparent hypocrisy it conveys. I have to say that this song and it's music video do nothing to promote respect for women, but to the contrary they actually degrade women to as little as objects for the use of men (the definition of a womanizer is a man who has numerous casual sexual encounters with multiple women - *paraphrased). This video is about how she won't fall for someone "like that", yet she dresses (or undresses) and acts in a manner that encourages just this action from a man. So really who is the womanizer? Is it the man who responds to the enticement, or the woman that encourages the behaviour?

If you don't demand respect by appropriate actions, you shouldn't be surprised when you don't get it. Unfortunately this undermines efforts of women throughout the ages who have worked tirelessly to advance the status of women without the use of sexuality, but based on a woman's abilities.

The thing that disturbs me the most about this video is really the message it sends out to men that tend to "prey" on women, and by this I mean the ones who don't require consent to fulfill their desires. This song and video just scream conflicting messages that could be very dangerous in the long run for women.

There is also a number of relational problems I see arising from the mentalities I see on both sides of this song and video. Foremost is the possibility for long term productive and fruitful (meaning mutual love and respect) relationships. Let me analogize for a moment; if I see a commercial for my favorite restaurant I may want to go out and have a meal, but it doesn't make me feel like going out and buying the establishment. (You know, the whole "why buy the cow when you get the milk for free".) This promotes a fragile shallow relationship which is easily broken by the next "commercial" that offers something different.

I haven't even come close to touching on all the issues I saw in this song/video, but I can break it down to simply saying that you have to "*honestly" respect yourself if you want others to have respect for you.


(* I used honestly here to accentuate the fact that we must all be aware of our own faults and self evaluate ourselves critically to become a person worthy of respect for ourselves through moral actions and attitudes. We cannot expect that we should receive respect just because we are alive, because respect is really not a human right but a privilege we enjoy when we we contribute positively to society.)