Stop! In the name of misogyny!
I've been on a bit of a girl group kick lately. Nothin puts a spring in your step on an otherwise bland morning like a little number from The Crystals. But as I've been listening to this stuff more and more, I can't get over how downtrodden these women are, or at least, how downtrodden Phil Spector makes them out to be. Let's take a look, shall we?
Things start out mildy pathetic with The Chiffons' "One Fine Day." A hopeless crush that seems to be the single point of focus for this poor woman. "One fine day you'll look at me and you'll know our love was meant to be." Slightly psycho, and a little sad. I suggest moving on.
Moving on. Lesley Gore's "It's My Party" is one of the saddest, most maddening things I've ever listened to. So, it's your birthday. Your boyfriend, Johnny, not only avoids you beforehand when you're looking for him, but shows up at your birthday party with some other chick (Judy, that skank), in his ring (!), where they proceed to dance and canoodle right in front of your face. What would a sane person do? Kick them out! Kick Johnny in the daddy place and never speak to him again! But no. Little miss Lesley instead cries and longs to dance with Johnny again someday.
Laura Sessions Stepp: take note. The Shirelles released "Will You Love Me Tomorrow" in 1960. Hook up culture has been around for a long time, lady. And, I just kind of have to point out, that light in his eyes -- it's probably not the "light of love." If you're doin what it sounds like you're doin, it's probably a whole different kind of light.
Now, though there were other offenders, as discussed above, the queens of begging, pleading and generally having no sense of self worth were Diana Ross & The Supremes. Holy crap!
"Baby please don't leave me... now that I've surrendered so helplessly, you wanna leave me." So, once the thrill of the chase is gone, he's out the door and you're guffawing and hickuping at him to get him to stay. Poor thing.
There doesn't seem to be a real standard of good treatment for these poor ladies. "Oh how I need ya... but all ya do is treat me bad. Break my heart and leave me sad. Tell me what did I do wrong to make you stay away so long." You're a dick, but it's totally gotta be my fault. Can I fix it? How can I fix it?
And not only do you not have to be interested in these girls, or nice to them, you can cheat on them and not even try to hid it and they'll keep on loving you! "Baby I'm aware of where you go, each time you leave my door... I watch you walk down the street, knowing your other love you'll meet."
At this point, they've been heartbroken a lot, but still define themselves by the love of a man. "How many heartaches must I stand before I find the love to let me live again. Right now the only thing that keeps me hangin on, when I feel my strength is almost gone, I remember mama said, 'you can't hurry love.'" Just wait for it. You'll find a man and therefore have a reason to live, eventually.
They go and find some balls with "You Keep Me Hangin On" -- at least they're pissed and not putting up with it anymore. But whoops, "Love Child" -- too late! And then, there's the anthem of eternal hope to reuinte with your baby dady in "Someday We'll Be Together."
Now, I'm not saying that talking about our lovely lady lumps is a good thing necessarily, but we've come a long way. Those songs were catchy as hell, but those beehives must have done a number on self confidence.