Perhaps I should have written this post before the actual thing started but didn’t have time. I know a note on a 3-week absence would have been nice I guess. In any case, It turns out better post factum as I have actual memories on songs that popped up, and some considerations that came with them.
So I went on a road-trip with my husband and a friend the last 3 weeks. It was a real road-trip as most of the time was spent driving. We crossed the channel, drove down south-west and crossed into Spain, drove south and spent some days on the beach, drove again into France and took a break by the beach again (see our pattern here?), drove into Italy, across Austria, into Germany (taking a break at Oktoberfest), and back north, accross The Netherlands, into Belgium, back into France and finally across the channel and back home.
Needless to say a lot of music was listened to during the whole trip. When music was not being listened to, songs would pop-up from so much exposure. We had quite a lot of cds with us, including a couple of playlists but after a while options ran out. I mean, who has time to make a playlist for such a long trip? Seriously, do tell me if you do. Just for future reference.
Ironically, I had plenty of free time once we set-off. Maybe it was that but I finally understood what Cyndi Lauper is talking about in Girls Just Want to Have Fun. I guess it was the free time plus having read “How to be a woman” (Catlin Moran) recently.
Here I need to make a note on the fact that this was the first time I actually listened to the lyrics properly.
No matter how popular a song is, the way it is interpreted is always a very personal thing. Even if most agree with the song’s meaning, any interpretation lies ultimately with the listener. Some times I wonder if I am interpreting as the musician intended. Especially on more poetic songs. Some times, the music is happy and makes me feel like dancing but the lyrics are telling me something else: Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over, Arcade Fire’s Keep The Car Running or Bruce Springsteen’s Dancing In The Dark are just a couple of examples I have for you. Do you have any?
With Cyndi Lauper’s song, she’s very clear. There’s no room for misunderstanding. It’s a feminist and intervention song. She’s pointing to the fact that girls too, just want to have fun, simple, uncomplicated, fun. Of course, society’s tendency to interpret everything from the men’s point of view has resulted in most men and, I am afraid to say, women too, consciously or unconsciously take her words to mean that girls are available to please the boys. Fun from the boys’ perspective, not the girls’.
As a woman, as a feminist, with the knowledge women’s rights and freedom are not yet completely acquired, that equality with our fellow humans from the opposite sex has not yet been achieved, it annoys me when we do that. When we take a perfectly clear message and reshape it. It annoys me even more when I too, do that. Just automatically. I listened to her say “girls just want to have fun” and I automatically saw it from the boy’s perspective.
That’s our biggest challenge in our continuous attempt to equalize things between sexes: to get women to change their attitudes, to change our own socially manipulated brain.