Summary: America’s top singers prepare their fans for life without romance. For a feminist world of loneliness spun as liberation. But the songs are great and thrilling! See tomorrow’s follow-up post: Less sex for young men points to a new world.
The bolts are popping out of American society, as the machinery that ties us together disintegrates. Marriage evolves into shacking up (more fragile, worse for the kids). Dating evolves into hook-ups. But even those crude and dysfunctional relationships are too difficult for America to maintain. The hot new trends are men-going-their-own-way and women setting courses that will keep them alone for most of their lives (more about this tomorrow).
Art is a mirror of our soul, and a tool we use to help us navigate through life. Pop music shows how women prepare for the crash, deciding that the lemons of their lives will be lemonade.
Before we look at 21st century romance, let’s look at what it once was. Ignore ideology and value judgments. Consider just utility – the value of marriage and human happiness. Compare then and now, which system worked better?
“Being in love” sung by Shirley Jones.
From The Music Man (1962).
“And I would like him to be more interested in me
Than he’s in himself and more interested in us than in me …
Him I could love ’til I die!
Being in love–what a lovely dream!
And yet, somehow
Being in love’s only half of what I’m longing for now
And so then
Tonight I’ll be in there dreaming
And hoping that someday there’ll be
Somebody being in love with me.”
Flash forward to our New America
Pop stars are employing their great talents to preparing young women for the fruits of fourth generation feminism ( the search for dominance over men, not equality with them). “Love” means being strong, not vulnerable. “Love” means having your own way, with no hint of compromise. “Love” means “me first.”
To appreciate the message in these songs, apply a test used by second generation feminists: in your minds, reverse the gender – then evaluate the message. They give a different impression!
How will life work out for the fans of these stars? Time will tell. I’ll bet on “not well.”
“The Greatest Love of All” by Whitney Houston (1985).
Released in 1985. Since 2010, 128 million views on YouTube. Perhaps she was a role model on the screen, if not in real life.
“Everybody’s searching for a hero
People need someone to look up to
I never found anyone who fulfilled my needs
A lonely place to be
And so I learned to depend on me
“I decided long ago never to walk in anyone’s shadows
If I fail, if I succeed
At least I’ll live as I believe
No matter what they take from me
They can’t take away my dignity
“Because the greatest love of all is happening to me
I found the greatest love of all inside of me
“The greatest love of all is easy to achieve
Learning to love yourself
It is the greatest love of all …”
“Worth It” by Fifth Harmony (2015).
This has had 1.7 billion views on YouTube.
“Give it to me, I’m worth it
Baby, I’m worth it
Uh huh I’m worth it
Gimme gimme I’m worth it
Give it to me, I’m worth it
Baby, I’m worth it
Uh huh I’m worth it
Gimme gimme I’m worth it …
Just gimme you, that’s all I wanna do
And if what they say is true
If it’s true, I might give me to you …
Come harder just because
I don’t like it, like it too soft
I like it a little rough
Not too much, but maybe just enough …”
Guys should calibrate that “rough” nicely, or you’ll be in trouble. Full lyrics here.
“Thank you, next” by Ariana Grande (2018). 346 million views on YouTube.
Ari sings about her four great love affairs (she is 25 years old). At the end we learn she has at last found someone worthy of her!
“I ain’t worried ’bout nothin’
Plus, I met someone else
We havin’ better discussions
I know they say I move on too fast
But this one gon’ last
‘Cause her name is Ari
And I’m so good with that.
She taught me love
She taught me patience
How she handles pain
That shit’s amazing. Yeah, she’s amazing
I’ve loved and I’ve lost.
But that’s not what I see
‘Cause look what I’ve found
Ain’t no need for searching, and for that, I say
Thank you, next …”
“Love Myself” by Hailee Steinfeld (2015). 250 million views on YouTube.
When I get chills at night
I feel it deep inside without you, yeah
Know how to satisfy
Keeping that tempo right without you, yeah …
I’m gonna touch the pain away
I know how to scream my own name
Gonna love myself, no, I don’t need anybody else
I’ll take it nice and slow
Feeling good on my own without you, yeah …
“Out of the Woods” by Taylor Swift (2015). 147 million views on YouTube.
“She lost him. But she found herself. And somehow that was everything.”
“Beautiful” by Christina Aguilera (2002). 109 million views on YouTube since 2009.
“I am beautiful
No matter what they say
Words can’t bring me down
I am beautiful
In every single way …
“Yes, words can’t bring me down… Oh no.
So don’t you bring me down today.”
“Love Me” by Katy Perry (2013). 18 million views on YouTube.
“No, there’s no more questioning
I’ll be the one defining who I’m gonna be …
You’re gonna have to take a back seat
I know I have to love myself, the way I want you to. …”
“Miss Me More” by Kelsea Ballerini (2017). 6.1 million views on YouTube.
“I thought I’d miss you (when it ended)
I thought it hurt me (but it didn’t)
I thought I’d miss you
But I miss me more …
Full lyrics here. Note her portrayal, quite common in music videos these days.
See tomorrow’s post about life for men in the new world
Science provides the data and pop stars provide advice for a time when Less sex for young men points to a new world.
Films show the new nature of “romance”
Films are mirrors on which we can more clearly see ourselves and our society. They provide the cheapest education available outside a public library.
- “Mockingjay” shows us a Revolution in Gender Roles. What’s the next revolution?
- A new hot trend from Hollywood: women hitting men.
- Recommendation: nine of the best American romantic films.
- Modern movies show the hidden truth about romance & marriage: they’re dying.
- Disturbing next steps in the gender revolution – films showing romance as women breaking men.
- Classic films show what marriage was. Facts show its death.
- Christian films show the feminist revolution’s victory.
For More Information
Ideas! For shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon.
The key post describing America today: A new, dark picture of America’s future.
- The coming crash as men and women go their own way.
- Romance is dying. Intellectuals no longer find it funny.
- America’s men and women, alienated from our true selves.
- The coming crash of marriage: why, and what’s next.
- Millennial girls had a golden age. Gen Z’s inherit wreckage.
- America begins its post-marriage experiment.
- Becoming a post-marriage America: see the stories!
- Science tells us why the family is dying – And about the results.
- Women’s self-esteem: boosted to their self-destruction.
- Liberated women still need men. – Who knew?
Books to help us understand these great changes
Premarital Sex in America: How Young Americans Meet, Mate, and Think about Marrying Mark Regnerus, professor of sociology at U Texas-Austin (2011).
The War on Sex by David M. Halperin and Trevor Hoppe (2017).
Cheap Sex: The Transformation of Men, Marriage, and Monogamy by Mark Regnerus (2017). For more about this great book, see Cheap Sex is the Inconvenient Truth in the end of marriage and Misadventures of a young woman in modern America.
Sociologist Lisa Wade spent five years studying the ‘hookup culture’ for her book American Hookup: The New Culture of Sex on Campus (2017). Her conclusions are weird and disturbing.