HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Topics » Gender & Orientation » History of Feminism (Group) » What do you think?

Fri Sep 11, 2015, 11:49 PM

What do you think?

Many people think the #1 song "Cheerleader" by OMI is a particularly good example of sexism in modern and mainstream pop culture.

Here's the song if you want to listen; if not, you can just skip ahead:

It's a pretty reasonable conclusion, actually. This is a good piece describing why:

While many people are predicting that Britney Spears and Iggy Azalea's new single, "Pretty Girls," will be 2015's Song of the Summer, recently, another contender quietly entered the ring: OMI's "Cheerleader." Mic reports that the infectious track was originally released back in 2012, but it didn't take off until 2014 when it was remixed by German DJ Felix Jaehn. Jaehn's rework of "Cheerleader" just went No. 1 in the United Kingdom this week, and according to Digital Spy, it's also topped the charts in Australia, Belgium, Denmark, Germany, the Netherlands, and Sweden. Is the United States next? It certainly looks like it. There's no denying that "Cheerleader" is incredibly catchy, but unfortunately, its sexist lyrics are likely to leave a bad taste in your mouth.

"Cheerleader" isn't nearly as overtly sexist as 2013's Song of the Summer, Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines," for example, but it's still troubling. The breezy tune finds OMI, a 28-year-old singer, gushing about the woman of his dreams: a beautiful "model" who cheers him on from the sidelines and lives to serve, granting his every wish "like a genie in a bottle." Awww, that's so... barf-inducing?

Of course, there's nothing wrong with cheering on/supporting your partner and doing things that make them happy (obviously) — but a relationship is a two-way street. "Cheerleader's" notion of an "ideal" girlfriend is a woman who essentially remains in the background at all times, only emerging when her boyfriend wants something ("motivation," lovin', etc.), which is, you know, terribly sexist. The single's entire vibe just doesn't sit well with me.


But then I read this piece, which is really quite an excellent rebuttal and an entirely different take on it. It was a well-written and thought-out essay, and was quite clear.

This, when compared to the “supposed-to-be-liberating-but-is-actually-berating” All about that Bass by Meaghan Trainor actually makes you realise how important physical appearance is in songs, when in reality love is love and we can’t just box one thing as sexy and the other as not worth a damn. In Meaghan Trainor’s adaptation of throwing feminism right back to the 50’s there is absolutely no mention of a personality in there whatsoever. Instead she glorifies her own body image and berates an entirely separate one. In the process, collateral damage hits the hetero male population as she renders them unable to appreciate women for anything other than “a little more booty to hold at night”. Perhaps, for a fantasy or one night stand. But I think if those “skinny bitches” offer up more personality, love and support than her shallow “booty” – let’s give men more credit for most probably choosing the former for a long term partner rather than the latter.

So perhaps in our real relationships, hearing our partner say something like “All these other girls are tempting” as he declares his love for us may result in a few pursed lips. But so what? He’s being honest. He’s not throwing some bullshit our way to put a smile on our face and trying to sell us the old chestnut of “With you, I don’t even see other women!” or “But I’ve never noticed your best friend in that way, but I suppose now I think about it I agree she is quite pretty, not really my type though”. He’s stating what we all know deep down, and that is we do indeed notice other people even when in loving relationships. We can’t just adapt our sexual orientation to be on our partner, we’re not programmed that way. And yes there are people out there that don’t care about you, or your relationship and will attempt to make some moves regardless of your partners relationship status. He’s telling us that these women are tempting, but in the grand scheme of things he’s hit gold, so why would he trade for something meaningless.

I may feel like it’s one of the most liberating love songs of my generation, but that doesn’t come without miles and miles of potential for other songs to override it. Female singers have been breaking the barrier since the 80’s with songs of promiscuity (so much that it’s become a stereotype in itself) and focus on male sexual objectification. Why has it then taken so long for male singers to try breaking the barrier of wanting love and commitment from women they consider their equals rather than a inspiring sexual object to own?


I think she ignores some cultural context and her emphasis on is on different parts than my analysis would be, so I disagree with her overall conclusions. But I thought it a good example of two different and valid perspectives on mainstream music.

1 replies, 1698 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 1 replies Author Time Post
Reply What do you think? (Original post)
F4lconF16 Sep 2015 OP
DonJohnson Jun 2016 #1

Response to F4lconF16 (Original post)

Sun Jun 5, 2016, 09:28 PM

1. No, not at all


Absolutely not. If anything, it depicts the woman as a person to be loved, embraced, held tightly, etc. If you think stay-at-home moms are weak tools who are abused and objectified on a daily basis, conclusions of objectification in this piece might seem marginally justified.
Is it an overplayed, vapid, redundant song, like most put out by the corporate radio? Maybe. But particularly sexist? Not in the least.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread