Do you ever hear a song on the radio (particularly on the oldies station) that makes your skin crawl with its sexist lyrics? From mansplaining to slut-shaming, there's a seemingly endless variety of flavors of sexism in many rock songs. Read on for a few of the worst offenders.
The usually-awesome Carole King penned one of the most sexist songs of all time.
10. "Heart of Life" - John Mayer Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:"I hate to see you cry, lying there in that position/There's things you need to hear, so turn off your tears and listen."
Basically, he's saying, 'Shut up, girl, and listen to me because I know the ways of the world and you're just a little, crying baby.' Charming!
9. "Under My Thumb" - The Rolling Stones Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:"It's down to me, yes it is, the way she does just what she's told/Down to me, the change has come, she's under my thumb."
Though Mick Jagger has stated this song is a sort of broad joke at the caricature of a pushy woman, likening said woman to a pet, cat, and dog in the course of one song is a bit much.
8. "Run for Your Life" - The Beatles Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:"I'd rather see you dead, little girl, than to be with another man." (Though this line is actually taken from an early Elvis song called "Baby Let's Play House," written by Arthur Gunter, the rest of the song fails to improve.)
John Lennon also visited a similar vicious thread of jealousy in "You Can't Do That" and "Jealous Guy," but called "Run for Your Life" his "least favourite Beatles song" in a 1973 interview, noting that he regretted writing it.
7. "Wild World" - Cat Stevens Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:Aside from the entire chorus, "If you wanna leave, take good care, I hope you make a lot of nice friends out there, but just remember there's a lot of bad and beware." Thanks for the warning, dude!
I love Cat Stevens, but the worst are these man-splaining lyrics that address the woman like a child who doesn't know what she's doing with her life. There's probably a reason she's leaving, is all I'm saying.
6. "Girl, You'll Be a Woman Soon" - Neil Diamond Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:"Girl, you'll be a woman soon/Soon, you'll need a man."
Like a fish needs a bicycle, Neil.
5. "Little Town Flirt" - Del Shannon Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:"You can get hurt, foolin' around with the little town flirt."
Subtle slut-shaming at its finest, this song plays into the trope of the nice guy easily torn apart by the wanton actions of the uncaring "town flirt."
4. "It Must Be Him" - Vikki Carr Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:"Let it please be him, oh dear God, it must be him or I shall die."
If you're that desperate for the phone to ring, it might be time to think about ending that relationship.
3. "Cuddly Toy" - The Monkees Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:"You're not the only cuddly toy that was ever enjoyed by any boy."
Likening women to objects is never a winning strategy. Adding insult to injury (typed that as "inslut," ha) is the implication that the woman's no longer any good once once she's been "used."
2. "Young Girl" - Gary Puckett & the Union Gap Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:"Young girl, get out of my mind/My love for you is way out of line/Better run girl, you're much too young, girl." (Ew.)
This song skeeves me out in the worst way. It doesn't help that Puckett also recorded versions of "Dreams of the Everyday Housewife" and "Little Green Apples," two other skin-crawlingly patronizing songs.
1. "He Hit Me (It Felt Like a Kiss)" - The Crystals Most patronizing lyric:
Most patronizing lyric:Um, is the title enough?
Proof that a sexist song doesn't have to be written by a man, this charming ditty was penned by the usually awesome Carole King and her husband/songwriting partner Gerry Goffin. The icing on the creepy cake-- it was recorded by notorious serial abuser (and now convicted murderer) Phil Spector.
What would you nominate for the honor of "most sexist song of all time?" Add it in the comments!