Friday, October 15, 2010

Is This a Dream?

I was in the office talking to the WRC’s AWESOME Administrative Assistant about things going on with me, with school, and life in general. Now one of the things that is constantly on the back of my mind is the WRC blog (yes, it does indeed consume my life) and what I’m going to write. Therefore, it’s no wonder that we started discussing my blog for this week….

So, because of my unhealthy obsession with blogging, and having taken note of Katy Perry’s new-ish song “Teenage Dream,” I knew I’d stumbled upon my next blog topic. Listening to it as I’m cruising around town in my red 2000 Saturn Station Wagon (Can anyone say Hottie??), I had begun to seriously enjoy the song. In hearing the lyrics (those which I could understand, so about ½ the song), I was sure that this song was very sex positive and all about women making the choice of “going all the way” and finding their voice to speak up for what they want.

Getting back to talking with the WRC’s Administrative Assistant, I found out by watching the YouTube video that had the actual lyrics on it that Ms. Perry is not sending as sex positive and empowering message as I had thought. Maybe it was my car speakers or maybe it was my lack of hearing that got in the way of me clearly hearing the song for what it was (both very possible and realistic). As soon as I finally discovered that Ms. Perry was advocating not only sex but drinking before sex (which can constitute rape in the state of Illinois) and women essentially surrendering herself to the man who makes her feel like an actual person (which anyone you're dating should respect you regardless of whether you're having sex or not) I was no longer in favor of the message of this song.

Now I know that Ms. Perry is pushing sex to a younger group of listeners (primarily teenagers), but teenagers have sex regardless of whether we want them to or not. Instead of making sex a passive part of society and something that is looked upon in shame, society should be instilling values that make teenagers and young people (and even older generations) discuss and think about sex before acting upon their desires. This helps make sex an active and responsible part of a person’s identity.

Lessons learned: 1) Don’t trust you crappy car speakers (or your crappy ears), 2) Listen to ALL of the lyrics and understand their meaning, and 3) Question what you aren’t sure of, which may require listening a few times to truly understand what’s being said and allow you to assess or critique that message.

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