I recently went on a very long road trip, and listened to a lot of radio. I decided to concentrate on Country Western music, even though it's not something I like very much. My assessment goal was to pay attention to the words and see what they say about life.
Most of the songs were about relationships. These are the stereotypes I came away with from country music:
A woman is small, beautiful and can "please her man." She looks great in jeans and a tank top. She can also be evil and conniving, but these are only the bad women. A woman seems to make serving a man her life's desire. What happens to her own dreams and goals?
Men are rough and tumble, bad at talking about feelings, jealous, and fall in love based mainly on looks - the looks of the woman make them weak in the knees, of course. Where is his desire to see the woman soar in her own life dreams? He doesn't appear to need to offer her any support in this area.
A person should be raised by a mama who is an excellent cook and homemaker and instills in her children a faith in God and loyalty to family.
I learned very little about dads.
Very little about real-life struggles except for occasionally romanticizing being poor (down to earth).
Nothing about same sex relationships.
Nothing about people of color - people are assumed to be white? It seems that women should be blond.
Nothing about social justice issues.
I heard ONE song with these lyrics by Kelsea Ballerini: "I miss me. I miss my dreams. I miss my wings." The woman in her song, apparently in hooking up with a man, gave up her own dreams and her independence. At least she is realizing what happened. Is he?
This made me wonder about the world view of country music listeners and about their politics. Do they really see the above descriptors as the ideal? Do they really think this describes the way the world should turn? Maybe this is one of the reasons why a certain t-man whom I shall not name rose to such power and remains as "God, Jr." in the eyes of his supporters. He epitomizes this life to them?
The thing is, I know and love people who listen to country music. I don't believe they hold these restrictive ideals for the roles of men and women. I am wondering how people can listen to country music all day long and not get sick and tired of its sameness. And I am wondering, do people who hold limited world views gravitate to country music? Does country music help mold limited world views? Or is listening to this music completely separate from one's politics and world views?
I may have offended some readers, and for that I apologize. You may have guessed that I, for one, will never be a country music super-fan.
(I do like bluegrass which, in my opinion, does include a wider world view and more inclusive perspectives. That's as close as I come.)