Chances are you’ve seen the video and you’ve listened to the lyrics and you’ve caught on to the clever quips directed towards specific pop culture icons. You understand the parallels and sense the sarcasm and appreciate the overall message Lily Allen is making when she cleans rims and trades balls for tits and has asses shaking by her face.
Too bad she’s only adding to the inequality she so adamantly attempts to defy. With one lyrical string alone, highlighted with enough visual stimulation to kill a horse, Lily Allen reinforces the same debilitating dichotomy she’s parodying.
“Don’t need to shake my ass for you cuz I’ve got a brain.”
This line alone, Lily, doesn’t break that glass ceiling you so beautifully sing about. Emphasizing the ridiculous notion that women can either be smart or sexual, but never both, polarizes the female sex while simultaneously destroying the multiple facets that comprise their existence. A woman’s sexuality does not add or subtract to her intelligence, and visa versa. A woman can shake her ass like Miley on Molly and still read Nietzsche and know Don Quixote and be fascinated by Faust. A woman can rock six-inch stilettos and show off her stems while dancing on a table and still carry on an intellectually stimulating conversation.
Society allows a man’s individuality to bleed into the multiple realms of existence without thought or question. A man can be physically fit and have an invigorating sex life and graduate with honors from a pristine university, get this, all at the same time. A man isn’t forced to choose between the surface-level descriptions we apply to human beings in the inane attempt to categorize those around us. If you inhabit the world with a penis in tow, you’re a being with untold levels of impossibly complex traits. If you’re unfortunate enough to be toting a uterus, you’re nothing more than a simplistic, one dimensional entity.
You. Must. Choose.
Women, you can either twerk to your heart’s content or be intellectually competent, but never both. If you do shake your ass or wear provocative clothing, whatever that means, or embrace your sexuality as one part of the many parts that comprise your whole, you clearly have a staggeringly low I.Q. Men can flaunt a woman’s sexuality as nothing more than a pretty little play toy, labeling themselves savvy business men fully aware of how successfully sex sells. A woman, however, cannot flaunt even her own sexuality without the other facets of her personality taking a hit. Her intelligence will diminish and her morals will be lacking and her ability to be trusted will falter.
It’s the quintessential yin and yang of inequality. A give and take that suffocates the beautiful complexity that defines a woman’s existence. A dichotomy that keeps women right where society wants them: labeled.
So yes, Lily. It’s hard out here for a bitch. And sweetheart, you aren’t helping.