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Times They Are a-Changin’

A new spark of discussion is emerging in regards to the infamous song: “Girls” by the Beastie Boys, with a redo on the song from a feministic perspective called: “Princess Machine”. A classic song where the speaker rebellious and freely goes throughout the song saying the different ways that he likes girls, largely based on biological and social bases*(see bottom for more concerning this).

The song stands out because it is not a song of bravado, nor of a hyper-romantic ballad, which makes it pretty boyish. Maybe a guy version of Cyndi Lauper’s “Girls just wanna have fun“. A song where a person denies the responsible ways in which they know they should develop, instead celebrating the “younger” qualities within themselves.

But “Princess Machine” a reinterpretation of Beastie Boys’ “Girls” seems to transcend the topics of both Cyndi Lauper and Beastie Boys; seemingly intending to speak rebelliously about the perception of women, definitely under the assumption that women are socially forced to behave in a overly confining way, but if they were just given more “range” in what people expect of them, then this will trigger a stronger interest in women to be more involved in scientific fields, engineering in particular.

The whole song in itself is interesting if for nothing else, than how rebellious and articulant it is about its position – and how smoothly it intentionally contrasts and almost ridicules the original version made by the Beastie Boys.

Still, here are some lines that stand out in particular:

“Girls, pink and pretty it’s girls; just like the 50s its, girls; You like to buy us pink toys, And everything else is for boys”

“We are all more than princess maids”

“Girls to build the spaceship, girls to code the new app, girls to grow up knowing, they can engineer that.”

Some of the responses to this video are what would be expected in our modern times, that being in the supportive (no pun intended) light such as:

“For all with daughters out there, if you haven’t seen this ad for engineering toys aimed at girls yet you should.”

and

“As soon as my two daughters have got their heads around the keyboard it’ll be time to hit codecademy.com. Christmas I reckon :)”

My main takes from this song include:

–        Advocacy is always very respectable in my book, especially if they are speaking on behalf of a “silenced” group in society

–        If a woman feels that she is being depraved of an opportunity just because of a social stigma, then that should be put on blast so they or their posteriors can move past this hurdle

–        To say that women who are not interested in engineering “don’t use their brains”, forms a silencing and shunning of women who don’t choose engineering paths

–        If our society continues to define: “freedom” and “respectable” and most importantly, what’s “valuable” under the context of European men from the 1700’s and maybe 1950’s, then we will never see true progress:

A truly equal society doesn’t force everyone to become self-absorbed individualist who live to help their money and financial status grow. If there are differences within ethnic cultures i.e.: blacks/Africans valuing community and congruence; Asians valuing ethics, and Europeans valuing money and individualism, then they should all be able to let each culture flourish.

And if women value maintaining a harmonious society and family, and men value the expansion of a society or family, then both genders being able to define what is valuable to them is necessary for a truly equal society. With of course the option for individuals to prefer something outside of their culture or gender norms if they so choose.

(This generalization aren’t meant to establish biases or generalizations, but instead establish that there are different things to value and all are very important)

* Examples of biological ways:

“All I really want is girls, and in the morning it’s girls” – This representing that biologically drive that any heterosexual man has towards women. Him explaining that its not the he has fell in love with a particular female who has made him want to be in a relationship, but that he innately see’s the existence of females in itself as something that’s desirable, in the morning part of how he structures his day being based on the said drive.

“I like the way that they walk…and I love to make them smile.”

Again, descriptions that transcend intellectual reasoning in its authenticity, as a man he has qualities within him activated just by watching the feminine posture and walk of a female. Furthermore he desire to make, no particular girl smile, but girl smile, for reasons that probably do not translate into a gender neutral explanation, in that its a domination sort of thing and doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with the quality of the girl or not.

Examples of Social ways:

“Girls (chant), to do the dishes, to clean up my room, to clean up laundry, and in the bathroom”

This obviously having more to do with the relationship between him and his mom, and the qualities he likes about her, which of course in our society is almost like a cardinal sin to say a guy appreciates in a woman.

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