If you haven't had a chance to watch the video for "Literally I Can't"
(featuring a collaboration by Redfoo
, Lil John
and Enertia McFly) you might not understand just how misogynistic it is. That's alright: collaborator Redfood helped make the video and he doesn't seem to understand just why it might be offensive, either. All he's got to offer in the face of a slew of criticism are a few Tweets
proclaiming 'facts' such as "I love and respect women and feel they are the most powerful people on this planet!" and "the word 'slut' never appears in the lyrics."
As you might have gathered for yourself, these are weak arguments even by the normally suspect standards of Twitter. Redfoo seems to know it, too, and so in a last ditch attempt resorts to the weakest and most clich of all artistic arguments: "some get it, some don't." "[We] made a comical party song to satirize the clich #LiterallyICan't," he offered, and if the song had stood on its own or if the music video had been staged differently this might hold true. But the fact of the matter is that the video is what it is: a story about women who enter a frat house and are barked at, propositioned (at one point one of the Neanderthal frat boys leans in and wheezes, "girl on girl?" with unmistakable suggestion) and insulted with cries of "shut the fuck up!" (when it should be noted that the only time they talk is in response to such suggestions; meanwhile the rest of the all-male crew is free to rap on and on) until all but their "stuck-up president" are converted into "girls gone wild" (quotes as per the video's description on youtube).
I don't accept that Redfoo is dumb enough to believe that an appeal to original intent is a valid argumentative tactic or that the absence of the word "slut" somehow exempts his song from accusations of misogyny (how often is the word "bitch," thrown around in this song, after all? Does the lack of a single word excuse all of the imagery?); I also don't believe, as some do, that this is the worst song of the year or that he should be removed from his position as a judge on the X-Factor Australia (well, not on the weakness of his moral fiber, anyway). What I do believe is that some artists should be a little bit more willing to admit when they've done something stupid and just issue a simple apology, accept that there's some level of personal growth that needs to happen and then work to better themselves and their work. These kinds of reflexive, ill-formed "defenses," as well as the simpering apology
of other, insincere artists, are growing tiresome. Not that you expect the most insightful political discourse from this lot but you might except self-awareness