What’s sex got to do with the “Girl in a Country Song?”

Maddie and Tae came out with this song that talks about the stereotypical “girl in a country song”. As the song came on the radio in my car I found the beat and music really catchy but as I turned it up and listened closer, I was taken back a bit by the lyrics. I was expecting another repetitive country song about pick-up trucks and drinking beer but as the song played out, it turned out to be just the opposite. The song’s lyrics actually critique the stereotypes of country music and the way that it lately objectifies women. The lyrics point out the frequent reference to a girl that is described solely in terms of appearance. The lyrics bluntly describe how the girl in a country song has been objectified in this generation. Some lyrics include :

Bein’ the girl in a country song
How in the world did it go so wrong?
Like all we’re good for
Is looking good for you and your friends on the weekend
Nothing more
We used to get a little respect
Now we’re lucky if we even get
To climb up in your truck, keep my mouth shut and ride along
And be the girl in a country song

This part of the song highlights the way that the girl is depicted as having a sole purpose of satisfying the male gaze. The singers also express their frustration with this throughout the song and some of their lyrics include a “fight back” attitude.

I hear you over there on your tailgate whistlin’ [*whistle*]
Sayin’, “Hey girl”
But you know I ain’t listenin’
Cause I got a name
And to you it ain’t “pretty little thing”, “honey” or “baby”
Yeah it’s drivin’ me red-red-red-red-red-red-red neck crazy

Well shakin’ my moneymaker ain’t ever made me a dime
And there ain’t no sugar for you in this shaker of mine
Tell me one more time, “you gotta get you some of that”
Sure I’ll slide on over, but you’re gonna get slapped (Hah!)
These days it ain’t easy being that

The video also emphasizes all of these concepts as it gives a visual representation of what the girl in a country song stereotypically looks like. There is a twist when the video shows how the roles could be reversed and depicts the males in the video being sexualized and emphasizes how ridiculous it all is. This song and its video definitely relate to multiple concepts we have addressed in class. Both reinforce hetereo-normativity as it assumes that the girl is attracted to and is trying to please males and that the males are attracted to this girl. The song also reinforces gender identity as it describes the female in a bikini and curt-off shorts and the male drinking beer and driving a truck. This song really stood out to me as relating to our course concepts and really touched on the objectification of women that I hadn’t previously recognized in such depth occurring in country music.

One thought on “What’s sex got to do with the “Girl in a Country Song?”

  1. Most country music I’ve heard on the radio in the past year has supported the theme that women are pretty little things who are there to be whatever the male singer wants: arm candy, a decoration for the shotgun seat of his truck, a dancer who will shake her booty for him, or a goodnight kiss. Maddie and Tae challenge those objectifying stereotypes and call them out directly by incorporating phrases from other songs (ie “I gotta get me some of that” and “shakin’ that money maker” -Thomas Rhett). Maybe the bro-country artists hadn’t quite realized the extent to which they were stereotyping women in their songs, but now, being called out on it, they won’t be able to get away with it quite so easily.


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