I love songs from the 1960s.  The music was hap­py, the hooks were catchy and the singers could actu­al­ly sing.  Still, if you real­ly lis­ten to some of the lyrics to these tunes, you’ll also find a good num­ber of the songs to be ridicu­lous­ly sex­ist.  You can make the argu­ment that there are some songs just as sex­ist today, but I would argue that these mod­ern songs are not reflec­tive of how women are actu­al­ly treat­ed like ‘60s songs were (grant­ed, I wasn’t there… but I’ve watched Mad Men…).  Any­way, I have com­piled a list of the six most sex­ist songs of the six­ties (I could have cho­sen more, but I like the allit­er­a­tion too much), com­plete with the music, the lyrics and my reaction. 

Just to give some para­me­ters to how I com­piled the list, I basi­cal­ly looked at whether a song had gen­er­al state­ments of how men or women are, advice that ends up demean­ing women and if there were pow­er sit­u­a­tions that would not (or at least should not) exist today.  In terms of the music, it helped if the songs were guile­less, earnest, cheer­ful and not at all sexy (which is why the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb” is not on the list).  I will be post­ing a new song every day for the next six days, so, with­out fur­ther ado, here is #6:

 #6

That’s the Way Boys Are” – Leslie Gore (1964)

 

When I’m with my guy and he watch­es the pret­ty girls go by
Well it hurts so bad deep inside, I wish that I could die
Not a word do I say
I just look the oth­er way
Cause that’s the way boys are
That’s the way boys are

When he treats me rough and he acts as though he doesn’t care
Well I nev­er tell him that he is being so unfair
Cause he loves me and I know it
He is just afraid to show it
That’s the way boys are
That’s the way boys are

Oh, when he wants to be alone
I just let him be
Cause I know that soon enough
He’ll come back to me
He’ll come back to me

When we have a fight
And I don’t think that I’ll see him anymore
But before I know it there he is
Standin at my door
Well I let him kiss me then
Cause I know he wants me back
That’s the way boys are (repeat)

****

That’s the Way Boys Are” is basi­cal­ly a song that excus­es any bad behav­ior that your boyfriend com­mits as boys being boys.  Your guy fools around?  He treats you mean?  He leaves you only to come back when­ev­er he wants?  That’s the way boys are, and if you don’t like it, what are you going to do?  Date a girl?  In the case of the singer, Leslie Gore, yes.

#5>

3 Comments

  1. I think you should have also includ­ed Only Women Bleed by Alice Coop­er. It implies that women do noth­ing but mewl and sob over men that neglect and beat them and don’t do any­thing to retal­i­ate or get them­selves out of the sit­u­a­tion. Many of us are much stronger than that. I’m dis­ap­point­ed in you, Alice, as I’ve always liked your music otherwise.

  2. Leslie Gore also sang “You Don’t Own Me,” tho…

    I don’t k

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