I received the following as part of a larger email this morning:
Here’s one I never saw coming. I was getting ready for section — sort of standing in the mirror wondering if my jeans made me look fat — when I heard a familiar country singer on the radio: “Inside every cowboy, there’s a lady who’d love to slip out.”
Country songs on the topic of homosexuality are rare. I know Garth Brooks did one back in 1992 called “We Shall be Free” and some country stations refused to play it. That song just had a few controversial lines.
Well, this is 2006, and now there’s Willie Nelson’s song, with lyrics like: “Now I believe to my soul that inside every man there’s the feminine And inside every lady there’s a deep manly voice loud and clear Well the cowboy may brag about things that he does with his women But the ones that brag loudest are the ones who are most likely queer.”
Now, I’m straight, so maybe I can’t comment on this, but it doesn’t seem like a positive thing, to say that a gay man is really just a woman trying to get out. That’d be a transgendered person, not a gay person. Right? And while I realize that we do stereotype hypermacho men as being closeted homosexuals, that’s a stereotype, and doesn’t strike me as a hard/fast rule. I can’t really see why people are saying this is a good song to be getting exposure – it’s perpetuating several myths about what it means to be gay.
What do you think?
I haven’t actually heard the song in question, but the lyrics quoted above are more about gender roles than sexuality. The implicit assumption is that traditionally masculine traits are inherent to males, and likewise with females. That deep, loud, clear voice coming from a woman? Must be her masculine side coming out, right?
Further, possession of these traits by the “wrong” sex must indicate some degree of homosexuality. This song manages to be wrong-headed on both sides of the debate.
It’s so close to being good, but it really does conflate gender roles with homosexuality, perpetuating stereotypes in the process.
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