I am not a big fan of country music. In fact, I once quit a job at a convenience store during college because they would only play country music and I couldn’t freakin’ stand it. That said, I happen to love a lot of country songs—particularly older ones—and I went through a really big Garth Brooks phase in elementary school and junior high.
Sure, the twang bothers me, and the stupid lyrics, and the misogyny (there are only so many songs about getting women drunk to have sex with them that one can take); but many country songs and particularly country singers (Toby Keith and Brooks and Dunn come to mind in particular) help further political agendas that oppress other people, and I’m pretty damn sick of it.
Look, country people, who other people sleep with, whether or not women get abortions, and whether or not gay people can have the same rights as straight people are all not your concern unless you are one of these people—and even then, you do not have the right to force your own caveman beliefs on the rest of humanity. Don’t support gay marriage? Then don’t marry someone of your same sex. Don’t support abortion? Don’t have one. End of story.
Today I heard about yet another homophobic country rant, this one courtesy of Blake Shelton, who tweeted another version of the Shania Twain song, “Any Man of Mine,” with lyrics that suggest a man who touches his behind will end up beaten and bleeding (visit the link for his full, despicable tweet). Shelton first gets defensive when people ask him if the show he co-hosts, The Voice, is okay with him being homophobic. He goes on to whine about how he’s being policed, how he meant it from a female perspective (he claims that since the song he “parodied” was by a female artist, it should have been evident, which is completely stupid; from now on, all parodies are hereby in the voice of the person the piece is parodying, not the author him or herself, okay artists? We’ll call it the Shelton principle.), and how everyone is overreacting about it.
Really, how could anyone not take his comments as a violent anti-gay statement? This isn’t Shelton’s first time under fire for making “gay jokes” (because they are like, so funny, hardy har har); just a month ago he made fun of Jake Gyllenhaal for breaking up with Taylor Swift, citing Brokeback Mountain as the reason (along with Reba McEntire, someone I’ve actually liked listening to in the past). Shelton has since apologized and has asked GLADD for help in fighting violence against the GLBT community, but he can’t erase these comments—and he can’t make me believe for one second that his apology is heartfelt after adamantly defending the comments before giving in, likely to the demands of the people who run The Voice. I’m glad I wasn’t a fan in the first place, since that means I won’t have any trouble not supporting anything from this character.