“For a Boy”
Written by RaeLynn and Laura Veltz
More childlike than childish, there’s a sweetness to RaeLynn that reminds me of a young Taylor Swift. The talent is there but the life experience is still trailing behind.
She’s simply too green for me to take seriously her low level of expectations for both genders. “For a Boy” is decently constructed, has a production that recalls SHeDaisy, and she sings it just fine.
I have absolutely no interest in ever hearing it again, but I’m way too old to be part of the audience she’s targeting anyway. I’ll check in again once she’s put some miles on the odometer.
The thing is…RaeLynn’s 20 years old. She’s turning 21 in a couple of months. 16 year old Taylor Swift was writing stuff that blows this swill (which is a huge improvement on the retrograde, anti-feminist garbage that she calls “God Made Girls”) out of the water.
I mean, Swift’s debut had Tim McGraw, Teardrops, Should’ve Said No and Our Song (and Picture to Burn, which I actually don’t mind), as singles. Whatever you think of Swift’s voice (and I think it’s a damn sight better than RaeLynn’s), the songs she wrote as a 14-16 year old blow this stuff out of the water in terms of both specificity and depth.
For reference, when Swift was RaeLynn’s age, she had just released an album featuring Ours, Sparks Fly, Dear John, Mean, Mine and Back to December.
I’m sorry she can’t sing this song is garbage the situation with women needs to get resolved but Raelynn is not the answer. The production is bland. Her voice makes me wanna throw things. She just arghhh out of any voice protege they choose this talentless girl. I’m not personally attacking her just she’s not country her music is pure pop. At least she didn’t release Better Do It that songs garbage.
I wasn’t a super fan for “God Made Girls”, but I fail to how “God Made Girls” was anti-feminism. Maybe to a radical professor or two or a Barbie hater. It was just a simple song about how girls can bring magic with simple actions. Not girl song has to be how she can exact revenge on trucks, be above a guy, or show how she can throw down a beer. It is alright for a female singer to celebrate feminine charms. Without girls, most trucks would remain unwashed and the girl described in the song sounded like a fun girl to date. Sings in the car, goes to church, blows my mind. etc. “God Made Girls” didn’t set any new lyrical boundaries, but the song wasn’t attempting to extend the frontiers.
“For a Boy” is a decent teenage girl song. I wouldn’t listen to it regularly, but I am not the target audience. At least, she feels more authentic than Taylor Swift. Because, lets face it, she is a Taylor Swift replacement.
As soon as someone mentions “radical professors” and “Barbie haters”, they’ve pretty much dismissed themselves as anyone to take seriously in a conversation about feminism.
Don’t you need to get back to auditing the hemlines of Ashley Monroe?
Come on, Kevin. That’s a straw man argument.
You think that directly quoting someone is a straw man argument?
Or are you agreeing that having a conversation about feminism with someone who dismisses it as “radical professors” and “Barbie haters” would, in fact, be arguing against a straw man because the opposition has so little a basis in reality?
First off, I didn’t dismiss feminism as the sole property of “radical professors” and “Barbie haters”. I said that only radical feminists and Barbie haters would dislike the song. Not all feminists are radical, obviously. Second, I am currently in college and I would bet my last dollar that many of my English professors would hate the song (if they heard it) on the basis of feminism, or accurately radical feminism. (I hate the term feminazi, it is completely juvenile and internet-like. Usage of the term eliminate your argument in my opinion. People need to stop comparing everything to Nazis.)
I have had classes with those English professors. And I have seen the bull crap people write about Barbie dolls. My mother grew up on Barbie dolls and as she told me, she never wanted to look like one. There are those people/social critics who hate Barbie dolls. I am not writing fantasy. I have sat in classes with those professors and saw articles on Barbie dolls. “God Made Girls” is just a simple song about the positive, sweet things girls can do. Good grief. It is not an anthem designed to keep women in the kitchen.
I mean, there are worse hemlines to audit. Perhaps my eyes were drawn to the cover art because of my Catholic school experience. Once a year, there was the skirt speech and for a week, the skirts were lowered to the acceptable level set by the school and a week later, the skirts went back up.
And there were others (or one) who mentioned the short skirt too. I didn’t dismiss her music, but anyone has a right to comment on the cover art. The comment reads like I called her a slut or a tart. It was a short hemline. Then again, I am pretty conservative when it comes to fashion for men and women.
If you don’t find the lyrics
“Somebody’s got to wear the pretty skirt
Somebody’s got to be the one to flirt
Somebody’s got to want to hold his hand
So God made girls”
(the lines that open and close the song) profoundly troubling, I honestly don’t know what to say to you, man.
There’s a different problem that I guess I see in this song and RaeLynn: both happen to be mediocre, in the way that far too much of today’s music, country and pop alike, is. The lyrics are very bland, and RaeLynn’s voice, like that of one Taylor Swift, is just irritating to my ears.
It’s one thing for a song to be really terrible, but mediocrity is what really kills–and unfortunately, this song and RaeLynn herself both fit that definition in the same way that I find so much of Taylor Swift’s output still does. The fact that she happens to be 20, going on 21, can no longer be used as an excuse–not after the dozens of other female singers who started out at that age and sounded far wiser beyond their years.
What is exactly profoundly troubling about them? They are coming from a young singer who is singing what a lot of girls think. Somebody has to hold each other hands and pretty skirts and flirting are all good in moderation, like most things.
To me, lyrics about killing a cheating spouse or carving italics in a two-timing boyfriend’s car, or flashing headlights into your ex-girlfriend’s house are more troubling than fluff lines about being with a boy in a fairytale manner.
I agree that the song is mediocre. It is a nice, utterly forgettable song. I love fluff and escapism songs, but this song isn’t clever enough for me to remember it. I just cannot see how it is a danger to feminism.
Because those lyrics explicitly state that the only reason God created women is to titillate men. The only value of the female sex, according to those lyrics, are to wear pretty skirts (for boys to look at them), to flirt (to make boys feel good about themselves) and to hold boys hands (to provide voluntary physical contact).
I live in Atlanta, though, so maybe I’m not far enough South to view those lyrics as anything other than horrifying, infantilizing and anti-feminist.
I didn’t care for “God Made Girls” in the slightest, but I do enjoy this one. Hardly substantial, but it is insanely catchy and her voice doesn’t bug me much on this record.
I suppose the way “For A Boy” and “God Made Girls” are written, one could conceivably detect a certain catering to male pre-conceptions about women: and while I wouldn’t go as far as calling it horrifying or anti-feminist (which I definitely would with respect to bro-country), I will agree that it is infantilizing in a rather alarming way. And again, the rather bland nature of RaeLynn herself, both visually and vocally, doesn’t help.
See, I don’t find it anywhere near as upsetting when a guy sings about how “he’s gotta get him some of that” as I do when I hear a girl singing that the only reason for the existence of the female sex is to gratify men.