I’m interested in how the media portray women within society, as the recent outcry at the song ‘Blurred Lines’ by Robin Thicke, emphasised the prejudice and negative attitudes that still exists towards women. In this article I’m using the example of lyrics to Nelly’s ‘Hey Porsche’ to explore similar ideas.
Nelly an American hip-hop artist released his new single ‘Hey Porsche’ on February 19th where at its peak it reached the top ten in the UK, New Zealand, Ireland, Hungary, Belgium, Austria and Australia. But is this song about a Porsche as innocent as it’s made out to be?
The lyrics are metaphoric consisting of many comparisons between his type of car and his type of women, a notion that regurgitates the misogyny of a much older quote;
‘Women are like cars: we all want a Ferrari, sometimes want a pickup truck, and end up with a station wagon’
The song showcases the importance of physical features whilst objectifying women in the process. The appearance of his ‘Porsche’ is a stereotypical male preference of a female’s body over their mind. Also, the fact that a car has no living personality as it’s compared to a woman emphasises this objectification, as a car is picked on its appearance and wealth.
‘I wanna take your top off’– ‘I don’t need nobody’s permission’.
In the music video, he’s just met this women for the first time and wanted to try and ‘get with her’ after seeing her from the ankle down in her stilettos from under his Porsche (in this context he is genuinely under a Porsche- HAD to just clarify that!).
The chorus; ‘I wanna try ya’, he wants to have sex with her then if he’s not satisfied he can dump her because he’s just giving her a ‘try’, the word signifies a lack of commitment and a lack of love, not to mention no romance; ‘let me take you home just for a weekend’. The question that the woman is faced with is will she go with the guy or stand her ground. This woman in the video represents women in general, so it stereotypes women as well as objectifying them, therefore giving the power of choice to the man where the woman has little control over the decision.
The women decided to leave with the guy…
I think its important to consider that there are girls open to this type of relationship. These girls submit themselves to this type of man, reasons for this can be explored in underlying issues of insecurity, peer pressure- to make them feel like they belong, which could be caused by their home-life, if they’re not getting the right support, love and attention at home, or to survive; generally girls that adhere to these types of guys aren’t as happy as they could be if they were in a long-term exclusive relationship, or staying single, which I think is better than being with the wrong guy with wrong intentions.
Why is this demeaning view of women still acceptable to publicise in the media today?
‘Let me go under so I can work on work on you’
Young children would innocently think that this song is about a car, where they could potentially be running around the playground chanting these lyrics, as the staff choke on their cups of tea. In this case, the song’s prejudiced message is an example of how these types of ideas and images can diffuse into our society seamlessly and just become ordinary within our way of life, consequently people can become less customary to protest against these views and messages, as people abide sub-consciously to the ‘new normal’.
I don’t think every song has just one interpretation, there is no right or wrong view or opinion; for example I do think the song could be trying to inform society of how a majority of men act towards women, the song could be trying to tell us that our society has become corrupted with sex rather than love. Also another take could be the fact that the song has two meanings; either about a car or a woman, there’s more than meets the eye, in society, civilisation and life- to encourage people to think more and question other people’s actions.
I would like to leave you with this message, lyrics again that just say it all; ‘Where is the love?’;
‘Wrong information always shown by the media, Negative images it’s the main criteria, Infecting the young minds faster than bacteria, Whatever happened to the values of humanity, Whatever happened to the fairness in equality.’
Hannah is a student at Cirencester College currently studying A-levels including English Language, Drama & Theatre Studies, and Biology. She enjoys creative writing and acting. ‘There’s a drive in me that won’t allow me to do certain things that are easy’.