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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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116 Responses

  1. evil fizz
    evil fizz May 10, 2007 at 9:05 pm | *

    I’m so glad we’ve moved past Don’t You Wish Your Girlfriend Was a Freak Like Me.

    Hi, I’m Avril LaVigne and I am a whiny, overentitled twit who intends to parlay my *awesomeness* into the paradigm of unethical behavior.

  2. twf
    twf May 10, 2007 at 9:11 pm |

    I don’t mean to be all “but what about the mens” but one thing I hate about this kind of narrative, where someone “steals” a partner from another person, is how it portrays the “stolen” partner as an object without the ability to, y’know, consent, or choose who to date.

  3. amber
    amber May 10, 2007 at 9:14 pm |

    It’s amazing, after reading Packaging Girlhood, how easily it is to point out the horrid archetypes that girls have to look up to. I picked up that book after realizing that I was quickly running out of ideas to let my 5-year-old know that I would not be buying anything Bratz-related, and Avril Lavigne shows us that she’s in the same class as that brand.

  4. Alicia
    Alicia May 10, 2007 at 9:14 pm |

    wearing fishnets does not make you punk.

  5. Casey
    Casey May 10, 2007 at 9:20 pm |

    It’s weird, I thought the song was kinda cute for a while, but it’s really pretty damn rude to steal someone’s SO, and hey, once they dumped their ex for you, how do you know they won’t do the same thing to you? Also, with the blonde hair and really skanky clothes, she doesn’t look like GF material to me, and I think normally she’s pretty hot. Also, every time she jumped on that guy, did you notice the “eyes rolling into his head” look? Innuendo much? Pretty gross.

  6. Vanessa
    Vanessa May 10, 2007 at 9:21 pm |

    Plus, the song sucks. Give me Pink for pop-punk any day.

    Actually, give me Bikini Kill for real punk.

  7. Betsy
    Betsy May 10, 2007 at 9:27 pm |

    The whole “I’m a cool girl because I’m one of the guys” thing has always been a huge turn-off for me — it’s misogyny plain and simple, and while there’s nothing wrong with being a “tomboy,” there’s a lot wrong with conferring value on women and girls who reject other women and girls as stupid, silly and frivolous.

    This reminds me of how one second-wave feminist that I read a looong time ago (might have been Gloria Steinem, but I wouldn’t vouch for it) described her pre-consciousness-raised self: she said that before becoming feminist, she’d always believed in the “three-sex model: there’s men, there’s women, and there’s me.” She talked about how she would gravitate toward men at parties because they were the “interesting” ones, while women (other than herself, natch) were boring or stupid or frivolous. Feminism woke her up to how fucked-up that way of thinking was. I always really appreciated that article, and I love the phrase “three-sex model;” it seems to capture so nicely that kind of thinking.

  8. NewsCat
    NewsCat May 10, 2007 at 9:31 pm |

    Avril played both parts but I don’t think that excuses the video. I’m sure Avril thought it was “cool” to try acting (“look its so meta!”), and maybe in her own way she thought it was about a fight within herself. But the narrative of the video very clearly has “Avril” playing a bully. Yeah when I saw that video I couldn’t understand why anyone would “side” with her. It’s like siding with Paris Hilton.

  9. Betsy
    Betsy May 10, 2007 at 9:36 pm |

    And after watching that video, just, wow. I couldn’t help but be struck by what an inversion of the hot-woman-as-eye-candy-and-prize that dude was – all he did was smile and look pretty and then go make out with the girl that won the fight (as twf pointed out). I mean, especially the part where Lavigne gloated at the camera at the end as she’s about to do him – that’s such a gross male rock/rap star thing to do. How weird. And the girl who gets beat up never does anything wrong; her biggest crime is being nice and having poor taste in clothes. Preppy girls were the bane of my existence at a certain moment in early middle school (I mean really, they called me “dog” because I wasn’t pretty) but I still don’t identify with the sentiments of this video.

    /overthinking silly pop video

  10. Heraclitus (Jeff)
    Heraclitus (Jeff) May 10, 2007 at 10:02 pm |

    Initially I was all, “I don’t like your girlfriend”? Seriously? Then I got to the line, “She’s so ‘whatever.'” Then there was the rap portion, or whatever the hell that was (you realize you just made Fergie look really talented by comparison?). Pop culture is funny.

    As for the “punk” look–as my brother recently said, The Year of the Emo is upon us. Get your guns.

  11. BeaTricks
    BeaTricks May 10, 2007 at 10:05 pm |

    Yeah, the video was pretty mean-spirited. The whole “lets put the girlfriend in conservative clothes and glasses to make her look nerdy” thing was annoying, too. Of course, dorky bookworm-types deserve to be beaten up, right? The uncool must be purged!

  12. williamx
    williamx May 10, 2007 at 10:05 pm |

    I can’t believe I am about to defend Avril Lavigne.
    Firstly, it’s a pop song. It’s just so much fluff. It’s kinda
    catchy, but alas, I could not watch the whole thing.
    Second, Who has not had a crush on someone already attached?
    Lastly, isn’t high school the absolute provence of this kind
    of drama? It’s in the same vein as “My boyfriends back and your
    gonna be in trouble . . .”
    I suspect, amongst her fans, that tune is/will be well recieved.
    If that is true, what of it? I read she writes many of her tunes drunk,
    which tells me she doesn’t take herself too terribly seriously.

  13. Lorelei
    Lorelei May 10, 2007 at 10:07 pm |

    word on twf — you don’t ‘steal’ someone’s SO. yeah, it’s shitty to hit on someone who’s taken, but in the end it’s the SO who decides to leave.

  14. Michelle
    Michelle May 10, 2007 at 10:09 pm |

    I may be too many decades removed from high school to really get this revenge fantasy, but the idea that we’re supposed to cheer a revolution in which the ruling elite is replaced by creeps who enforce their will with golf-ball beanings seems like a perversion of the punk ideal.

    This isn’t even a “revenge fantasy”, technically. To want revenge, the person you’re getting back needs to have wronged you in the first place. In the video, it seems like all the preppy!Avril did was like the same guy emo!Avril did. (I’m aware girls in high school do things like that to each other all the time, especially when a guy is involved, but I can never see how the “other woman” is to blame in this situation.)

  15. evil fizz
    evil fizz May 10, 2007 at 10:09 pm | *

    Who has not had a crush on someone already attached?

    Well, I have never tried to bean my crush’s current S.O. with a well-aimed golf ball to the head.

    Just sayin’.

  16. Nick
    Nick May 10, 2007 at 10:11 pm |

    wearing fishnets does not make you punk.

    What?! Why the hell did I shave my legs, then?

  17. wren
    wren May 10, 2007 at 10:19 pm |

    I was mostly shocked by how inappropriate it felt for someone of the age Avril is IRL to still be re-enacting high school. Even Britney grew up more than that.

    Also I was worried about preppy Avril’s obvious concussion at the end.

  18. Galatea
    Galatea May 10, 2007 at 10:49 pm |

    Ai yi yi. That whole video is a trainwreck from beginning to end — “punk princess” Avril (she’s the Sid Vicious of her generation, y’all) bullying nerdy-looking girl while her strangely detached boyfriend hangs around looking dumb while his girlfriend is picked on… ech.

  19. MattC
    MattC May 10, 2007 at 11:09 pm |

    On all, substantive points, I completely agree. The video is awful, the message is even worse. Avril is about as punk as Paris Hilton.

    But here’s the totally insubstantial part: I LOVE THIS SONG.

    There I said it.

  20. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 10, 2007 at 11:15 pm |

    It’s in the same vein as “My boyfriends back and your gonna be in trouble . . .”

    “My Boyfriend’s Back” is about a guy who’s been telling lies about having fooled around with a girl while her boyfriend was out of town, and she’s gloating because her boyfriend is back in town and he knows the guy was lying and is going to beat him up.

    Different situation, but good try.

    (Yes, I looked up the lyrics. I is a geek.)

  21. Laurie
    Laurie May 10, 2007 at 11:24 pm |

    Couldn’t watch the whole thing. Seriously, that has to be one of the crappiest pop songs I’ve heard in forever. The opening line — “I don’t like your girlfriend” — made me think “Annnnnd, I should care…because?” Sadly, the song seemed to be about 50% that line repeated over, and over, and over. At least up to the point where I needed to turn it off.

    And sadly, the “let’s beat up/push around the nerdy girl and steal her guy” thing reminded me of my own jr. high experiences, sans the guy, of course. Bleah! No sympathy here. Can’t sympathize with bullies. She’s obviously playing down to the lowest common denominator in her target audience. I wouldn’t have been her target audience even when I was in high school. This makes Frankie Goes to Hollywood look profound.

    I am a dinosaur, I guess.

  22. Seriously
    Seriously May 10, 2007 at 11:30 pm |

    one second-wave feminist….described her pre-consciousness-raised self: she said that before becoming feminist, she’d always believed in the “three-sex model: there’s men, there’s women, and there’s me.

    Betsy, I was about to say the same thing about Jill’s post. Her comment about this form of misogyny hit home. I went through such a stage in my late teens/early twenties, as did a few other women I know. I had a hard time relating to some women, women who I saw as “silly” or “frivolous”..and I am embarassed to say I was quite nasty about it. We were the minority in our group of guy friends, and made fun of their girlfriends.

    In Avril’s defense, maybe she’s still in that naive stage. I grew out of it and wised up…maybe she will also?

    That being said, the video is a piece o’ poo. What’s with knocking the girl with the glasses?

  23. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate May 10, 2007 at 11:30 pm |

    From my memory of an old Bloom County strip:

    Opus: I was watching MTV the other day. They made a video for a song I really like. When I used to hear it on the radio, I would picture dolphins jumping playfully in the sunset.

    In the video, they had women cavorting around half-naked, and fireworks exploding .

    Now when I hear the song on the radio, do you know what I picture? Half-naked, exploding dolphins.

    I’m not really a fan of Lavigne’s music, but I saw her perform this song on SNL, and I liked it.

    Now when I hear it on the radio, I’m gonna think of half-naked exploding dolphins.

    When I was a kid there was no MTV, and the music was better because of it.

    And get off my lawn.

  24. Erin PD
    Erin PD May 10, 2007 at 11:38 pm |

    Is she DANCING in this video? Good God. What the hell happened to her?

  25. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 10, 2007 at 11:50 pm |

    Almost off-topic: I was thinking the other day that I’d love to hear some rocker chick remake “Jessie’s Girl.” But I don’t think there’s anyone out there right now who could do it right.

  26. Pinko Punko
    Pinko Punko May 11, 2007 at 12:28 am |

    IBTP.

    She’s been put in a marketing box and that is that, she’s playing the game and making the money. I find it tiresome, but it’s kind of like ripping on the sun for coming up in the morning. And she sounds like she’s been autotuned to death, I’m not even sure she is real. Maybe a robot?

    Poor Avril. Maybe she will have a freak out and drop a horribly reviewed but interesting crazy record.

  27. Jessica
    Jessica May 11, 2007 at 12:38 am |

    IMHO, Beth Ditto could rock “Jessie’s Girl”

  28. Angie
    Angie May 11, 2007 at 1:29 am |

    Encouraging this kind of self-hatred (because that’s what this IS telling teenage girls: you’d be so happy with that awesome, perfect *guy* if it wasn’t for that other *girl*. She’s to blame! In other words, hate yourself, attack the female aspect.) does nothing to address what happens when that charming and assertive fella leaves black-haired Avril for blonde-Avril after blonde-Avril beans black-haired Avril with a golf-ball. Who’ll be to “blame” then? Clearly, yet another female, thus prompting redheaded Avril and black-haired Avril to swear up and down, “All girls are just such back-stabbing bitches, you can’t trust any of them!” And wait until blonde-Avril is left for brown-haired-Avril!

    (and let’s not forget we can tell what a tight-ass the other girl is because she wears glasses. And pink. Which, clearly, is the sign of a weak mind. Coming from the lyricist who is shouting with glee, “I’m the motherfucking princess!” Yeah, no mixed signals ’round here.)

  29. Soren
    Soren May 11, 2007 at 1:51 am |

    to what twf said

    It’s really very traditional.

    When a guy cheats/leaves with another woman it’s always her fault. If not then it is his former partners fault for not being hot enough.

    That is why single women are so dangerous, because they are out to steal your man, so as a woman in a relationship you have to stay clear of single women.

    The men have no fault because they are just following the sex, and since sex is something women have, they have no concious choice in the matter.

    The video is nothing new. Its the same stereotypes of many a traditional love story, the only difference being that Avril casts herself as the hussy who steals the man, in stead of being the woman scorned.

    The focus is, just like Jill said, on the fact that women are each others enemies.

    Try reverse gendering the video in your head an what little sense it made before disappears. We wouldn’t buy a man clubbering down another man to get at his girlfriend. It just wouldn’t work.

    Only because we “know” that hussies steals men in this fashion do we buy the concept.

  30. TallyCola
    TallyCola May 11, 2007 at 1:58 am |

    Has anyone noticed that black-haired Avril is dressed exactly the same as the dude? So she’s basically supposed to be a female version of him? Is this some sort of alternate universe gender switch where everyone ends up making out with themselves? Because I’d be a little freaked out if guy-me showed up randomly to harass my boyfriend.

  31. Isabel
    Isabel May 11, 2007 at 2:17 am |

    K, you can take away my feminist card if you want, but: I love this song. To death. It is my new happy place. It makes me want to dance around. I plan to play it–and the rest of the album as soon as I get a chance to buy it–all summer long, bopping my way around town. Antifeminist? Sure. Bad message? Duh. Completely inane? Of course.

    But I love me some trashy pop music.

  32. Heraclitus (Jeff)
    Heraclitus (Jeff) May 11, 2007 at 2:38 am |

    Okay, I’m sorry, and I know this makes me really mean, but I just have to say, that song sucks. I don’t mean to diminish others’ enjoyment of it, I really don’t, but if people are going to say it’s good, someone in this thread has to speak the truth. I’m a horrible, meanie-bo-beanie person, but I know crap music when I hear it.

    Has anyone noticed that black-haired Avril is dressed exactly the same as the dude?

    To quote my brother again, my source for hi-larious emo-bashing, it’s apparently customary for emo boys to wear women’s jeans.

    I don’t know how I ever got along without the word “emo.” I referred to “today’s emo youth” in my facebook profile, much to the outrage of at least one member of said youth. I remember the exact moment the word entered my vocabulary. A student had been talking about how her favorite characters in Dostoevsky novels were always the darkest and most disturbed (which is really saying something), and I asked her if her favorite super hero was Batman, what with all the brooding. She said no, it was Spiderman, but Peter Parker was also so anguished. At that point her friend, a bright but somewhat mordant student, suddenly chimed in, “Yeah, but Peter Parker is such an emo bitch!”

  33. Interrobang
    Interrobang May 11, 2007 at 2:39 am |

    I’ve kind of got to take that “three-sex model” and run with it. Despite being female, I don’t identify as a “woman” because I don’t like what that connotes in terms of performative gender. I don’t identify as a “man,” either, incidentally. I don’t particularly like people who perform cisgender “woman” or “man,” since they always make me think, “Do you have to act like a caricature?” To me, gaining the freedom not to act like a gender caricature, to redefine both “man” and “woman” away from the revolting patriarchal stereotypes, is one of the most important goals of feminism.

    I think all that applies equally to both the semi-mythical Western-culture genders, which makes me a straight-up misanthrope, most likely.

    To the point, I definitely blame the patriarchy for that song.

  34. iain
    iain May 11, 2007 at 3:05 am |

    Am I the only one who assumed that the song was supposed to be satirising the speech, attitudes, etc. of the main character, revealing her to be mean-spirited, inarticulate and vain? I thought that lines like ‘She’s like, so whatever’ and ‘I’m the motherfucking princess’ had to be part of a fairly savage attack on cheerleaders. Am I giving AL too much credit?

  35. jayunderscorezero
    jayunderscorezero May 11, 2007 at 3:28 am |

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who looked at this and thought “bully”.

    It’s reminiscent of the Mariah Carey video where she’s beating up an alternate version of herself (Heartbreaker), but here, the circumstances are completely different, and Avril does come off as a horrible, bullying individual.

    The worst part is that she used to be portrayed so very differently from this. One can only ask “what happened?”

  36. jayunderscorezero
    jayunderscorezero May 11, 2007 at 3:31 am |

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who looked at this and thought “bully”.

    It’s reminiscent of the Mariah Carey video where she’s beating up an alternate version of herself (Heartbreaker), but here, the circumstances are completely different, and Avril does come off as a horrible, bullying individual.

    The worst part is that she used to be portrayed so very differently from this. One can only ask “what happened?”

  37. jayunderscorezero
    jayunderscorezero May 11, 2007 at 3:32 am |

    whoops, sorry for the double-post. stupid firefox!

  38. Galatea
    Galatea May 11, 2007 at 4:13 am |

    To add insult to injury, she sings in Chinese. It’s possible there are more, but the sheer horror of the Chinese version has dissuaded me from searching.

  39. rickydomingo
    rickydomingo May 11, 2007 at 4:13 am |

    iain: Am I the only one who assumed that the song was supposed to be satirising the speech, attitudes, etc. of the main character … a fairly savage attack on cheerleaders.

    That might be an interpretation, but I don’t think that’s what they’re going for. The preppy Avril, and her counterparts in the bathroom scene, fit the stereotype of a cheerleader much better than the punk/emo Avril. And the punk/emo Avril is just about a perfect fit for the pop stereotype of the anti-cheerleader.

  40. Ocellus
    Ocellus May 11, 2007 at 4:46 am |

    I have personally wrestled with this tomboy-misogyny. Growing up, I never got along with pretty much anyone, but when I hit my twenties I realised I got along a lot better with guys than I did with girls. I’ve been at times horribly prejudiced against other women and I tend to judge them harsher just by their appearance than men. However, I also genuinely feel that I’ve been socialised to behave in a traditionally masculine way in social situations.

    I think the reason why I’m more at ease with men than with women is due to both of these factors. On the one hand, I do seem to have “masculine” behaviour (I frequently seem to end up as “one of the guys”), but I also still have a good deal of distrust and prejudice towards other women.
    It bothers me that I can’t seem to get completely rid of my instinctive negative attitudes towards many of the women I meet. I probably still experience them as a threat/competition on some level. I wish I could just… well, get over it and stop classifying them as less interesting/more threatening just because the are women.

    This is one of my dirty little secrets.

  41. Blunderbuss
    Blunderbuss May 11, 2007 at 5:30 am |

    Am I giving AL too much credit?

    Probably.

    I mean, I’d like to think that she’s … ‘smart’ … enough to do something like that, and her fans would immediately understand the satire, but that’d involve having faith in humanity that I do not have.

    That said, if this is a non-satirical pile of crap, this line really gets to me – “I don’t want you to say her name ever again.”

    You usually see that from sexist guys, who dominate their girls and refuse to let them talk to their exes out of possessive jealousy. Hearing a guy sing that would be really creepy. Hearing a girl say it is ‘cute’, because awww, she’s being possessive because she likes him so much! Gag.

  42. slashy
    slashy May 11, 2007 at 5:43 am |

    I work in a job where it is unfortunately impossible to maintain the blissful ignorance that was once the entirety of my awareness of current pop music (and, worse, the horrendous music videos accompanying- I have a shuddering internal “I BLAME THE PATRIARCHY!” moment every time an underfed underaged pouting babe gyrates across the huge plasma screen in my workplace).

    So I am familiar with the train-wreck that is this song and the video clip, and I have drunkenly ranted about the fucked up dynamics several times to my long-suffering housemate. But really, what the fuck? Her target market is clearly teenaged girls, and in whose world is it now totally awesome to market bullying to teenagers? Who approved that video concept? Is it supposed to be punk because the big group of bullies have ties printed on their t-shirts? Yeah, that wild alternative style you can buy at any mall in America, it’s so totally radical, and counter-cultural, and all.

    Rah. I do try not to think too hard about these things, but when you’re exposed to a constant stream of this crap for 16 hideous hours a week it’s hard not to form an opinion.

  43. Isabel
    Isabel May 11, 2007 at 7:49 am |

    if people are going to say it’s good, someone in this thread has to speak the truth. I’m a horrible, meanie-bo-beanie person, but I know crap music when I hear it.

    Oh me too. The only difference is, when I hear it, it makes me inexplicably happy. *bounces contentedly*

    I don’t know how I ever got along without the word “emo.”

    Me too again :) If you’re at all into comics you should check out Emo Boy. The first volume is called Nobody Cares About Anything Anyway, So Why Don’t We All Just Die? In the first issue, Emo Boy gets his first kiss, but it sends his emo powers haywire, and the girl’s brain explodes. Hilarious stuff.

    Speaking of emo superheroes: as a very good friend of mine and fellow Batman-fan would be only too happy to tell you (over… and over.. and over… every time you so much as mentioned the movies…) Peter Parker wasn’t always emo. In fact, in the comics, he cracked jokes all the time, and his lighthearted, goofy-nerd persona was part of what made him stick out from the more broody bunch of superheroes (Superman may not rival Batman for angst, but no one’s ever going to call Clark Kent a bundle of laughs). In fact, that’s a huge part of what makes the movies suck, is that he’s all whiny and mopey and emo and the movies are too focused on feelings and shit and there isn’t enough witty banter and goofy puns and action.

    Or so I’m told. Me, I’ve never read the comics (have read some Batman though, borrowed it from my friend) and I loved the movies in much the same way I love Avril Lavigne.

  44. norbizness
    norbizness May 11, 2007 at 8:01 am |

    For the longest time, I remained willfully ignorant of the meaning of the word “emo,” because it plainly had nothing to do with the all-ages punk club in Austin of the same name.

    Is Avril the greatest betrayal feminism has ever had to face? Worse than Liz Phair?

  45. Moira
    Moira May 11, 2007 at 8:10 am |

    Not that I’m condoning much of anything about “Girlfriend” — Bikini Kill wins the thread — but I didn’t find a twenty-two year old woman singing about high school to be particularly creepy. Especially in comparison to the skeezy guys in 80’s metal bands singing about high school. That guy in Dazed and Confused who said “That’s what I love about these high school girls, man. I get older, they stay the same age.”

    Much, much, much ickier, for my money.

    Not entirely related, but I liked the Pink video too. The boxing training with the mehndi (I guess?) all up her arms was good (I fantasize about full-sleeve tattoos), but then there was the velvet burnout bodysuit. *sigh* I’m a tool of the patriarchy, aren’t I?

  46. Moira
    Moira May 11, 2007 at 8:15 am |
  47. K
    K May 11, 2007 at 8:19 am |

    Why I am thinking Mean Girls meets the Insta-goth/emo kid wannabee. Oh, and if emo-boy likes the other girl in the first place, how is it that he is suddenly so into the nasty, bullying AL? Okay it’s a cheesy and rather lame pop song, but isn’t it saying (and I do realise it’s probably been said earlier) ‘screw over other women by being a nasty piece of work and get the guy you want, it’s so cool, really it is.’ Gah!

    K

  48. Amba
    Amba May 11, 2007 at 8:23 am |

    ‘One of the boys’-style sexism has always been a part of Avril’s schtick: does anyone remember the Skaterboi video where the preppy girl who had the temerity to reject the eponymous Boi got trampled to death at the end? As for the possibility of the song/video being satire – well, it you’ve ever seen Avril in interviews, it’s obvious that she’s just not that bright.

  49. Penny
    Penny May 11, 2007 at 8:34 am |

    I haven’t watched the vid yet because I’m scared of teh earworm. Sk8ter Boy, one of the worst songs ever IMHO, was stuck in my head for years, so I have personal reasons to loathe Avril, but I don’t. Because she’s a folk-geek from Napanee Ontario, or was until she found the marketing people.

    I don’t absolve her from making a buck shilling for the patriarchy, but it’s just capitalism same as usual, same as any of us with a product to sell. That’s why she’s grown up and married and doing this; it’s her job. Seeing her career has made me wonder though, if any famous entertainers are anything but corporations anymore. Is there no “there” there?

  50. Amber
    Amber May 11, 2007 at 8:43 am |

    All I kept thinking was, “This dude is an idiot, why would that redhead want to be with someone so vacant anyway?”

    Also this song is going on my workout list on my iPod. Haha sorry, it’s so catchy. Sue me.

    Yeah the whole punk girl crowd in the high school bathroom scene made me laugh. Silly Avril, having backup dancers isn’t punk.

  51. mythago performs a blog dance for your amusement

    Repost: The Only Girl in the Room

    he laments of women who insist they really, truly would like more female friends, but are baffled as to how to make any.
    As always when I play Answer Bitch, I will be happy to give you the complete truth that you didn’t want to hear, and are now …

  52. Roy
    Roy May 11, 2007 at 8:54 am |

    I can’t believe I am about to defend Avril Lavigne.
    Firstly, it’s a pop song. It’s just so much fluff. It’s kinda
    catchy, but alas, I could not watch the whole thing.

    I think I’ve said this a million times, and I just know I’ll say it a million more: The fact that it’s pop music doesn’t make it less important to analyze, it makes it more important. Like it or not, pop-culture is a monumental force in the attitudes that children, teends, and even adults carry with them. If our pop-culture is routinely sending out the message “it’s okay to hate women, because women are bitches who’ll steal your man in a heartbeat,” then that’s a problem. Pop music, movies, television… these are powerful, powerful forces. The ways we speak, dress, and act are all impacted by pop culture.
    So, yeah. I think it’s a really big mistake to dismiss concerns about pop culture by saying “Hey, it’s just a pop song.”

    Second, Who has not had a crush on someone already attached?

    Sure, most of us probably have. Do we really want to send the message that if you have a crush on someone who is already with somebody else, that it’s appropriate to hate the other person and resort to violence over it? As somebody else pointed out, this is played out like a revenge play… only the victim here hasn’t actually been wronged, which means that the revenge being played out is actually bullying, not revenge.

    Lastly, isn’t high school the absolute provence of this kind
    of drama? It’s in the same vein as “My boyfriends back and your
    gonna be in trouble . . .”

    Mnemosyne beat me to it- “My Boyfriend’s Back” is an actual revenge piece- the guy lies about her, and her boyfriend is back in town and is, one can assume, not happy. She’s taking delight in what we’re supposed to see as justice.
    In this video, Preppy-Avril hasn’t actually done anything wrong.

    I suspect, amongst her fans, that tune is/will be well recieved.
    If that is true, what of it? I read she writes many of her tunes drunk,
    which tells me she doesn’t take herself too terribly seriously.

    More is the shame- it means that she doesn’t respect the importance of her position as a person who can shift and influence the ways that kids see themselves and each other. She’s in a position to influence people, and she’s wasting it by promoting the same bullshit misogyny that tons of other artists have embraced, and that’s a damn shame.

  53. B.D.
    B.D. May 11, 2007 at 9:00 am |

    I don’t think Avril has betrayed feminism simply because she never embraced it in the first place.

    The song reminds me of many an 80s tune, updated with new beats and a neo-rap rhyming section. However, the hand clapping in it is definitely a nod to 60s and early 80s tunes. Think Toni Basil or Josie Cotoon – both of which were superior to Avril, but that’s the roots of those rhythms and sounds (and Avril’s probably not aware of that).

    As for the video? I can’t get worked up about it. If Avril thinks her entire career will be based on young teen’s and pseudo angst, it’ll be a short one. That, my friends, might be very good for all of us. Still, she is appealing to that group and, for the meantime, I think we should consider how much some of us sound like fuddie duddies. Not that that’s wrong…:)

  54. Djinna
    Djinna May 11, 2007 at 9:19 am |

    The blonde Avril looked (and acted) exactly like Regina George to me, so I kind of watched the whole thing stuck in a Mean Girls mindset. With that frame of reference I could find myself enjoying the video mildly, but without it, I would’ve been all confused as to what was going on, hung up on why she’s three different characters with different hair colors.

    Thanks for the Pink link, hadn’t heard that song, as the use of “U” for “you” by anyone post-puberty drives me nuts, but that was so freakin’ awesome. Reading the other day how much Tim Armstrong did for her new album had raised my interest, even though generally speaking, I love some Pink. (Not saying I need a male punk rocker to validate her album, just a reputable punk rock person involved with a pop punk album is a good sign.) Good brain disinfectant following the Avril video. Also, Pink reminds me a lot of Katee Sackoff, so I see lots of Starbuck in her videos, which is a bonus cool thing for me.

  55. Elizabeth
    Elizabeth May 11, 2007 at 9:22 am |

    This song sucks. I can’t believe she wrote it. Avril has sold out. *sigh*

  56. elektrodot
    elektrodot May 11, 2007 at 9:27 am |

    this is actually what really made me dislike her:

    shes just a freakin jerk to the interviewer, who i thought was kinda funny, making snarky faces and generally just being someone youd wanna smack out of there “im just too good for anything-ness”

  57. elektrodot
    elektrodot May 11, 2007 at 9:27 am |

    aaannnd “embed” doesnt work. dammit

  58. Kate
    Kate May 11, 2007 at 9:47 am |

    I found the whole video deeply disturbing, moreso than I thought it would be.

    For one thing, the whole “punk girls ganging up on prep girls and vice-versa” thing DOES NOT HAPPEN IN REAL LIFE and is an incredibly lame high school twit’s fantasy. I graduated high school a year ago, and there was not the prep v. punk dicotomy that Avril and other “punk” artists are so constantly insisting upon. At all.

    The guy’s reaction to the whole thing was bizarre, too. I mean, as I understand it, most real men do not respond favorably to an obnoxious, violent psycho woman and her creepy posse unless they are considerably unbalanced themselves.

    And finally… Avril’s appearance. Isn’t she older than thirteen now? Don’t we all KNOW that she’s older than thirteen? Who is still falling for her little adolescent-rebel-in-black image? And in the signing and dancing scenes, she has Christina Aguilera’s hair, the PussyCat Dolls’ clothes, and a dance routine from hell. That’s just like, soooo punk rok!

  59. modillian at livejournal
    modillian at livejournal May 11, 2007 at 10:17 am |

    Ugh. I saw that video a few days ago and immediately wondered why the heck it was supposed to be entertaining. The comments all has praised Avril for “standing up” and “being a strong bitch”. Because I know the most important thing we strong bitches need to stand up for is fighting over a boyfriend.

  60. Penny
    Penny May 11, 2007 at 10:46 am |

    Ok, because the damn thing’s stuck in my head again, did anyone else think that sk8er boior however you spell it is just a reworking of the old sea shanty theme “your family was too good for me, you rebuffed me, now I’ve got you pregnant and I’m off on the high seas ha ha ha etc” ?
    Only from the POV of sailor’s new girlfriend. “feeding the baby, she’s all alone” = ultimate punishment. Nice. Very woman positive, whoever wrote it, assuming it probably wasn’t Avril.
    Get it out of my head – out! Now!

  61. CScarlet
    CScarlet May 11, 2007 at 10:59 am |

    This song is EVEN BETTER in Mandarin. Just sayin’. Cause she sang it in like six languages, and the awesome value just goes up with each one. And the bad accent.

    Totally agree about all the serious points. However, still like this song. It’s demony in its catchiness. Also, think I’m going to hell, but for the first time find Avril hot in a music video. O__O

    Needless to say, my girlfriend is disgusted, lol!

  62. willa
    willa May 11, 2007 at 11:02 am |

    I’ve come across many, many women who are convinced that they are the sole exception to the rule that all women are catty, backstabbing, shallow, and uninteresting (in the words of these exceptions, of course). These women are the ONLY WOMEN IN THE WORLD who are different, they are unique to the human race, in that they are nothing–NOTHING!!!!!–like other women. They have only male friends, act, speak, and think like men (according to them, natch), and gaze around at their female coworkers/classmates/family members with astonished scorn. Ugh.

  63. Penny
    Penny May 11, 2007 at 11:13 am |

    Mythago nails it in 51.

  64. Kate
    Kate May 11, 2007 at 11:14 am |

    Modillian made a great point. Avril is supposed to be such a tough tomboy, but all she has to do is hang around a mini-golf course beating up a girl in a pink sweater over a guy? LAAAMMEEE.

  65. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 11, 2007 at 11:25 am |

    Why I am thinking Mean Girls meets the Insta-goth/emo kid wannabee.

    There are women out there — grown women! — who think Mean Girls is an instructional film. I got chased off a message board that I liked by a mob (okay, 6) of them when they completely took over and decided that no one outside of their group should be allowed to post without being attacked.

    “Best” part was when one of them jumped all over me for asking a question that her BFF had already answered on the board a month ago, and how dare I ask for anyone else’s opinion? Didn’t I know that her BFF was completely right about everything so there was no point in asking for a second opinion?

    They took a perfectly good board that was getting 100+ comments a day and reduced it down to 10. And then they complained that no one posted anymore.

    But I’m not bitter. ;-)

  66. Barbara_K
    Barbara_K May 11, 2007 at 11:53 am |

    While I was dating him an ex of mine in college was targeted by a younger punk girl (I was a little punky but shy and geeky too) who, among other things, wrote him letters about how she could see that he felt that I was a safe and comfortable girlfriend, but he shouldn’t sell himself short with me, she’d just be so much more exciting and interesting and better for him. She pursued him pretty relentlessly over a period of 6 – 9 months.

    So, you know, I’m sure it’s the exception and all, but just FYI someone somewhere has had a similar experience (without the golf ball, thankfully).

    This song’s sound reminds me of Liz Phair’s “Extraordinary” – very slick production, bouncy and happy and not exactly punk.

  67. Mael
    Mael May 11, 2007 at 12:16 pm |

    Please, don’t remind me.

    I spent an uncomfortable 3 hours listening to this fucking song last Sunday, while driving to and from a wedding, as it apparently was being played continuously on every Mass. radio station ever.

    And I was lucky, my boyfriend couldn’t get his CD back from a friend in time, or I wouldn’t even had had the breaks between changing stations.

    … it reinforced the idea that one should never, ever, enthusiastically sing along to this song when one’s girlfriend is also in the car. Because it gets uncomfortable after a while.

    Did I mention that he loooooooves Avril Lavigne, and that I haaaaaate Avril Lavigne? How I despise the “driver picks the music” rule.

  68. Bolo
    Bolo May 11, 2007 at 12:21 pm |

    I don’t know how I ever got along without the word “emo.”

    I know. Its such a handy descriptor. I was also groping around for a good term for what seems to be a very common hairstyle for them (dyed black, long on the sides, often with one eye covered by lopsided bangs and perhaps some funky shortness on the top of the head)… I call it “The Little Nicky” cut. (hope that link works).

    Also, I’m not sure if this is emo or not, but there’s a hair trend among women and girls of a certain age now who normally have brown or just dark hair. They bleach the hell out of a portion of it but leave the rest its natural color (or perhaps make it even darker). My apologies if anyone here has this hairstyle… but, I’ve got names for it too… :) If its just one region with the bleaching, then its “The Skunk” or perhaps “The Skunker.” If its multiple, small areas that are bleached, then its “The Spotted Skunk(er).”

    Little Nicky and the Skunks.

  69. Mnemosyne
    Mnemosyne May 11, 2007 at 12:38 pm |

    Also, I’m not sure if this is emo or not, but there’s a hair trend among women and girls of a certain age now who normally have brown or just dark hair. They bleach the hell out of a portion of it but leave the rest its natural color (or perhaps make it even darker).

    Colleen Williams, one of our local newscasters here in Los Angeles, has had that hairstyle for years. Seriously, at least 10 years.

  70. r@d@r
    r@d@r May 11, 2007 at 12:49 pm |

    as an antidote, since sleater-kinney is no longer with us, may i recommend the cliks. or if that doesn’t float your boat, there’s always the gossip.

    annoying persona and possibly harmful/misogynist subtexts aside…..*sigh* my professional opinion is that avril has a decent voice and can construct a song reasonably well. i think what she needs is new management and a better producer – people who can say “avril, do you really want to be saying shit like this, and sound like this? i mean are you really, really sure you want to?” in fact, i think her management and production team as they currently stand need to be taken out and shot.

    i get the feeling that one day avril is going to turn 30 and the interesting part of her career will start. one can always hope.

  71. wolfa
    wolfa May 11, 2007 at 1:01 pm |

    Wow, is that song ever catchy. Damn.

    Preppy Avril was well shot of that asshole.

  72. Videos: Pop Music Lessons for your child « Gangly Thoughts

    […] but either I’m missing something or it’s just lame. Update: Jill at feministe says it better If you want to know why I&#8 […]

  73. BlackBloc
    BlackBloc May 11, 2007 at 1:59 pm |

    This song sucks. I can’t believe she wrote it. Avril has sold out. *sigh*

    Wow, hmm, okay. I thought before you could sell out you had to have had artistic integrity at some point in the past…

    Kidding aside though, this song annoys me. A lot. What is it about pop that it sticks into your head even though you loath the music, the lyrics AND the artist?

  74. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl May 11, 2007 at 2:53 pm |

    What the shit is this? Nickelodeon Punk?

  75. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl May 11, 2007 at 3:19 pm |

    OK, for all the people who like this song, I urge you to check out Bis, particularly their “New Transistor Heroes” album. Just as poppy/punky, much more feminist-minded.

  76. Theodora
    Theodora May 11, 2007 at 3:31 pm |

    They have only male friends, act, speak, and think like men (according to them, natch), and gaze around at their female coworkers/classmates/family members with astonished scorn.

    Is it wrong to just view human beings as human beings, with a large diversity of interest between them? I’m in a male-dominated field, have many male-dominated hobbies, so consequently I have a disproportionally high ratio of male to female friends. My husband was my best friend for a long time before we actually got married (and are still best friends first and foremost… I’ve had to actually justify to people why we got married because they didn’t see the point since we are childfree). I wear men’s cargo pants at lot because they actually fit me (as opposed to many women’s clothes), and I love the pockets. I don’t look at anyone with scorn (there are morons of both sexes… neither has the monopoly over that). I’m getting the impression with this thread that there is something wrong with this (and in my experience, I’ve gotten a disproportionate amount of shit from other women for not being more feminine).

    I’ve always been a “tomboy” interested in “guy stuff” because that’s just how I was raised… my parents raised me as gender neutral as possible in this society and didn’t impose “girl” or “boy” stuff/toys/expectations on me (my She-Ra Princess of Power and He-Man cohabited very nicely in She-Ra’s castle, but He-Man was mostly kept around to tend to She-Ra’s horse, and the crew of GI-Joe’s kept the place clean… I was a pretty fucked up kid, I suppose). I don’t see anything wrong with women liking “traditionally guy” stuff or having lots of male friends. Just as I don’t have any issue with men liking “traditionally girl” stuff or having lots of female friends. For me, the ideal is just respecting people for who they are.

  77. Cecily
    Cecily May 11, 2007 at 3:43 pm |

    Theodora — I don’t think anyone on here wants women to conform to femininity or fit well into gender-boxes. What we’re talking about is exceptionalism, abandoning or dissing other women to gain status with men. Here is something I said (rather off the main topic) in response to Allie on the ‘butch as a noun’ thread:

    Allie said: …I refuse to play a lot of the social games that female-types are expected to. I’m blunt as hell, for one thing. I get told, usually after I’ve done something particularly outside the general box of “how people act” that I’m “like a guy”. I tend to take this as a compliment roughly equivalent to “gee, you’re not crazy”, but it sure does make me think.

    I used to take that sort of thing as a compliment as well, but through my deeper entry into feminism I’ve come to see it as exceptionalism. People don’t want to acknowledge that bluntness, in your case, or frank love of violent videogames, to pick one trivial example, in my case, are possible traits for a woman. The commentors approve of these tendencies, and mark their approval by labelling them non-female. This leaves the ‘female’ category in their minds free to include ‘crazy’, ’squeamish’, ‘manipulative’, ‘no fun’, or whatever other Patriarchal poison. It avoids acknowledging that a good/smart/likeminded person is in the inferior class by lifting her and only her out of it.

    Even though there are gender-bendy compliments that it’s hard not to remember with fondness, most of the ones I’ve had do actually boil down to “It is good that you are not like a woman!” to which I wish I had responded, “Maybe you just don’t know what a woman is.”

  78. TallyCola
    TallyCola May 11, 2007 at 3:53 pm |

    To quote my brother again, my source for hi-larious emo-bashing, it’s apparently customary for emo boys to wear women’s jeans.

    I love emo boys, and I especially love it when they wear women’s jeans. *drools* But obviously I am in a minority here. Oh well! I’ve been lusting after emos for about 8 years, at least slightly before it became such a gross fad. I don’t see how anyone can consider the kids in the video to be in remotely the same genre as Bright Eyes or Death Cab (THANKS A LOT, The OC :p ).

  79. Heraclitus (Jeff)
    Heraclitus (Jeff) May 11, 2007 at 3:55 pm |

    Bright Eyes? This thread has officially reached a level of emo-saturation at which breathing will become difficult for many.

  80. TallyCola
    TallyCola May 11, 2007 at 4:04 pm |

    :D

  81. Theodora
    Theodora May 11, 2007 at 4:07 pm |

    Even though there are gender-bendy compliments that it’s hard not to remember with fondness, most of the ones I’ve had do actually boil down to “It is good that you are not like a woman!” to which I wish I had responded, “Maybe you just don’t know what a woman is.” (Cecily)

    I think what makes me most sensitive about this issue is that in addition to getting comments from men like you described, I get hateful crap from other women that I’m “not a real woman.” That’s was probably a very pivotal self-esteem issue for me that started back in middle school and being ostracized by other girls. The form of put-downs have evolved, but I continue to this day to get that sort of attitude from other women. Who then probably continue the cycle by inculcating their own children with what is considered proper male and female interests/attributes/etc. It’s just not right.

  82. Heraclitus (Jeff)
    Heraclitus (Jeff) May 11, 2007 at 4:30 pm |

    I’m just kidding, Tally. I don’t mean to make merry with your emo-love. After all, is there not at least a little emo inside us all? So, peace offering?

    As for you, Jill, do remember you’re posting in your own name. You will now be unable to go anywhere without being accosted by all manner of men and perhaps the occasional hopeful lady decked out in tight jeans and pink shirts.

  83. TallyCola
    TallyCola May 11, 2007 at 4:47 pm |

    No worries, it was a smiley face, not a gaspy face.

    And, yum. Poor little guy looks like he’s gonna collapse from Teh Sad. *holds him*

  84. SJ
    SJ May 11, 2007 at 5:20 pm |

    Oh, no! I have avoided this Lavigne for as long as possible. And then I watched the Bratz Movie trailer to witness that special horror, and of course this song popped up. And now I have heard this song twice and it has earwormed me.

    I am ashamed.

  85. TallyCola
    TallyCola May 11, 2007 at 5:29 pm |

    Ugh, Bratz. Just, ugh. Ugh.

  86. The Stranger
    The Stranger May 11, 2007 at 6:08 pm |

    There’s… a Bratz movie?!?!?!

    Alright. That’s it. Torches and pitchfork mob to the studio. Fuck that shit.

  87. mythago
    mythago May 11, 2007 at 6:18 pm |

    “You’re like a guy” is, indeed, code for “You’re a worthy human being, not that disgusting female subset”.

  88. Diane
    Diane May 11, 2007 at 6:24 pm |

    I’ve always liked Avril. One of her albums–I think her 2nd one–I thought was very, very good. So I’m sorry to hear about this. Whether she’s conforming to a marketing plan or she really means this stuff doesn’t matter–it’s very disappointing.

  89. nike
    nike May 11, 2007 at 7:01 pm |

    Also, Pink reminds me a lot of Katee Sackoff, so I see lots of Starbuck in her videos, which is a bonus cool thing for me.

    Then you’ll love this Starbuck vid set to God is a DJ

  90. Blunderbuss
    Blunderbuss May 11, 2007 at 9:20 pm |

    Hmm, the whole “one of the guys” thing is making me think. Maybe girls like Avril aren’t turning against girls for just male favor – maybe they’ve just been told so many times that they’re a ‘tomboy weirdo’ and ‘like a guy’ and that she’s accepted that she can’t be ‘one of the girls’, that she tries to be a Guy With Tits because that’s the only place that she fits in. If you kept being told that you’re not a woman, you might start believing that you’re not, or you can’t be.

    I can’t tell you how many times guys have said – “You’re the only girl I’ve met that likes action movies/video games/comics/etc.” – in some form of surprise or awe. If I wasn’t as self-confident as I am, I might actually start thinking that I’m some sort of ‘failed woman’ or pretty much a man without proper equipment.

  91. Tony
    Tony May 12, 2007 at 12:09 am |

    Isn’t she Canadian?

  92. Alex
    Alex May 12, 2007 at 1:59 am |

    If you clearly spend weeks working on your co-ordinated dance moves (and are not apparently being ironic), you are not a punk, and may Joe Strummer rise from the grave to slap you if you think you are.

    That is all.

  93. I Read the Internets - 5/12/07
    I Read the Internets - 5/12/07 May 12, 2007 at 5:38 am |

    […] o wrote about Family Guy this week. Before we leave the world of video entirely, check out this post at Feministe, wherein Jill loves Avril […]

  94. ladyfest romania » Blog Archive  » baieti, fete si eu

    […] baieti, fete si eu

    postul “Avril Lavigne is a whiny brat” (@ feministe) si come […]

  95. Sara no H.
    Sara no H. May 12, 2007 at 8:40 pm |

    Yes, the video was crap. Unfortunately the song is still guilty-pleasure addictive. /sigh

  96. Therefore
    Therefore May 12, 2007 at 9:55 pm |

    I’m agreeing with 34. iain: this song is satirical. It is an over-the-top satire of the attitudes prevalent in lyrics such as “Don’t you wish you girlfriend was a freak like me.” I laughed from beginning to end because of the absurdity of the portrayal; ““she’s, like, so whatever.” This song is consistent with many of the best of Pink’s scathing, humorous songs.

    And it sure is infectious. I read elsewhere (and I agree) that it is reminiscent of that Tony Basil classic, “Mickey.”

  97. Laurie
    Laurie May 12, 2007 at 10:30 pm |

    Weighing in on the “all other girls/women are crap” issue:
    I was fairly well ostracized by most of my classmates in school, even past the point where I *thought* I started to fit in (long story, won’t go into it). While I got crap from both sexes, I got more from the girls than the boys. If I got crap from the boys, it was a straight, hard verbal shot — ow! — but it was “clean”. it bruised, and then it went away. When I got crap from the girls, it was *nastier*; more sly, more subtle, emotionally manipulative, very much the sort of thing that festered for weeks. (Like the time my best friend turned on me, wrote me awful notes for a couple of weeks, and then just ignored me. She never DID explain what happened.) My best friend from kindergarten through Jr. High when we moved was a boy; I had girlfriends, but they sort of came and went. I don’t recall retaining any of my elementary school girlfriends past 7th grade. Most of the girls I saw around me in school were more interested in gossip and clothes and boys than in school, or so it appeared. THEY were the ones who ragged on me for not conforming to some sort of girl ideal — the boys either ignored me or, like I said earlier, took their shot and then left me alone. The girls picked, and picked, and picked, until I was emotionally raw most of the time. Most of what I saw these girls being consumed by was VERY boring and shallow to my frame of reference — I didn’t GET to be engrossed with fashion and makeup and whatnot because my family couldn’t/didn’t/wouldn’t finance it, so why bother? And I never saw the point in spreading rumors and half-truths, which is what the gossip seemed to be to me. I didn’t fit with them, so I got pecked at like the low chicken in the yard until I was afraid to open my mouth at all.

    Any wonder that I really didn’t enjoy the company of other girls/women for a long time? The girlfriends I did have in school tended to be as much of a square peg as I was, and we were decidedly in the minority.

    Fast forward eight or ten years from high school — I’m getting involved in the local Middle Eastern Dance community, and finding out that there are a LOT of cool women that I connect with. It blew my mind!!! I think maturity had a lot to do with it, but also, I really do think that there are women that I will never fit with due to the way they’ve been conditioned/socialized to interact with each other and what they spend their lives thinking about. I’ll defend *vigourously* their rights to do so and still be counted as whole human beings with as much right to *everything* as any man, BUT …! I’ll still find them annoying.

    Does that completely ruin my feminist credibility? I’m sure they feel much the same way about me. And I completely believe that you can’t judge what goes on in someone’s head by the way they present themselves to strangers/casual acquaintances. But still….there is a definite disconnect between my life/outlook and that of many, many women, and I come off as being at the very least, more androgynous. And I feel that can STILL be an issue with my relating to other women. (The women in my step-family, for instance. But that’s another long story. ;)

    OK — stopping here since I’m now just babbling. ;) I guess what I’m saying is I can see the reason some women don’t like other women. Just in my case it’s not because I got a whole lot of head pats from the guys. I just got less crap and slightly more *acceptance*.

  98. Laurie
    Laurie May 12, 2007 at 10:32 pm |

    P.S.
    Roy at #52: YEEESSSS! Absolutely! What you said!

    Roy, I think I may have a teeny little crush on you. :) Is that OK? *grin*

  99. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl May 13, 2007 at 7:17 am |

    I didn’t even watch the whole video all the way through and I had that damn song stuck in my head. It’s infection all right, like the friggin’ junta virus. It had wormed its way into my ear like those ceti eels in Star Trek 2. Sometime around midafternoon yesterday I started screaming uncontrollably, writing on the ground and finally, when my ears stopped bleeding I was able to right myself and put on some Rosebuds. I’m still recovering, having nightmares, etc, but hopefully I’ll be able to get over this with the help of Siouxsie Sioux.

    I don’t care if this is “satire” or not — just about any little girl under 13 is going to see this video and think it’s a cool song, that it’s good to be catty and mean over boys, and, most distressingly of all, that punks hang out at the mini-golf course.

    What did Johnny Rotten say about punk being dead? Oh yeah. “Punk is dead.” Avril Lavigne is a friggin necrophiliac.

  100. Liz
    Liz May 13, 2007 at 11:33 am |

    Oh, come on, you mean that hand-clap back-up dancer portion isn’t a spoof of some other video? I would have assumed it was if I had just happened to see this video without any commentary. Wow, if it’s not ironic in some way, that video is a piece of crap.

  101. kali
    kali May 13, 2007 at 12:58 pm |

    I have hated Avril Lavige for fucking ages, ever since her video for “Skater Boy” (sorry, the idea of spelling it her way makes my soul want to curl up and die) showed her and her mates physically harassing one of those poor bastards who has to dress up in a dumb promotional costume for a living. The spoilt-brat class privilege took my breath away. Maybe I just have no sense of humour, but– that wasn’t funny. It wasn’t being a rebel, it was just being a bully.
    Ditto this video. Also, the gender reversals people mentioned are were freaky– she was stalking that guy, but she got him in the end! It was almost like an inverted Nice Guy fantasy.

  102. wren
    wren May 13, 2007 at 1:07 pm |

    Okay, sadly, I’ve now watched this twice. I’m ashamed. But I think the little face PrettyAvril makes when PunkAvril first starts up in the diner (her wtf look) is probably the funniest thing I”ve seen today, likely because it’s the face I myself made when the hand clapping started.

  103. winna
    winna May 13, 2007 at 1:30 pm |

    Was anyone else bothered by the constant crotch shots of Avril in the video? It was baffling to me.

  104. dailygrinder
    dailygrinder May 13, 2007 at 2:11 pm |

    WOW that was DUMB! I am so thankful that I don’t have daughters. Are there any decent young role models that girls think are “cool” these days?
    Paris, Lindsey, Avril…what are we to do?

  105. Vanessa
    Vanessa May 13, 2007 at 2:17 pm |

    It’s infection all right, like the friggin’ junta virus.

    Hehe, it’s the Hanta virus. I wonder what a junta virus would be!

  106. kate
    kate May 13, 2007 at 5:25 pm |

    Avril is NO punk by any means. Apparently I’m some old fart, but take it from us old farts, punk died long ago. When Johnny Rotten and Sid Viscious played their ode to the queen and got top billing in Newsweek, that was punk. Their schickt was to offend everyone and bend every rule they could. No one thought of putting safety pins or paper clips in one’s nose, ears or lips or being a female with 1″ of hair on her head. Wendy what’s her name went to record store promos and appeared onstage wearing shaving cream, albeit, I don’t advocate sluttiness as entire rebellion, then or now, but the point was then to stretch the boundaries. That ain’t happening here.

    Avril’s schickt, like everyone since say, 1982, has been to cater to the money machine and become a dancing minstrel show for the pleasure of spoiled brat middle class white teenagers with plenty of spare change to spend.

    Also, I was that angry, dark haired girl who was forty times worse. Although my hair was in fact an inch off my head and most kids thought me some kind of freak. I didn’t fight with the girl, I practiced quiet subterfuge and interjected myself into every stable relationship I could find in order to prove to my sick and injured, misogynist self that yes, women and girls really suck, are stupid and don’t know what their boys/men really want.

    (The thesis of that behavior is of course that 1) women/girls only find their truest self when hating their womanness 2) women/girls will gain great liberation by wantonly banging horny dudes who ‘want’ them.)

    Like now also, there were plenty of male written, male directed and driven popular songs to steer me on my path of self destruction of self alienating and self hating man pleasing.

    So no, this isn’t new in any way. No, she isn’t cutting edge and yes, she’s just recycled the same old shit for another day. And I don’t believe for one friggin’ minute that she writes any of her own material, or if she does, possibly that’s even worse as it illustrates that she, actually is nothing more than another clueless, privileged ass-wipe suburban brat like most of her audience.

    Avril’s just sucking the big dick of the patriarchy machine for a buck, yoo-hoo! Give me my gag-bag.

  107. Aelwyndaeira
    Aelwyndaeira May 13, 2007 at 7:45 pm |

    Well, I finally got through the entire video….it only took months…LOL! I had to keep turning it off.

    I THINK they were going fot a “Hey Mickey” feel for the song….just a hunch.

    Of course, AL apalls me at the best of times.

  108. Mighty Ponygirl
    Mighty Ponygirl May 13, 2007 at 8:23 pm |

    Liz — even if it is ironic, do you really think that the video’s target audience will be capable of understanding it as such?

  109. Progressive Citizen
    Progressive Citizen May 13, 2007 at 9:56 pm |

    Another example of how Girl Power, always a marketing concept and never an actual movement, has declined from a commercialized (but despite that fact, relatively healthy) message saying that girls and young women should assert themselves in school, work, relationships, and life so they can be their own person to a message of trite overcompetitiveness and me-first thinking that values status and winning above equality and respect.

  110. The Assault on Hedonism, Part 2: Nietzsche, Pater, Marcus « The Kugelmass Episodes

    […] !” Or look at Feministe, where criticism of the eminently criticizable Avril Lavigne went like this: You’re a married grown-up now; the middle schoo […]

  111. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate May 14, 2007 at 11:41 am |

    I don’t care if this is “satire” or not — just about any little girl under 13 is going to see this video and think it’s a cool song, that it’s good to be catty and mean over boys, and, most distressingly of all, that punks hang out at the mini-golf course.

    I don’t if girls are learning how to live their lives from music videos. If that is indeed true, I find that much more disturbing than the videos themselves.

  112. Raging Moderate
    Raging Moderate May 14, 2007 at 11:43 am |

    Make that, I don’t know if girls are learning..

  113. jalrin
    jalrin May 14, 2007 at 5:58 pm |

    One question about this video confuses me: why is the original girlfriend dolled up in such a manner that almost all boys would root for her and against the protagonist? The clothes, the red hair, and especially the glasses make the more nerdish girl look cute in a gentle way that would make any boy with a younger sister rethink the “Don’t hit a girl rule” when she was subjected to such thuggery. Or was my high school just an odd place?

  114. Nick Kiddle
    Nick Kiddle May 14, 2007 at 7:34 pm |

    I’m glad to see I’m not the only person to loathe Skater Boi with a fiery passion. The two things that really bugged me were 1) how does Avril know that the girl secretly wanted him? Sound like she’s taking his word for it to me and 2) the implied moral is “don’t be shallow”, but the girl’s punishment for her shallowness is to miss out on a big MTV star? Eh.

    I toyed with writing a comic based on the song where it turns out Avril doesn’t know the first thing about the boy and the song ends up backfiring on her. Unfortunately, I lost my collaborator before that one could get off the ground.

  115. TallyCola
    TallyCola May 14, 2007 at 8:59 pm |

    The thing I disliked most about Skater Boy was that line “he was a punk, she did ballet- what more can I say”. Because I was friends with a boy in high school who was a complete skater mall-punk, old people crossed the street when they saw him kind of kid- and he did ballet. He LOVED ballet. Far as I’ve heard, he’s still a skater punk rocker, and has gone to ballet school and is pursuing it as a career.

    PLUS he’s straight as a freeway. Why the hell was that song a hit?
    Because it posits that ballet=feminine=bad and punk=masculine=good?

    It was also incredibly vindictive. No one wants to be the adult who obsessed over what happened in high school.

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