I can’t fucking stand Avril Lavigne. She’s just bratty, and perpetually stuck in adolescence. Not that she needs to be smiley and cute, but christ, chin up, sister! You’re a married grown-up now; the middle school mall-punk “Ugh, this suuuucks” schtick is a little tired. We all have our teenage angst, but at some point, you move on.
Apparently Avril is still angsty and mall-punk, but this time she hates girls, too. 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. And there’s a lot wrong with songs and videos premised on the idea that if you like a boy, you need to trash his girlfriend and hit her with a golf ball.
The Avril video has the preppy redhead vs. the raven-haired punk rocker fighting over a boy. We’re supposed to be sympathetic to black-haired Avril, but she’s kind of a jerk throughout the whole video. As the Slate article says,
Our black-clad heroine is a horrible little tyrant who subjects the preppy to all sorts of torments before driving a golf ball into her head at a mini-golf course and leaping triumphantly into a Port-a-Potty with the boy. 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. Avril’s rock ‘n’ roll high school seems a lot like every other godawful high school, only its evil alpha girls have jet-black hair and wear Ramones T-shirts.
Here’s the video: