Cause you can’t handle me

more on the not-so-secret feminism of Robyn!

Once upon a time, one of my favorite feminist blogs was called Pop Feminist. Its author has since moved on to bigger things, but I refuse to call them better because I LOVED Pop Feminist. (I also love the lady behind it, who has become a friend because of blogging-mutual-love. The powers of the Internet, people!) Pop Feminist is gone, but her archives are here and you should peruse them for sheer awesomeness.

Anyway, she would regularly post Pop Feminist Dance Parties, putting up a song or a short playlist and inviting readers to have a solo dance party, on her. This post is definitely dedicated to her.

So, by possibly-not-popular demand, MORE ROBYN.


(lyrics below)

In the grand scheme of my recently-discovered-but-no-less-intense-for-that Robyn love, there are a few themes. One is that the music is ridiculously catchy. Another is that she’s adorable in her own Robyn way–you will absolutely never catch me criticizing Gaga or Christina Aguilera or Britney for being too naked, too sexual, but they’re all treading territory that Madonna charted out for us years ago, and while it’s true that those are lessons our culture obviously hasn’t quite learned yet, it’s refreshing to have a pop star who doesn’t immediately call up the Madonna comparisons.

As I said in a comment on the last post, if anything I place Robyn more in the Cyndi Lauper family of pop stars, the “girls just wanna have fun” bliss combined with a swagger stolen from hip-hop and Robyn’d up for our pleasure in songs like “Konichiwa, Bitches”. Even when she has a track with the same NAME as a Madonna song, there’s nothing Madonna about it (“Who’s That Girl”).

Yes, that swagger. A tiny Swedish girl who’s done a healthy number of songs about how awesome she is.

Even in feminist communities, there’s always a tendency to tear one another down. Women are supposed to be humble! Self-effacing! We are not supposed to seek attention or have big mouths or point out that we are good at what we do.

Hell, my prior post has a comment on it that says “I don’t mean to be rude, but I don’t understand what the point of this post is.” Which is a nice way of saying, shut up, lady, because I do not approve of your subject matter. And, well, Sady *Fucking* Doyle already wrote the blog post on that.

Robyn is able to get away with writing songs about how badass she is because she is tiny, and blonde, and white, and cute, and makes catchy-as-hell pop music, it’s true. It sneaks up on you, that in this song she’s calling some guy a “selfish narcissistic psycho freaking bootlicking nazi creep” and telling him that he can’t handle her. Nope. Cause he can’t.

Cause any bigmouthed lady out there has probably come face to face with some guy who thinks that by namedropping and swaggering and just being a DUDE he will A. impress you! to the point of you wanting to shag him! and B. get to tell you what to say and do. And, well, A. No. and B. Also No.

See, the Point Of This Post, in case someone doesn’t get it, is that Robyn is awesome. That writing about Robyn is also awesome. That I was asked by some pretty rad ladies to guestblog at their place and they agreed knowing that I might give myself a much-needed mental break from thinking and writing about the BP oil spill or the Freedom Flotilla or the significance of women in the Tea Party movement and instead write about some things that make me happy.

And if you don’t like it, you are welcome to make YOURSELF happy and move on to the next post! But I hope you like Robyn, because Robyn is love. Even when she’s cutely telling you to fuck off.

Because as much as she gets to tell you to fuck off because she is tiny and cute, it’s also subversive as hell because she is tiny and cute. Tiny cute girls are not supposed to get up in your face and tell you that they are awesome and that you just can’t handle it. But this tiny cute girl (Robyn, not me, I am not tiny) just does not care. And part of carving out some space for ourselves in the world–as women, yes, but as humans who need to find some way of making it through life–is finally learning to say “fuck ’em if they don’t like me.”

Yeah, I heard about some guy that you beat pretty bad and got in the papers
Sure, you own a cool bar and I hear you get far with every waitress
Yeah, I saw you on the poster your song is the bomb and you’re outrageous
Sure, I see you’re livin’ large with your crib and your cars
and that’s just great but..

Let me tell you how it be
You won’t get with this you see
Cause you can’t handle me

Yeah, you make your big move and I see you’re not used to being rejected
Sure, you makin’ that call to your guy and I’m sure you’re well connected
Yeah, judging from that line you just passed you are well known and respected
Sure, would me and my girls come participate in something you directed

Let me tell you how it be
You won’t get with this you see
Cause you can’t handle me
It’s a simple fact
that you can’t seem to handle me
No matter how you act with them
you can’t handle me
You gotta make me feel you got my back
but you’re a selfish narcissistic psycho freaking bootlicking nazi creep
and you can’t handle me

Yeah, I think you’re kinda cute when you try and act like you ain’t lookin’
Sure, I think you’re kinda fly and your ride sure is off the hook
Yeah, bet you could take my mind off things for some time and take me shoppin’
Sure, you writin’ those rhymes and the acts you produce are really kickin’
but

Let me tell you how it be
You won’t get with this you see
Cause you can’t handle me
It’s a simple fact
that you can’t seem to handle me
No matter how you act with them
you can’t handle me
You gotta make me feel you got my back
but you’re a selfish narcissistic psycho freaking bootlicking nazi creep
and you can’t handle me


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7 Responses to Cause you can’t handle me

  1. Isabel says:

    I [heart] this entire post and really have nothing to add except more Robyn-love, and the fact that this song managed to edge out Dylan’s Positively 4th Street for my favorite pop diss of all time.

  2. prairielily says:

    Hmm, I actually like this song better than the other one. I loved the first post, but I was biased by how much I love Metric.

  3. boop says:

    “Not available in your country.”

  4. Sarah says:

    Seriously. I have loved Robyn forever for this exact reason. Thanks for the post!

  5. HECTOP says:

    Aw, what the hell. I didn’t know what the point was, but I asked you to elaborate (maybe this wasn’t clear enough, but possibly not everyone is so good with their English)! I really didn’t mean to be rude or to tell you to shut up, I just thought the post started some points and never finished them. I don’t want you to stop blogging because I didn’t understand, I want you to blog more…

  6. Hot Tramp says:

    Konichiwa Bitches is one of my favorite songs, as is the A + D mashup Closer to Konichiwa — http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k9E9hHz4WNg. Fight the power, put myself on the throne!

  7. Val says:

    This post is brilliant, Robyn is exquisite and I adore each word you’ve written and each one she has sung. :) Considering today is Anne Frank’s birthday, this is apt.

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