Justin Bieber has a new single out called "What Do You Mean?" and it contains these lyrics:
What do you mean? Oh, oh
When you nod your head yes
But you wanna say no
What do you mean? Hey-ey
Bieber explained the track's meaning himself: "Girls are often just flip-floppy. They say something and they mean something else. So … what do you mean? I don't really know, that's why I'm asking."
And, of course, this is misogyny!
Lena Dunham--actress, author, screenwriter, producer, and director--sent out a tweet that a lot of people assumed referred to Bieber's song:
"Let's do away with pop songs where a girl nods yes when she means no and vice versa, k?"
Really, Dunham? Artists should self-censor? Why on earth?
Pundits said Dunham's tweet suggested the song promotes or alludes to "rape culture." See here and here. And, no, I'm not making that up--"rape culture." Has any other imaginary concept ever been invoked as often to mean so much and, really, nothing at all? Read what we said about "rape culture" last week here.
Even in the alternate universe of the extremists who run the sexual grievance industry, the song is about the least objectionable thing imaginable. Its lyrics have a guy asking a girl for clarification about she means. Isn't that exactly what both men and women are supposed to do when they are confused?
Dunham denies she was dissing Justin Bieber with her tweet, and whether Dunham was thinking "rape culture" when she tweeted doesn't matter--her tweet was preposterous.
It would be nice if women's outward manifestations of assent always mirrored their inner thoughts, but we've learned that's not the case. A new survey shows that almost half of all college women--a full 44 percent--think that when a woman gives a guy a "nod in agreement," that isn't enough for consent. And, of course, there is a scientifically proven "regret asymmetry" separating young men and women in the bedroom that makes women regret sexual encounters after-the-fact more than men.
I never thought I'd type these words, but, at least in this song, Justin Bieber's lyrics hold a mirror up to a lot of relationships. People like Dunham don't like the mirror. They want to pretend that women always manifest their true desires with crystal clarity, and if men behave in a way women don't like, it's men's fault. And it's rape
One way to promote healthier sexual relationships and to reduce rape hysteria would be for female role models like Lena Dunham to admit publicly that there's a great deal of truth in these lyrics.