If U seek trash

I am not usually one to agree with parents’ outrage about controversial songs oozing with sexual references. I never understood how older generations feel about our pop culture to a full extent until my reaction to Britney Spears’ new release “If U Seek Amy.”

For those who are not familiar with Ms. Spears’ new single, I’ll back up a step. She sings: “All of the boys and all of the girls are begging to if you seek Amy.” Doesn’t seem to make sense? It’s not supposed to. It is supposed to be understood as “all of the boys and all of the girls are begging to F-U-C-K me,” spelled “if you seek Amy.”

I don’t necessarily feel outrage, I just feel strangely disillusioned as to how our generation and younger generations have gotten to the point that lyrics like this are normal. I’m not sure this progression toward being more sexually open is unfolding itself in the right manner.

When this not-so-hidden meaning was revealed to me, I was only concerned about its sophomoric ridiculousness. It wasn’t until a few days later that the song’s implications hit me: Little girls are probably singing along with the lyrics! The most worrisome thing is that it didn’t faze me. I was concerned more with the idiotic pun than its meaning.

I reasoned that perhaps only older listeners would comprehend the meaning. Not so. I asked my 14-year-old sister if she knew the cryptic message. “I’m not stupid. Everyone knows that.” She told me even our fifth-grade neighbor knows.

I realize that there are numerous other songs that have these dirty messages, such as “Lollipop” by Lil Wayne or “In Da Club,” that 50 Cent song I sing when I need a laugh, which goes:”I’m into havin’ sex, I ain’t into makin’ love; so come give me a hug if you’re into gettin’ rubbed.”

But Britney Spears is different. She is marketed to little girls moreso than those rappers. Her songs are designed so younger kids can easily memorize the lyrics after a few listens to the catchy beat.

This popularity among youths should be taken as a chance to stop and look at exactly what our society values. The openness of sexuality has grown with each generation; however, it seems to have hit a distasteful peak. Disregarding the awful clothes being sold to little girls and the tossing around of cuss words like conjunctions, there are more serious issues.

The U.S. has the highest rate of teen pregnancy in the western industrialized world, according to the National Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy. There is a 20 percent increase in sexually active high schoolers since 1970. Twenty-six percent of girls think it’s embarrassing to admit being a virgin, according to the National Survey of Family Growth. Let’s not forget that this is all happening as STDs are ever increasing.

I am not sure there is much to do to change it except critically analyze our culture as Americans. It seems our blatant portrayal of sex is different from other countries, and our youth reflects this. Instead of blowing songs like this off as simply a part of some revolution, we should ponder if this distastefulness is the direction we want to go. It is great that Britney is giving sexual power back to women, but that is not the point. This lack of class is certainly not something I would like to continue. Honestly, I can’t even fathom how much more trashy it can get.

Brenna McNamara is a junior political science and philosophy major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected].