Well, I’d rather see you dead, little girl
Than to be with another man
The first two lines of this Beatles song make clear the subject and the writer’s view. There can be no doubt that the song accepts violence against women as the norm. This is from a time when women and children were seen as at worst property, and at best as subservient to men in the family. It was also a time when violence as a whole was more acceptable, both within the family and the school system.
Growing up, I had one sister and at least two aunties who were subject to domestic violence. Physical punishment in schools was widespread.
This song was published in 1965, it would certainly have a different response today. The world has moved on. Although there are still far too many women who suffer from male violence. For some people ‘woke’ or ‘pc’ language is a modern infringement on our rights. Including the right to ‘free speech’. What it means is that they want the right to protect the use of insulting language toward either women or people of colour.
I don’t think any language should be banned or made illegal, but if you use that language don’t be surprised if you have to pay a price for it. People who do use insulting language should be called out for it. What this language does is provide cover for violence, racist or anti-women, because it perpetuates the stereotypes and view of people as of less value.
I don’t think anyone would release a song like that today, that is a victory, a sign of progress, not because it would be banned, but because it would be objected to by most right thinking people.
If you like what you have read help me spread the word- click the like, or share button below and leave your email.