First, let’s review Poe’s Law.   Without a blatant indication that you’re kidding, any parody is indistinguishable from whatever it’s parodying.  Poe’s law refers to extremism or fundamentalism, but think about those Onion article headlines that for a split second you thought were real.  In fact, there are people (not you, you’re too savvy) that mistake satire for the real thing all the time.

I reaaaaallly hope I’m about to do that, to take seriously what’s meant in jest.

Because every time Usher’s new song I Don’t Mind comes on the radio, I listen to it with my mouth open in shock. Usher croons about how he doesn’t mind at all that his girlfriend is a stripper because he knows she’s gotta make money somehow.

This is humor, right?  Because if it isn’t, I’m completely baffled why I haven’t heard women everywhere decry this song.  As much as, yay for Usher for stating he doesn’t mind if his “shawty” dances on a pole because that doesn’t make her a “ho”, NO ONE HAS A PROBLEM WITH THE FACT THAT THE ONLY WAY HIS WOMAN CAN MAKE RENT IS BY BEING AN OBJECT FOR MEN?

Why can’t he write, “Hey I don’t mind/who you serve a summons to/as long as you come home and work on my briefs”? Perhaps, “I don’t mind/all the men you’ve been seeing/because I know you only touch them with your stethoscope”?  Or why can’t he not mind his shawty is curing cancer or running a business or, hell, I’ll take the standbys of teaching and nursing? “Yeah, I’m a real man, I’m not threatened that my girlfriend has a profession and that her profession is noble and equal to mine.”  That’s a point of view I can support.  But that’s definitely not the point of this song.  No, no, he’s totally fine with his girlfriend being a stripper, because that means clearly she’s used to being an object and not a human being, therefore she won’t put up a fight or be a problem or have needs.  In fact, he can be really thrilled that everyone else thinks of her as an object, but he gets to make the point that he’s the one screwing this particular object.

(In contrast, Ne-yo’s Miss Independent talks about how his girlfriend acts like she’s a boss, pays all her own bills, and pretty much doesn’t need him at all, and he finds that sexy.  Oh, Ne-yo, I find you sexy, especially the part where you don’t need me to be less than you to be romantically interested in me.)

Let me go ahead and agree – I too don’t mind if women want to be strippers.  While I feel it’s a profession that objectifies and dehumanizes women, I can imagine a woman who enjoys it and if so, more power to her.  I can imagine a woman who truly likes and wants to be a stripper, and if that’s Usher’s fictional shawty, fine.  But even if that were true, then what business is it of Usher’s?  Why does she need his ass to approve?

“Oh, you mind?  Then I’m dumping you.”
Of course, the reason he’s so cool with her being a stripper is because she makes that money money money…so naturally, it must be a FINE profession, along with drug dealing, racketeering, and embezzling.

But no one seems bothered by this song.  It’s progressive!  He says just because she’s a stripper doesn’t mean she’s a prostitute!  I agree, great, but no one thinks maybe there should be a better option?  No one else finds it ludicrous? 

I wouldn’t mind the song so much if it had already spawned parodies of itself by women who were like, what?  Fuck that shit. Because in the end, it’s just a song, and if you jam out to it, great.  There are plenty of songs I listen to the lyrics of and think, whaat? (I can jam out to “Super Freak” but I can’t think about the lyrics too hard, if we’re talking women merely being seen as sexual objects.) I just wish I could apply Poe’s law and we could all agree it’s so ridiculous that the song might as well be a satire on men trying to accept equal rights.   You know, this character can graciously accept her profession…as long as it doesn’t challenge any of his views on what women are capable of.
But so far, I’m not hearing any support for that view.  
I’ve got no issue with strippers.  But, come on, I think even strippers would admit this song is condescending and sexist while pretending to be open-minded. “Ooo, thank you, Usher honey.  I’m sure glad douchebags like you think like this, because that’s how I make $500 in an hour.”

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