These Gender Swaps Don’t Make Me SMILE (Week 16 – 2015)

A lot of songs are not written by the person who sings them. Rather, they are shopped around and given to whichever artist/group buys it (or, in some cases, it was written for). Ever wonder what would happen if someone else had gotten that song? Covers usually fulfill that curiosity, because it’s rare to actually get a glimpse inside this lyrical market. One example that comes to my mind is Girls’ Generation‘s RunDevilRun (소녀시대 – 런데빌런), which Keisha sang a demo of for the sole purpose of shopping the song. It was released in March 2010, but to this day, people are still arguing over which song is better and even who “stole” the song from whom >< seriously… But, there is also a darker side to this intrigue. What happens when changing something about the song brings to light controversy? Those are the types of songs I want to focus on today, specifically the ones that would cause huge problems if you simply switched the singer’s genders from female to male.

First, let’s switch Iggy Azalea‘s Black Widow ft. Rita Ora (lyrics). With a chorus that preaches “I’m gonna love ya until you hate me and I’m gonna show ya what’s really crazy”, it’s easy to see why a woman would get offended if a man were to sing this. “I’m gonna l-l-l-love you until it hurts. Just to get you I’m doing whatever works” …these are the kinds of situations that require restraining orders, but still this song gets comments like “best song ever!” and “amazing!” ㅜ.ㅜ

Next up is G.R.L.‘s Ugly Heart (lyrics). OK, so the song itself isn’t so much the issue with this one, rather it’s switching the roles in the music video that makes it controversial. We’re supposed to feel proud, that “he got what he deserved.” Reverse the roles and this would be the top story at 4, 6, 8, and 11 for a very different reason. But, whatever, female empowerment! ㅡ.ㅡ

Cory Lee‘s Play Dumb (I couldn’t find the lyrics anywhere, sorry!) is another song that women are (strangely) proud of. And why not? This is a great way to improve the image of women everywhere: get a song about a manipulative Jezebel who can’t face her own sexual actions to top the charts. Have a man sing it though? “Such a typical guy slut shaming women!

Only three songs today?? Yeah, I’ve got stuff to do! >//< Sorry, sorry! …sorry sorry naega naega naega meonjeo… Sorr– no, stop… I can’t help myself haha ^o^ Anyhow, what are some songs that you know of that would be seen in a whole new light with just a minor tweak? And, be sure to leave any suggestions you might have for future SMILEs in your comment too!

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