July 18, 2009 The Problem with “Every Girl”
Milan and Imani Ford recently launched the site IAMNOTEVERYGIRL.com created to as a campaign to provide others the opportunity to show our nation’s entertainment industry why this generation must be protected. Their objective is to request local radio stations currently playing EVERY GIRL by Young Money and Lil’ Wayne to cease doing so or at least restrict its air rotation to certain hours and to open up dialogue about what today’s music is doing to today generation, and finally to spread and foster the common theme that if the stations are playing it then they like the artist, they too are saying it.
I am so glad that Milan and Imani launched this campaign. While there are songs that are currently on air and have been on air in the past that have been far worse than this song, I think this song was the straw that broke the camel’s back for all of us. And the whole thing hit a head during a perfect storm of the death of one of history’s greatest singers, songwriters and entertainer, Michael Jackson and BET’s shameless tribute to MJ where this ridiculous song was performed.
After Milan and Iman’s campaign began making traction and they were featured in an article with ESSENCE magazine, I was reminded by something that I told my wife about that song when I first heard it. In the ESSENCE article Milan mentioned how the program managers at the radio stations informed him that while they respected what he was doing, the only way to remove the songs is to lower the requests and incidently in Atlanta (where the campaign is focused) it’s the number one requested song by women age 16 to 35.
I’ll repeat that:
It is the #1 song requested by WOMEN ages 16 to 35!!
Does that strike anybody else as curious? Does that send a shutter down anyone else’s spine? The program manager suggested that men aren’t even the ones pushing this song! That statistic reminded me of what I told my wife the very first time I heard this song. The hook goes, “I just want to f*ck every girl in the world.”
I told my wife: “The saddest part about this song is that the women who will hear it will think that it’s a compliment.” The song starts off with Lil’ Wayne introducing how addicted the girl would be to having sex with him and that he would basically “own” the right to have sex with her and just when its about to go super over the edge he backs down with a compliment professing, “But anyway I think you’re bionic/And I don’t think you’re beautiful/I think you’re beyond it” and then with a brief compliment slipped in immediately proceeds the talk about with that said he still wants to have sex with her, and every other girl in the world for that matter.
Aside from being disrespectful to all women and promoting irresponsibility, the whole first verse of that song is a perfect example of what is wrong with the song (and songs like it) in the first place. It teaches women that their only value is how they can sexually please a man. And the women in the song, sadly true to life, falls for the okie doke when the man slips in a brief compliment to “affirm” her self-esteem. This is the Problem with “Every Girl.” Songs like this are creating a new generation of “EVERY GIRLS” and I love how the Fords create this movement saying, I AM NOT EVERY GIRL and nor is my daughters, sisters, aunts, mothers, etc.
The fact that the song is the requested by women ages 16 to 35 should be troubling to all of us. I meet women constantly here in Atlanta who are professionals and has a lot going for them, they talk about how empowered and strong they are. Are these the same women who are requesting this song. I’ll bet that the college campus are filled with women who are requesting this song. And the saddest part is that while the men are not requesting the song, they are not demanding more respect for the women in their lives, instead they are like sheep to the slaughter blindly allowing the songs to shape the way they think about women too. Now the men believe that it is complimentary to treat and think of women in this fashion and do it, and the women have settled to think its ok to be treated in that way and accept it, or complain that they can’t find a good man.
So the problem with the EVERY GIRL song is simply that it is creating more EVERY GIRLS. Deep down I know that you do not want to be an EVERY GIRL if you are a woman, or have a daughter. You deserve respect. If you are a man, surely you don’t want your daughter to be an EVERY GIRL or your sister to be treated like one. It’s time to join the IAMNOTEVERYGIRL.com movement. Say it loud. I AM NOT EVERY GIRL.
Go to www.iamnoteverygirl.com and see how you can help.