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Three Whoops and a Holler for Jean Shepard and this awesome old song

I usually listen to my music collection on shuffle, and this old song was one of the first that popped up this morning as I caught up on comments here. Recorded by Jean Shepard in 1954, it’s a charmingly blunt criticism of sexist double standards. The notions she challenges  are still, sadly, issues to this day, especially amongst the you-know-who’s-rights-activists and the rest of their pals in the you-know-who-o-sphere. Some of the lyrics:

How come a man can fight and cuss and smoke and drink and chew

Step out on their wives and do the things they shouldn’t do?

But it’s all right in the publics’ eye, they say he’s just a man

But if a woman does one little thing, she’s not worth a …

Two whoops and a holler,

she’s lower than a hound

If she drinks or smokes or tells a joke,

she’s a lowest thing in town

Of course, like a lot of old songs by women in country music that challenge male sexism, Two Whoops and Holler is a product of its time, and doesn’t transcend traditionalist thinking entirely. The song ends  up endorsing some double standards of its own: Shepard sings that “the women ought to rule the world ’cause the men ain’t worth a … Two whoops and a holler, they’re lower than a hound.”

In other words, she ends up offering a mirror image of the original sexism — which is exactly the sort of dualistic thinking that double standards lead to in the first place. Don’t tell the MRAs!  They’ll start going on about female supremacism or some other nonsense.

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Posted on August 31, 2012, in awesome, life before feminism, misandry, misogyny, MRA, music, video, YouTube and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 54 Comments.

  1. Yeah, two wrongs don’t make a right, but she does make some good points. The sexual double-standard is alive and well. How many nasty names are there for promiscuous women vs. promiscuous men?

  2. Thanks Ruby.

    And now that song is stuck in my head!

  3. That song reminds me of the Loretta Lynn song Rated X about the double standard.

  4. Yeah, two wrongs don’t make a right

    How about two evils?

  5. Every time I read one of Ruby’s comments it makes me want to eat my desk.

  6. I’ve had a morbid fear of being made to eat a desk ever since I read a creepypasta about a man being made to eat a desk…

    Anyway that song will be in my head for hours. Can’t decide if that’s good or bad.

  7. I thought you said you would eat your dalek shade…..but I have been watching dr.who so…..

  8. Hah. :P

    Talking of Doctor Who and Daleks, new series starts this weekend! :D

  9. Sorry bionicmommy, but it against the law to mention Loretta Lynn without Harper Vally PTA. (Ah, the good old days when women were so submissive and feminine.)

  10. My Dolly Parton spamming is finally topical

  11. thebionicmommy

    Yeah, The Harper Valley PTA! A total classic. Oh, and Dolly Parton, too, this is awesome. :-)

  12. @lauralot

    Link to creepypasta?

  13. Yeah, two wrongs don’t make a right

    Exactly. Maybe apply this to other wrongs as well?

  14. Vanessa Emma Goldman

    unfortunately, this bullshit is still pretty common in country music. Exhibit A: “Redneck Woman” Gretchen Wilson. on the same album that song was on were two other songs that pretty much uncritically accept the double standard and the notion that it is always the woman’s fault. the song “Homewrecker” places the blame for an affair on “the other woman” rather than on the asshole man who stuck his ugly little weenie where it did not belong. then in “When i Think About Cheating,” the female protagonsit better not even think about cheating on her man, who is probably the same ashile from the first song.

  15. Vanessa Emma Goldman

    “Protagonist” and “asshole” in the last sentence.

  16. thebionicmommy

    on the same album that song was on were two other songs that pretty much uncritically accept the double standard and the notion that it is always the woman’s fault. the song “Homewrecker” places the blame for an affair on “the other woman” rather than on the asshole man who stuck his ugly little weenie where it did not belong. then in “When i Think About Cheating,” the female protagonsit better not even think about cheating on her man, who is probably the same ashile from the first song.

    Oh yeah, that is also a common theme in country music. One of the most obvious examples was Tammy Wynette’s hit Stand by your Man

    Sometimes it’s hard to be a woman
    Giving all your love to just one man
    You’ll have bad times
    And he’ll have good times
    Doin things that you don’t understand
    But if you love him
    You’ll forgive him
    Even though he’s hard to understand
    And if you love him
    Oh, be proud of him
    Cause after all he’s just a man

    That’s the same kind of stuff MRA’s say. Women have to be pure, but men just can’t help themselves. So I laugh at MRA’s that claim country music is “misandric” because they’re angry about the Dixie Chicks or Miranda Lambert singing against abusive dipshits. It’s not like they can’t find misogynistic country songs like Brad Paisley’s I’m still a guy or anything by freaking Trace Adkins.

  17. I’ve always loved the lyrics to “It Takes a Woman” from Hello Dolly for illustrating another one of the contradictions of the female stereotype: that you’re supposed to be dainty and fresh and fragile on the one hand, but a workhorse around the house on the other.

    Sample lyrics:

    It takes a woman, all powdered and pink
    to joyously clean out the drain in the sink.

    The frail young maiden who’s constantly there
    for washing and bluing and shoeing the mare . . .

    (The Walter Matthau version seems to have been removed.)

  18. aworld: No idea where to find the specific story (if you meant that), but this is always a… “fun” ( :P ) place to go.

    http://creepypasta.wikia.com/wiki/Creepypasta_Wiki

  19. @Shade

    I love the creepypasta wiki. Except this one fic I read there that was really long and had an incredibly disappointing climax.

  20. Martina McBride has several songs about domestic abuse and they aren’t abuse apologistic. Including this one about a girl whose mother kills the abusive father.

  21. This is the song that’s currently stuck in my head. Layaway plans, indeed.

  22. Here’s Loretta Lynn giving another FU to the double standard with “The Pill”:

  23. thebionicmommy

    Wow, I remember when Independence Day first came out back when I was a teenager and it was one of my favorite songs. One the newer songs I like that deals with domestic violence is Lambert’s Gunpower and Lead. My only critique is how the video shows her using a scoop shovel to dig a grave, but that’s just a tiny detail.

    Here’s Goodbye Earl because it’s a good one, too.

  24. Here’s some goddamned country for yous:

  25. I swear it was the Wendigo that drove me to the axe,
    but I confess that no hand further made me chop and cut and hack.

    Deep inside my curdled mind a murky abyss yawned,
    and at my feet in endless sleep my family waited for the dawn.

    Children, mothers, beasts of burden, not one life was spared.
    Gazing on the piles and pyres, I rended clothes and tore my hair.

    Deep inside my troubled mind, that gaping hole was filled with blood and moans and fingerbones of all my party I had killed.

    On ground and clothes and hard-packed snow, just how much blood I cannot tell.
    What Neptune’s oceans could not cleanse did grease my footing down to Hell.

  26. Sooo you’re a troll then? Not that I really expected anything more after that whole “not hating on fat people is a religion” shit you were saying before.

  27. What the fuck are you talking about? When did I say anything like that? There’s a world of difference between not hating fat people and saying diets never work, that every fat person ever has a metabolic disorder.

    And what’s more, how am I trolling by posting music? I’m more bemused by that notion than anything else.

  28. Oh sorry, see the problem is we get a lot of trolls here and when someone starts yammering on about how not hating on fat people by saying a bunch of bullshit science that they’re unhealthy is some kind of religion and therefore unfalsifiable my mind just immediately goes to “troll alert”. So you can see how that could have happened, right? Especially when they then go on to start posting country songs titled “Poor Desperate Fools” about horrible cheating women in a thread where people have been posting country songs with a slightly feminist bent and you say stuff like “Here’s some goddamned country for yous”. So sorry for the misunderstanding!

  29. Well, when you put it that way, I can see how one would reach such a conclusion. As to the song, I’m not sure if it’s the man or the woman who’s been cheating. Maybe both. What matters is that it’s dark and miserable. Those songs I posted fall under the ‘gothic country’ subgenre.

  30. If we’re doing flipped-standards country songs, we can’t leave out “Wild Side of Life” and its response “It Wasn’t God Who Made Honky-Tonk Angels”, one of the few examples of an answer song as well-known as the originals. Hear the two together, a little fast, here:

  31. That version does omit the second verse of each song, but it works a little better that way if they’re strung together. The second verse of “It Wasn’t God…” gets to the gender-flipping-entirely thing way more than the first.

  32. Another country song that does a great job of switching gender roles is Shania Twain’s Honey, I’m Home

    I also like the song National Working Woman’s Holiday by Sammy Kershaw, although when I watch the video, I’ll think “Hey, give your wife a break and help out some more!”

  33. Ostara, you agree that two wrongs don’t make a right and suggest I follow that advise, huh? I hate on certain (evil) people and that causes you to hate on me. Are you not being hypocritical by not following your own advise? The irony, LOL.

  34. I know this might be hard for you to comprehend Ruby, but we don’t “hate” you because you hate other people, we “hate” you because of what you say should happen to those people.

    Notice how our “hate” doesn’t come packaged with what we think should happen to you?

  35. Way to fail at irony, Ruby. I’m not even sure we hate you, we just think you’re trite, banal, dim, and have some incredibly ignorant ideas. The only thing I wish would happen to you is a ban.

  36. Ruby only hates evil people, like the poor, disabled people, or other oppressed people who won’t tolerate her bullshit. And she thinks rape is an okay form of punishment. Why we’re ‘picking on’ her I can’t imagine.

  37. Ostara, you agree that two wrongs don’t make a right and suggest I follow that advise, huh? I hate on certain (evil) people and that causes you to hate on me. Are you not being hypocritical by not following your own advise? The irony, LOL.

    there’s a difference between ‘hating’ someone and actively enjoying the prospect of serious harm befalling them you dimwitted creep. do you think the stupid shit you say through for even a fraction of a second.

  38. When I was in the fifth grade, my teacher decided it was time for us all to learn proper debating technique, so he had us face off and debate each other. I was a lazy, passive-aggressive kid and my solution to assignments I didn’t want to do was to do them really half-assed, like Homer Simpson. So I semi-deliberately debated in the worst way possible, using one logical fallacy after another, and of course I lost.

    Anyway, Ruby’s comments always remind me of me back then, only difference was I was TEN YEARS OLD and DOING IT ON PURPOSE.

  39. When you call people nasty names, that’s hate.

  40. So, Ruby…do you think calling people nasty names is morally equivalent to wanting them to get raped, or is it worse?

  41. Not quite feminist country music, but this is one of my favourite songs and reminds me of a few recurring commenters here:

    There are tons of version out there, but Possum does it best.

  42. katz, are you equating me with an evil person in prison for a heinous crime? Let me explain where I’m coming from. I’m an atheist so I don’t believe there’s any after-life punishment. I can’t tell you how much it bothers me that people who have committed evil against others will never be punished enough for it. I just saw a Dr. G episode where a woman was beaten to death, and her boyfriend only served 11 years for that crime. So excuse me for hoping he was raped in jail. Now go ahead and say what a horrible person I am for thinking that way.

    BTW, I stand by my original point about two wrongs not making a right. I mean we shouldn’t be misandrists just because misogynists exist. I think we all agree about that.

  43. Now go ahead and say what a horrible person I am for thinking that way.

    Ok. You’re a fucking horrible person.

    You might be an atheist, but it seems like you’re stuck in the thinking that people should be punished like-for-like, or even worse. You’re no better than a fundie in that regard.

  44. You’re a horrible fucking person, Ruby. BTW, misandry is not a thing, so no we don’t all agree on that. Then again, you believe in extra legal punishment, i.e., prison rape, so the kind of shit that flits across your shallow brainpan is suspect at best.

  45. Actually, scratch that, you’re worse than a fundie. At least they aren’t pretending to be on the same side as me.

  46. @Ruby
    So two wrongs don’t make a right, unless one of those wrongs is someone getting raped? How does that make any sense Ruby, how can you seriously not see the contradiction?

    You care more about criminals being punished, often in extralegal and completely unjustified ways, than you care about preventing crimes from happening and the victims of said crimes. That is a horrible way to think, so you tell me what that makes you.

  47. There you go again, spewing hatred. Hypocrites!

  48. We aren’t hypocrites; we’ve always hated your hideous opinions and have never pretended otherwise.

  49. I’m an atheist so I don’t believe there’s any after-life punishment.

    “I don’t believe a god is sufficiently causing enough horrendous and unsuitable punishments, so it falls to us humans to make more”
    You are a piece of shit.

    There you go again, spewing hatred. Hypocrites!

    Yup, it’s totally the same to hate on, say, poor people for being poor as it is to say you’re an ignorant, hateful piece of shit. Fuck off.

  50. Ruby, how am I a hypocrite when I’ve never liked you? If you really think that because you call yourself a feminist that means a free pass for your hateful fuckery, you are sorely mistaken.

  51. You’re a sad, pathetic fool, Ruby. And no amount of repetition (I’m sorry, “explanation”.) will make your gloating over rape or your contempt for the poor any less heinous.

    Feel free to whinge and bleat about what a mean old meanie I am now.

  52. I’m really not seeing any hypocrisy here.

    I despise rape apologists unreservedly, Ruby is a rape apologist (no real argument here: she’s done it repeatedly, including a few posts up), therefore I despise Ruby.

    No hypocrisy, no inconsistency, no surprise. And unless she can demonstrate that I’m a rape apologist too (which I hope is completely impossible), that will remain the situation until she recants – but I won’t be holding my breath.

    And what kind of feminist not only supports rape but even claims to find it funny?

  53. Ruby you are so creepy, I got chills with the part where you said you were hoping he got raped. What kind of feminist are you? You are one sick fuck.

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