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.