I noticed that I put the wrong
screenshot for one of the pages
What does “Timber”
by Pitbull mean?
The fine line
between art and misogyny – is it just some “catchy music” or sexism,
violence, and objectification of women?
It is not just catchy music, many pop songs including
“Timber”, contain lyrics that hint at extremely demeaning aspects
such sexism, violence, and objectification of women. Music has always been
closely associated with sex, but why do pop culture and music put the
focus on sex to begin with? Why can’t we find songs about going out
for brunch, or cuddling our pets, for instance, or going on a lovely
stroll through a magical forest on the charts?
So, everyone is talking about the controversy on Robin Thicke’s
Billboard hit ‘Blurred Lines’, but nobody has yet talked about how
outrageously inappropriate and misleading ‘Timber’ is. Unpleasant thoughts
about male and female relations have always been prevalent in pop music.
The majority of the pop music we like to listen to contain misogynistic
lyrics that could portray a wrong message to both men and women, but the
unpleasant truth is that sex will always be a part of the industry, since sex
is a primitive instinct and will always be able to appeal to the audience.
I chose to do “Timber” as my subject today, since
“Timber” is one of those songs with dangerously sexist lyrics. As
long as pop culture has existed, party songs have existed as well. But
“Timber” has a “rapacious hedonism” which makes the song different from
all other “normal” party songs. This gives the song a
disturbing vibe of “I’ll do anything for some release” instead of
“I just wanna have a good time”.
To be honest, I could figure out right away what kind of thing I was in for,
when I first saw the song’s cover. It shows a close-up picture of a woman’s
body in a crop and skintight jean shorts. The already exposing enough skintight
shorts are ripped, to expose more of the woman’s sexually
appealing body part. This picture is used as the Single’s
cover, although it has no apparent connections to the song itself.
This shows how over-sexualizing women has now become a popular trend in
music, and how it is considered to be “acceptable” in today’s
“TIMBER” is a phrase used by a lumberjack chopping down a
tree, when the tree is about to fall, giving a warning to anyone nearby so they
won’t get hit by the tree. But Timber also has another meaning to it which is
the one used in the song; girls that are too hungover that they are falling
down. Clever, intended metaphor and double meanings like this are used
throughout the song to further the idea of – sex. Especially lyrics like
“She say she won’t, but I bet she will, timber” addresses a grey
area between consensual sex and rape. I am pretty sure Pitbull didn’t even
realize that his song can play role in normalizing non-consensual sex
and rape, which is an awful reality millions of women face every day, in real
Here, Pitbull is basically
explaining that he like bodies, especially like Miley Cyrus, referring to
the “Wrecking Ball” music video where she comes out completely
make a night you won’t remember” is said repeatedly throughout the song.
This suggests the idea of rape, since it is implying that she/he is
trying to have sex with you when you are drunk and unconscious.
Not only sexism, this part of the
lyrics glorifies that one percent lifestyle of extreme wealth and money
involving flying in private jets, living in hotels, and available sexual
music video, there isn’t any creativity or originality shown, and not even
a logical flow. It proves that a video with a rapid flow of images that imply
such things as sex and money instead of focusing towards a meaning, can still
please the audience.
Strangely, in the entirety of the
music video, Pitbull and Kesha are not shown together in any of the scenes. In
the rapid crosscuts between each scene, Pitbull is shown touching sharks,
shirtless, drinking and dancing on a beach with a “beauty”. In most
of the scenes, Pitbull has a gaze, looking straight into the
camera with a confidence that seems to only come from him being the center
of sexual attention. On the other hand, Kesha is shown as a fetish object, with
scenes involving plenty of current music video clichés. She wears several short
and revealing outfits, suggestively leaning over a truck, shaking her
‘ass’ and stroking her own breasts to the beats of the song. But not only
Kesha, all the other female dancers in the video are also
objectified. The camera angle focuses on their body, following the hands
drawing attention to the physically sexual parts of their bodies. This
shows that compared to male artists, it is way more common for female
artists to be objectified, have stricter beauty standards, and are
expected to demonstrate a sexually suggesting behavior, to please the eyes of
the male audience.
some artists, both male and female, take advantage of how sex sells in the
industry, we should acknowledge the fact that these degrading themes of
sexism, violence, and objectifying women should not presented in such ways
that impact our society through pop music culture.