Prov 17:22

A merry heart doeth good like a medicine... - Proverbs 17:22

Sunday, January 15, 2017

This will make somebody mad

I’m not a country music fan, but on weekday mornings while dressing for work and making my bed, I listen to a local station for news and weather. Hearing the latest country songs is a sometimes questionable fringe benefit. One song that seems to be getting a lot of air time lately is “Better Man,” recorded by Little Big Town and written by Taylor Swift.

I’m not surprised this song is gaining popularity. I imagine multitudes of women relate to it, and I confess these kinds of thoughts have tromped across my own brain and emotions many a time. This could have worked out if only you were a better man. I don’t doubt that many a regret-filled man listens to this song with a woulda-coulda-shoulda nod of his sorry, sad head.

But just hold on a minute. Let’s imagine that a guy were singing the same song, wishing his lost love had been a better woman. How might we react to these lyrics:

I hold onto this pride because these days it’s all I have
And I gave you my best and we both know you can’t say that
You can’t say that
I wish you were a better woman
I wonder what we would’ve become
If you were a better woman
We might still be in love
If you were a better woman
You would’ve been the one
If you were a better woman.

Do you find these words offensive? Anyone? And if so, why is that? Why, if the original version is okay? All I did was switch the genders.

I think this song might be equally popular if a man were singing it, saying “We might still be in love if I were a better man.” Women everywhere would nod, possibly fall a little bit in love with this guy who’s finally seeing the light.

But let’s turn that idea on its head. Some woman singing, “We might still be in love if I were a better woman,” would incite an outpouring of female support for this poor soul suffering so heavily from rock bottom self-esteem. You just need to be you, Honey. You don’t need to make yourself over for no man. You’re fine just the way you are!

Help me understand this. Without falling back on the “centuries of oppression make it okay” argument. How is it not sexist to say it’s acceptable for a woman to sing this song, but not for a man? How is it not childish to want it both ways? Thinking that the success of a relationship falls solely on the man being “a better man” turns women into the helpless stereotypes women have fought against for years. 

We say we want to receive the same respect as men, but how can that ever happen if society as a whole doesn’t respect men any more than this? Am I missing something?


  1. Good pondering words. It's always wise to look at things from another person's perspective. Good job, Ms. Todd.

  2. If you were a better woman, you might understand.

  3. I do agree with your point, but obviously you never wasted years of your life trying to make a marriage work then feel lost. I would not mind if a man sung the words in reverse because the story works both ways.

    1. Oh, honey. It's intriguing what can appear obvious sometimes.