I drive my daughter to school everyday. She is four and daily we sing along to the radio as she begins to ask me about the lyrics. “Why is this person ‘feeling complicated‘ mama? She is saying she ‘realises she is not alone’, that’s great! I will remember I am not alone now when I am sleeping in my room.” This cracks me up but I am also HORRIFIED.
It dawns on me that she is now actually, actively, listening to these random, run of the mill pop songs that I often just bop to, but never pay attention to the lyrics. So now I am paying attention. I am in full force anxiety.
How are these words and sentences about booty, sex and random crap building her conception of the world, of being female, of relationships? DEAR GOD! I love classical music, I love jazz, should I be putting those things on instead? Should we solely listen to feminist podcasts, or, do what we did in my childhood in Amman during the 80’s and just listen to Radio Monte Carlo and BBC Arabic?!
To be fair she loves Fairuz’s Tik-Tik-Tik Em Sleiman and ReMi Bandali’s Baba but seriously I cant keep her on this retro PC path too long because these songs from my childhood are starting to drive me absolutely CRAZY. Thank God for her father inducing an obsession with Alessia Cara’s Scars to Your Beautiful to replace my daughter’s renditions of Sexual by Neiked (I know, I know the puns are in the names).
Right it’s Queen, The Beatles and Bela Bartok on repeat until I figure out a list of strong, female voices I want her to emulate.