Meghan Trainor recently released the music video to “Dear Future Husband,” and, honestly, I’m disgusted.
Throughout the song, Trainor attempts to portray herself as a “strong, independent woman who don’t need no man,” as the saying goes. But being independent doesn’t mean you get to be disrespectful.
It’s clear Trainor is trying to challenge the “stereotypical housewife” trope through such lyrics as:
“You got that 9 to 5
But, baby, so do I
So don’t be thinking I’ll be home and baking apple pies
I never learned to cook”
She follows that up, though, with a list of criteria about how exactly her future husband should act that crosses over from “love and respect me” to a petty checklist. If they don’t complete that checklist, they don’t get, as she says, “that special lovin’.”
“Dear future husband,
If you wanna get that special lovin’
Tell me I’m beautiful each and every night”
“Take me on a date
I deserve it, babe
And don’t forget the flowers every anniversary
‘Cause if you’ll treat me right
I’ll be the perfect wife
Buy-buying what you need”
“I’ll be sleeping on the left side of the bed (hey)
Open doors for me and you might get some kisses”
The disrespect culminates in the lyrics:
“After every fight
And maybe then I’ll let you try and rock my body right
Even if I was wrong
You know I’m never wrong
Why, why disagree?”
Trainor seems to have the idea she can hold intimacy over her spouse’s head, while at the same time not showing the mutual respect that should be part of every relationship. Once she gets what she wants, then—and only then—will she do her part.
“You gotta know how to treat me like a lady
Even when I’m acting crazy
Tell me everything’s alright”
Being independent and non-traditional in a relationship can and does work for some couples. However, it also comes with a mutual respect, which this song just doesn’t have. There is nothing wrong with knowing what you want, and if flowers on an anniversary are really that important to Trainor, then okay. But she doesn’t get to use intimacy and respect as a bargaining chip. Those are part of a relationship because they are part of a relationship. We are called to love and respect our spouses (or significant others), and making a list of petty demands is neither.
The song is catchy enough, though, that it will most likely gain some traction and end up being overplayed. And although it’s certainly better (and cleaner) than some songs out there, the ideals it holds up, and the attitudes it portrays in a relationship just aren’t right.
While I’m sure Trainor’s intentions were good, and of the “challenging gender stereotypes” and “independent woman” variety, she missed the mark with this song. Being independent does not give someone a pass to treat others poorly. Challenging gender stereotypes does not mean using love, affection, or intimacy to get what you want (an action which actually reinforces these stereotypes). Give respect and you will get respect. Simple as that.
What do you think? Is this song (and music video) disrespectful? Or should it be taken as sarcasm and tongue-in-cheek?