“You should be stronger than me”

I’ve been thinking about this Amy Winehouse song for a while now. It’s an odd song. 

In places it sounds like a frustrated submissive telling her dom to lift his game and take over, stepping up to his role. 

Bdsm si! El patriarcado non!

In other places (more often, to be honest) it sounds more like a woman who’s completely internalised patriarchy and sexism. As such she expects a man, any man in any relationship, to take charge. Because that’s the only way it’s right for men to be.

Not because the two of them agreed for it to be that way, maybe after a discussion in which the possibility of other power balances and imbalances was at least recognised. 

Because her man doesn’t tell her what to do and is emotionally open, she’s uncomfortable. She accuses him of being a “lady boy” and asks him if he’s gay.  

Sometimes it sounds like a bdsm song to me: “Dominate me, Henry” . Other times she sounds like those mad, angry Christians who complain that boys are taught to be softies, and go apeshit when gays and intergender people are treated as anything except punching bags. 

In the video, the problem is that the guy drinks and falls over a lot. It completely misses the point of the song. It’s not about drinking problems, it’s about the man and woman having completely different ideas about their roles.

Still, if you were directing a video with Amy W in it, I can see how “drinking and falling down” might have occurred to you as a theme. 

Anyway, I still think the song is hot. Not for the best reasons, but there it is. 

2 thoughts on ““You should be stronger than me”

  1. Interesting. It was that song and her sulky, sexy delivery that made me instantly fear a tragic end for her. It was honest but not at all self reflexive. Pushing all complex and difficult feelings out onto the other and not examining where, how and why in ourselves is a recipe for a very unhappy life in my opinion. I felt like I was watching a train crash. Ugh.

  2. Yeah. It’s an uncensored, unconsidered song. Which is part of its pull.

    And facing life without self-awareness is brave but as you say it’s a recipe for unhappiness and self-destruction.

    I sometimes think it’s very dodgy, the way we like it when artists go to extreme mental places, report back from there, and destroy themselves. It’s a very common thing in artists and their audiences. (Not “most”, but “a few too many”.)

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