In the second verse, the song makes the argument that large corporations and businesses have lowered girl’s standards and therefore created a larger gap in inequality. The lyrics are “Lower and lower our standards go as your money grows”. This argument, however, can be countered by the fact that a woman’s physical appearance does not determine her worth. The way a woman looks should not be a factor in whether or not she is deemed equal to men, and whether or not she decides to wear short skirts or turtlenecks does not affect the fact that she is entitled to an equal opportunity to everyone around her.
The first true issue discussed in the song is the way women are expected to behave in society. The songwriter explains that women are expected to look pretty and keep quiet, instead of actually voicing their opinions and creating change. She says that women are only supposed to “look their best” and that girls’ voices are often suppressed. There is truth to this statement, especially the point about girls being valued more for their looks than their brains. Often in American society, women are judged primarily on the way they look, rather than on their opinions or the way they think. This argument may be a bit exaggerated, though, because in recent years women have started to speak up and get their voices heard more and more often. Unfortunately, many women in American society still feel that they do not have a voice and are only worth as much as their clothes are.
The next argument the songwriter makes is that in America,some people believe that women have already made enough progress in the fight for equal rights, and shouldn’t be asking for more. She mocks these people when she says “but look how very far we have come/ cast a vote, wear pants, and prop up a gun”. She is pointing out the fact that just because women can vote or wear pants does not mean that they have equal rights with men. This is a very valid point, as many women in America do not realize the severeness of the inequality that they face every day. Lots of people in America are simply unaware of the problem, therefore this part of the story is true. The song continues to point out that women can and should have control over their own lives and are capable of doing more than simply being a “trophy wife”. This is another slight exaggeration, as some women have become very successful on their own and are already beginning to tear down the stereotype, but is all in all a true story because lots of women in America do not realize their own worth.
This song is a step in the right direction for women’s rights. Not only does it attack stereotypical ideologies regarding females in America, but also blames other parts of American culture such as big corporations that create misleading advertisements and TV shows for the gap in equality. Even better, this song sends a message to women, both young and old, that they do not have to conform to these stereotypes and are capable of forging their own paths.