The song “Before he Cheats,” by Carrie Underwood has been played millions of times, through headphones, speaker, car radios, and so much more. The song is well known by many and has left a imprint on country music as a whole. The single was one of the first country songs to ever really break the barrier between deep southern country and today’s pop culture music. “Before he Cheats,” won a grammy for “Song of the Year,” as well as recieved many other notable awards.
The song is written from a first person point of view, making it seem as though Underwood wrote it about herself. The song is based around the idea of a man cheating on his significant other, being Underwood, and her reaction to what he has done. She attempts to get revenge on him by taking things into her own hands and messing with him. Although the song “Before he Cheats,” features a woman who shows a great amount of agency, the song also promotes multiple stereotypes of women in America.
The song begins with Underwood talking about her significant other being with another girl. She mentions different things that he would most likely be doing with her, then continues on to insult the girl. One line reads,
“Right now, he's probably buying her some fruity little drink.By including this line, Underwood is only putting herself down and making herself seem like a worse person, as well as promoting a stereotype of a jealous, over attached girl. The stereotype of a women being envious of a significant other is a common one. It’s not seen in just movies and television shows, but in also in the way many people think now a days.
Cause she can't shoot whiskey…”
The song goes on to show her reaction to what he does. She becomes impulsive and violent, which only further plays into the crazy girl stereotype. The chorus itself has these three lines in it:
“Carved my name into his leather seats...These lines are repeated three different times throughout the song, which leaves the listener with pretty clear picture in their head of what is happening. Carrie Underwood writing about how she commits a legal crime by destroying his property, doesn’t really help demote the idea of a “crazy girlfriend,” or the idea that girl over react to everything.
I took a Louisville slugger to both headlights,
Slashed a hole in all four tires…”
The point of view can also be flipped here, if brought back to the original point to the song. The actions that the male has been said to take apart in, play into the role of a guy who has no respect for women and treats them horribly. Yes, there is always gonna be people out there that are truly self centered, but not all guys are, that’s for sure. This song just automatically makes the guy out to be a bad person, which isn’t really spreading a good idea of men out there.
Therefore, this song is most definitely not a feminist piece of work as there is no strong argument for gender equality. Even though though Underwood shows agency, by taking matters into her own hands and getting revenge, this doesn’t really put across the best image of women out there.