Come Listen to the Joyful, Satirical “Primal Ritual” of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend‘s “Let’s Generalize About Men”
(Content warning: The song mentions rape.)
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend returned for its third season last night, and they’ve shared one of the highlights from the premiere on YouTube. (If the YouTube version is blocked in your country, you can try the EW article.) In “Let’s Generalize About Men,” Rebecca, Heather, Paula, and Valencia tear into men as a gender over some rosé.
The song exults in their angry power anthem while also poking serious fun at the idea of generalizing an entire gender, with lyrics like, “Let’s just drink a lot more alcohol / and then high-five each other / as we make a bunch of blanket statements” and “All men are stupid and childish / even the ones who are smart and mature.” Halfway through the song, the women then adjust their lyrics, to issue blanket stereotypes about how “gay men are all really great.”
What I most appreciate about this song is that, while it certainly mocks the idea of generalizations, it doesn’t go full #NotAllMen – because the girls are having so much fun while they generalize. As co-showrunner Aline Brosh McKenna said, “It’s about the assumptions that people make about each other, and the way that people make these kinds of sweeping general statements and how enjoyable that is.”
Because there’s something deeply and often necessarily cathartic about calling to “cancel men” or writing that “men need to stop,” and I like that the song never denies that. Because, as a gender and social force, men really do need to stop like 80% of the time, and women really do need to be allowed to express (a) the harmful effects of men as a demographic (b) their fury however the hell they want. (The same goes for statements about white people, cis people, etc.) As the song says, in gloriously ’80s fashion, “This is some kind of primal ritual we need now and then.”
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