“Female” encompasses what it means to be a woman…sort of
“Daughter, lover, healer, broken halo, mother nature, fire, suit of armor, soul survivor, holy water…” and the list goes on in Keith Urban’s latest single, “Female.” It’s supposed to be a song about female empowerment in light of the outpouring of sexual assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and others. While Urban’s intentions may be good, the song is, well, not. Cheap rhymes and repetition made what could have been a powerful ballad redundant and dull. Though I respect that he is all for supporting women, his attempt is lacking, in more ways than one.
The biggest problem I have with the song is the chorus, which lists the various types of ways in which women exist or can be identified. “Secret keeper, fortune teller, Virgin Mary, scarlet letter…” But out of all of those, he forgets to mention the most obvious: human. Women deserve respect not based on their relation to men, but because they are human. Not because they are someone’s mother or sister, not just because they might provide a shoulder to lean on or the ability to reproduce. I don’t know how many times “Women are people, too” will have to be said before it sticks.
Besides the lame lyrics (which Urban didn’t even write), the timing of the song is kind of questionable. Though writing and recording a song is what musicians and songwriters do to express themselves, this almost feels like Urban’s attempt at grabbing the coattails of Weinstein’s negative publicity. Urban paused work on his album to record the song, and it feels less like boosting feminism and more like a ploy for appearing progressive.