Alanis Morissette set the bar with “You Oughta Know” — though by modern standards, that was pretty tame: She doesn’t assault anybody or destroy their property.
Her lesser-known tune, “Your House” — where she breaks into a man’s house, lies in his bed and takes a bath in his tub — is closer. If you can’t handle her at her worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve her at her best.
And Carrie Underwood — America’s sweetheart with the big smile who welcomes us to Sunday Night Football — had a big song about keying her cheating boyfriend’s car, carving her name into his leather car seats, busting his taillights and generally making him think twice “before he cheats.” The hit show “Glee” featured a cover of a similar song, Jazmine Sullivan’s “Bust Your Windows.” We encourage the crazy woman. It’s not that these songs promote bad behavior, but they sure do seem to excuse it.
I doubt his fellow men would link arms and sing his song skipping down the street.
The main thing is that when Taylor Swift is all done trying to make over the bad boys for the weekend, when she’s grown up, she can simply reinvent herself and become whatever she’d like to be.
That’s a lot harder for the average woman to do: She can’t afford therapists, life coaches, managers, agents and p.r. For real-life women, a “crazy” label is much harder to shake.
The first time I saw it was in Park Slope: a group of women in their 20s and 30s walking down the street, arms around each other, singing, “Screaming, crying, perfect storm.” The next bunch was a bit younger, on an Upper East Side street; this arms-linked pack was yelling, “Go ask my ex-lovers, they’ll tell you I’m insane.” A younger relative tells me she hears women singing Taylor Swift’s hit “Blank Space” in Murray Hill bars all the time.
Their ages vary, and so do their races, but the message is the same: I am crazy, hear me roar.
“Blank Space” tells of Taylor’s string of inappropriate, short-lived relationships. The hook is about making the bad guys good for the weekend.The video shows Taylor in her huge house, overlooking her huge grounds.She and her pretty boyfriend ride horses, carve their names in trees, picnic.Then her mascara is running, she’s got a knife, she’s slashing paintings of his face, cutting his shirts, taking golf clubs to his fancy car. The song is catchy; Swift is a great talent, after all. And, yes, I get it: There’s some crazy in every woman, and it’s fun to share it with your sisters.My problem is with the women belting out the lyrics with their friends at the bar imagining that it’s OK to be just like Taylor.It’s not the first “crazy lady” song to become a women’s anthem.