Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Avril Lavigne: Language girl?

You may remember this post from last April... also about language in an Avril Lavigne song. Well, she's done it again. She has inspired yet another post about "profanity" and my daughter.

So, she has this song called "Wish You Were Here".
The lyrics of the chorus are as follows:
Damn, Damn, Damn,
What I'd do to have you
Here, here, here
I wish you were here.
Damn, Damn, Damn
What I'd do to have you
Near, near, near
I wish you were here.

I quite like the song. I can really relate to the sentiment. The need to repeat a "profanity" over and over again because there is just. no. other. appropriate. word to describe an intense emotion... I'm all over that.

Suddenly, after hearing it several times, Ronin started yelling, "Language girl" whenever it would come on the radio. She did this like maybe four times. First I changed the station. But after several times of this behavior, I decided to address it head on. I told Ronin that it was perfectly fine if she found the language in this song to be offensive. However, labeling the artist as "language girl" because of the words she had chosen to use was offensive to ME and I believed it to be critical and judgmental. She started singing "Critical and judgmental" and that was that. I was sure to tell her to feel free to let me know if she found this or any other song on the radio to be offensive. I was happy to change the station. But we didn't have to label or criticize the artist. Just turn the station. It's our right. Just like it was her right to compose those lyrics.

Today, the song came on the radio. I noticed that she was singing along. To all of the words. Happily. I guess maybe she decided to not be offended by the song and to instead embrace it, and all of its words.

To me, it is important to raise children who do not judge others for the words they use. It's also important to me that my kids not be prudes or place values on words that simply don't have to be there. And I'd love to see them embrace art, all art, and appreciate it for what it was meant to be, by the creator, without passing judgment first.

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