Women In 'That's The Way Boys Are'

Words: 1692
Pages: 7

Kiss goodbye to the colorful and wild facade of the 1960’s, when the women were empowered, and love was the answer to almost everything. Instead, enter the reality of that era: something much darker, and something that revolved much less around love, freedom, and equality. Men, order, and ignorance dominated the world; equality was not for all but for most--more specifically, the powerful male population. Women, on the other hand, were silenced by the labels men assigned to them, and served them in the shadows quietly and faithfully. Power was what the controlled the powerless. Men defined the women and shaped the 1960’s society; women were tied to their duties that men relegated to them. Music from this era demonstrates this unique power …show more content…
Lesley Gore’s “That’s the Way Boys Are” confirms the male definition of a woman: foolish, feeble, yielding, silent, and beautiful, and a woman’s role in relationship to a man: to be silent, understanding, and unconditionally accepting of any and all behavior, no matter how cruel or unfair. Throughout the song, Gore warbles sweetly about her intermixed emotions towards her partner’s disloyalty, yet consistently expresses her devotion towards him and her pitiful confidence that “he loves [her].” However, it is quite transparent to the listener that Gore’s partner does not love her in the identical manner in which the singer confesses; he is rather undevoted to her and “watches all the pretty girls go by.” He is not tied to Gore and their relationship, but simply regards her as another love-struck woman. The lyrics of the song embody the 1960s men’s perspective on women’s personalities and roles in love itself. During this divided era, men had established how a woman should and would behave towards their superior: submissive, powerless and voiceless. Women simply did not and could not defy the oppressive force of masculinity; women were only allowed to take on the role of man’s faithful followers who simply nodded their styled heads at every syllable that flows from a man’s mouth. Their voices and strength were muffled by the endless restrictions engraved into society that no woman ventured to challenge. Through the lens of the 1960s period, women were naive and credulous “objects” whose duties were to shadow a man--they were expected to dedicate themselves to a man, despite how untrue or discourteous he may be. As exemplified in Gore’s song, women were blinded and fooled because of love. Gore unknowingly reveals the truth about the relationship between a man and a woman in the 1960s: it was an endless cycle of the