NOTE: This post contains the uncensored use of words that appear, in context, as lyrics in various songs as part of a discussion of what is considered appropriate by a local radio station. If such content may offend you, then don’t read it. ‘Kay, thanks, bye.
On Tuesday night, I’m minding my own business, driving home from the communist haven of VCU, listening to the radio. I flip to that awful station B101.5 and happen to catch the beginning of Katy Perry’s “Hot N Cold”. I’m pretty surprised when I hear the word “bitch” in the song (full line: “Yeah you, PMS like a bitch”). Apparently, I’ve never heard the beginning of that particular song before, or at least the version that B101.5 plays. To confirm that I actually heard what I heard, I keep flipping to that awful station when I’m in the car yesterday coming home from VCU as well. And once again I hear the word “bitch” in the song.
Now, I’m not surprised at hearing the word “bitch” in media, after all, you probably can’t watch three hours of prime-time network television without hearing that particular word.
What I’m surprised at is that B101.5 didn’t have a problem with the word. After all, this is the station that dubs over the word “drugs” in a song by Nickelback (full line: “The girls come easy and the drugs come cheap”). Or the station the finds the words “God damn” unacceptable in “Makes Me Wonder” from Maroon 5 (“God damn, my spinning head”). Or the station that dubs over a reference to the use of methamphetamines in “Semi-Charmed Life” by Third Eye Blind (“Doing crystal meth/Will lift you up until you break”).
Now, is the use of the word “bitch” okay because it’s being used by a female “artist”? Has the station ever played Buckcherry’s song “Crazy Bitch”? Not likely. I guess that line of argument brings up the old discussion of why it’s okay for blacks to use a certain word but not for whites.
Is there a female bias when it comes to determining what songs are acceptable? B101.5 didn’t have a problem playing “U + Ur Hand” by Pink, after all. Three guesses what that song is about.
And for the record, I’m not accusing B101.5 of censorship. They’re a private company — not the government — and can determine for themselves what they consider appropriate for their business model.
I guess there seems to be a conflict when they find the use of the word “bitch” and a song about masturbation okay, but the use of the words “God damn” and lyrics about drug use are taboo to them.