Are Rock Lyrics Sexist?

3 min readOct 23, 2023

I’ve always despised the sexist lyrics of Simon & Garfunkel’s Homeward Bound, which includes the despicable lines:

Home where my love lies waiting
Silently for me.

What a great role for a woman: to lie in bed silently until her man, who’s out on the road seeking public adoration, bestows his presence once again upon her. Is she allowed to eat during her bed-waiting time? Is she allowed to speak once he has returned? We may never know. But it got me thinking:

Are Rock Lyrics Generally Sexist? Here’s an easy way to find out: Reverse the pronouns! Let’s try it with a few popular songs from throughout the decades:

  • From the hit Elvis song, Baby, Let’s Play House:

(This song reached #5 on Billboard’s Country Singles chart in 1955)

Well, you may go to college,
You may go to school.
You may have a pink cadillac,
But don’t you be nobody’s fool…

Now listen to me, baby
Try to understand.
I’d rather see you dead, little boy,
Than to be with another woman.

That last part may sound familiar to Beatles’ fans — they used the original gender version in Run for Your Life: “I’d rather see you dead little girl, than to be with another man.”

  • From the 3OH!3 song, Don’t Trust Me

(This song reached #4 in 2009 on Billboard’s Top 100.)

Don’t trust a ho, never trust a ho
Won’t trust a ho cause the ho won’t trust me
He wants to touch me, woo ooh, he wants to love me, woo ooh
He’ll never leave me woo ooh, woo ooh, ooh ooh
Don’t trust a ho, never trust a ho
Won’t trust a ho cause the ho won’t trust me….

Shush boy, shut your lips
Do the Stevie Wonder and talk with your hips

(The original being, “Shush girl, shut your lips. Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips.” While there are a number of famous deaf and blind women, famous deaf/blind men are harder to find for some reason. So…