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Don’t trust 3OH!3–Helen Keller did much more than talk with her hips

Helen Keller is an American icon who is best known for learning to communicate in spite of the fact that she was deaf and blind, but she also was a writer and had a strong political voice. 3OH!3 references Keller in the song “Don’t Trust Me”, but the lyrics in the song’s hook show no respect for this brilliant female icon: “Shush girl, shut your lips / Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips”.

A frame from 3OH!3's "Don't Trust Me" music video

The two 3OH!3 group members are goofy and are not meant to be taken seriously. However, it can be more damaging to the view of women in general when the song is seen as a joke. Because of 3OH!3’s poppy beats and lurid comedy, young people sing along to “Don’t Trust Me” without really listening to the distressing lyrics.

Take a look for yourself:

The “Don’t Trust Me” music video shows women bumping and grinding suggestively around the 3OH!3 singers, but the song’s lyrics take the cake with their truly disturbing implications.

Like other popular songs, women are repeatedly called “hoes” in “Don’t Trust Me.” First of all, calling a woman a “ho” in this context dismisses her humanity, bringing her value down lower than a man’s. Also, the song tells us not to trust women. Why? Simply because they are women. Yeah, it would be hard to trust women with your heart when you don’t see them as thinking, feeling persons, but as sexy things there for men’s gratification

The lyrics go way downhill from here, telling us that the woman in the song (you) wants to drink with the band. Then, the song’s story goes:

“Bruises cover your arms
Shaking in the fingers with the bottle in your palm
And the best is, no one knows who you are
Just another girl at the bar…
Shush girl, shut your lips
Do the Helen Keller and talk with your hips”

Also, why would the woman in the song have bruises on her arms? Why is she alone at the bar? Why are they telling her to not to speak but to “talk with [her] hips”?

The woman in the song sounds like she is depressed and physically beaten, or has perhaps been usingintravenous drugs. The singers tell us all they really want from her is sex. The 3OH!3 singers tell her not to talk about the problems but to essentially be a body by talking with her hips.

More frames from the "Don't Trust Me" video. What role do these women play?

Singing along to music like this makes it seem normal to joke about and see women as things and not people. When you don’t see women as people, hurting them can become a more digestible idea. Degrading a group of people and calling it a joke does not make it okay. 3OH!3’s “Don’t Trust Me” is a demeaning piece of work disguised as a funny pop song.

If you want to let 3OH!3 know how this song makes you feel, you can send them a message through their MySpace page. Remember that is it is important to talk about songs like this with the people around you so they don’t repeat these lyrics without knowing their true meaning.


6 thoughts on “Don’t trust 3OH!3–Helen Keller did much more than talk with her hips

  1. Compliments for your Site, it’s wonderful! I’m still thinking that the Perception of Women by Men depends on Education, and the first Teachings are aknwoledged at Home, by own Mother and Father, remembering that Life’s Example has a greater Impact on Kids than Words.

    Men undervalue Women, because they ignore What a Woman do: from House maid to Baby Sitter, to Husband’s Prostitute to working outside Home, and all of that in the same Life, at the same Time. Woman is on the other Hand still rewarded as a Dolly, a Nothing Doer, a sexually attractive Object in her Younghood then throwable away, a Stupid/Annoying one Who gets pregnant “just” for a sexual Adventure, ….

    There is really a Lack of Consideration of her as a Human Being: the Mother is the Mother (again not really a Human Being, Something else), and other Women/Females are other Women/Females. The Mother is the Slave Who loves you very much, and other Women are there to satisfy your sexual Needs, With no Responsibities required from you (Male).

    Altogether I would say that the Objectivation of a Woman is a Sign of strong immaturity in Men, as Human Beings. Men Who ignore the true and real Value of a Woman/Female – Who’s a Human Being -, are immature Human Beings, Who “simply” have to grow up (psychologically, morally, and taking more human Responsibilities for their Actions).

    I think the only Solution to help (!) Men open their Eyes about their wrong Way to perceive Women, is to switch the Roles, Wherever we see a Man described/represented as superior than a Woman (for Instance: in the present Song, wherever there is a Man we put a Woman, and Wherever there is a Woman we put a Man; …).

    “Bruises cover your arms
    Shaking in the fingers with the bottle in your palm
    And the best is, no one knows who you are
    Just another BOY at the bar…
    Shush BOY, shut your lips
    Do the RAY CHARLES and talk with your DICK”

    I mean: this can be Funny for a While, but then it turns to be very Low. I think we are Here (on Earth) to live a life much more Meaningful than a Joke. And yes, your Site and your Job are very Important to educate People about the real/true Value of Life, of Alives.

    [I loved to know about Helen Keller: a great Example of Human Being ….]

  2. I’m so glad you wrote this!

    As soon as I heard this horrifying song I was in utter shock at the offensiveness. I honestly couldn’t believe that anyone had thought that was okay or appropriate to be on the radio. I was actually sort of embarrassed listening to it, in the way it makes me uncomfortable to be around racism.

    You’re right, we should talk to other people about it because although I was immediately offended by this song, I haven’t brought it up with my friends. I’m interested to know if other people had as visceral a reaction as I did.

    Thanks for getting the conversation started!

  3. This song is terrible and the video isn’t much better. I can imagine kids listening to it, thinking it’s edgy and funny, but while sometimes offensive and outrageous things can be funny, they’re not funny jokes when they are aimed at groups of people who have had to suffer through ridicule, violence, unequal rights, or other social injustices because of their gender, abilities, sexuality, ethnicity, or race–especially when the people making the jokes come from a position of privilege.

    30H!3 are two white males, who I’m guessing are straight and do not have any disabilities. Do they really need to bring down women and tease Helen Keller to succeed?

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