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Recently, there’s been much discussion on the Sexist about how girl-on-girl sexism operates through pop stars trading catty insults about other women [Exhibit A, Exhibit B]. Now that the copious woman-on-woman violence in MTV’s Jersey Shore has reignited the popular imagination over so-called “cat-fighting,” it’s time to turn our attention to lyrical girl fights of the stick-and-stone variety. And the bottle variety. And the knife variety. And the strand-by-strand hair-pulling variety.
Women physically attacking other women is immoral, illegal, and popular. Conventional wisdom suggests that the popular obsession with cat-fighting is inspired by women fighting over dudes—-and persists in order to arouse dudes. As these songs devoted to female aggression demonstrate, the cat-fight narrative actually accesses a variety of triggers that often have nothing to do with men. Case in point: On the Jersey Shore last week, J-WOWW attacked a woman at the club because she called fellow Guidette Snookie “fat.” (When JWOW is involved, apparently, words can hurt you). Seven anthems about girl-fighting—-and the justification offered up for the outbursts therein—-after the jump.
7. Girl Fight Anthem: Lily Allen’s “Friday Night”
I see these girls and they’re shouting through the crowd Can’t understand why they’re being really loud Make their way over to me and try to push me out the way I push her back, she looks at me and says, “what you tryna say?”
Weapon of Choice: Pushing
How It Started: She pushed first!
6. Girl Fight Anthem: Crime Mob’s “Stilletos (Pumps)”
Homegirl, bow down when you see me Because I’m coming up fresh Right with the realest, you feel this? So you should call me the best I can look jazzy and nasty with my stiletto heels on But if a ho say something Trust me, then her hair will get thrown
Weapon of Choice: Stilettos (pumps).
How It Started: The implication is that either a homegirl failed to bow down, or a ho said something. There’s also a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy going on here—-if you fail to respect that these women look good in stilettos, they’re liable to remove their high-heels in order to assault you with them.
5. Girl Fight Anthem: Julie Brown’s “Girl Fight Tonight!”
I’ve seen the way you check him out when you think I’m not around Mentally undressing him, trying to shut me down Well you know last night he told me all the nasty things you said You ask him if he gets lonely, now you’re asking to be dead
Weapon of Choice: Brown is studied in a variety of hand-to-hand combat techniques: pulling out her hair strand by strand, choking, and knocking a woman’s mouth into the street.
How It Started: Brown is upset that some other woman is interested in her man’s looks. “I watched you watch him walk,” she taunts, creepily. But tthe “last straw” was when this other girl “told him he looked like Rob Lowe.” This was 1987. Also, she hates how tight this other chick wears her sweater. But Brown also points out that many girl-fight anthems are more talk than action: “I just don’t believe in any kind of violence against women,” Brown told a reporter. “I’m just doing this for fun.”
4. Girl Fight Anthem: Geisha’s “Shit’n on You Hoe!”
I be shit’n on you ho, I be shit’n on you ho I put that arch in my back, and I tool up my ass I twist it to the right, to the left, to the left, right, left
Weapon of Choice: Feces?
How it Started: At the beginning of this track, an unidentified woman says, “Yeah Geisha you don’t remember me?” “Who the hell are you?” Geisha responds. Later, Geisha spells out her problem: “Ho, you don’t know me.” Do not claim to know Geisha.
3. Girl Fight Anthem: Blondie’s “Rip Her to Shreds”
She looks like the Sunday comics She thinks she’s Brenda Starr Her nose job is real atomic All she needs is an old knife scar
Weapon of Choice: An old knife.
How It Started: The origin of Blondie’s distaste for this woman is unclear, but Debbie Harry does tell us that the woman is a “groupie,” and also that she’s “dull.” Dull women are just asking to get cut, apparently!
2. Girl Fight Anthem: Ms. B’s “Bottle Action”
Hit that bitch with a bottle, watch that head hit the floor Cuz I ain’t the type a bitch that wanna start a lot of shit Askin for the bottle action, yo, that’s what she gonna get
Weapon of Choice: A bottle.
How It Started: B insists that she “ain’t the type a bitch that wanna start a lot of shit.” So how did this bottle action get started? B attributes this fight’s origins to a) the other woman’s jealousy over her boyfriend showing B love; b) the other woman’s jealousy over B “lookin’ the best,” while she is looking a “mess”; c) the other woman’s overreaction to B’s friends “pourin’ liquor all over her dress.” So, really, that lady was asking to be hit over the head with a bottle, getting her forehead stamped with a boot, and ending up in the ICU. Remember: B doesn’t start shit, she just finishes it.
1. Girl Fight Anthem: Brooke Valentine’s “Girl Fight,” featuring Da Brat
I ain’t tryin to be no victim, you wanna cross that line I leave a bitch leakin’ blood, like it’s period time Got that old school in me like Tampax You can’t leave home without my CD like Air-Max
Weapon of Choice: Fists
How it Started: Valentine announces that she’s the “originator for girl fights” and that she’s “first to leave a heiffer in the hospital.” So perhaps this is a personal problem.