Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Call Me, Maybe?

"Hey, I just met you... and this is crazy. But here's my number.. so call me, maybe? And all the other boys try to chase me, but here's my number.. so call me, maybe?"

We've all heard these great lyrics being blasted nonstop recently from every frat, dorm room, and even cars driving by. And who can blame everyone? The song is super catchy. But is there any value to the lyrics? Actually, if we take a closer look, we might be able to gain some insight to our culture.

At first it seems like the singer, Carly Rae Jepsen is just another girl, infatuated with some stud in ripped jeans, hoping and praying that he'll notice her. Maybe that's all she is, a stereotypical girl with a crush. "I'd trade my soul for a wish, pennies and dimes for a kiss," she declares, dreaming of her boy, but clearly it's all just wishful thinking. Until she shocks us all in the chorus  she gives the guy her phone number! Now, for a girl like her, this is unheard of. All the guys chase her! But here she is being the one chasing, and it's just "crazy"!

The upbeat nature of the song exudes a "what the heck!" sentiment, as she steps over normal gender boundaries and goes for the guy herself. It seems like she is nervous to see the outcome, but excited to try it at the same time.

So does Carly Rae perpetuate female stereotypes, or is she in fact breaking them? Does the way in which she portrays her situation shed new light on girls, giving new hope for gender role reversal? Or does it just add to the ever-growing pile of love songs for wishful girls?

Enjoy. (Like the twist at the end??)


  1. I think that Carly Rae is breaking gender boundaries in this song. Sure, she is a love-struck girl singing about the boy of her desire, but she is making the initiative to give him her number. Boys also have crushes, and they usually make a move when they are interested in a girl. Therefore, Carly Rae is taking the stereotypical man's role. She is not simply waiting and daydreaming about him, but she is making an effort to get what she wants. In this way, she is breaking female stereotypes.

  2. I agree with Troy in this case. It is stereotypical for the guy to approach the girl and ask the girl for her number, but instead she is making the first moves. But although this is the case, she is still leaving it in the hands of the male. What I mean by that is, Males usually ask the females for their number, so they can call, which is them taking the situation in control. In this song, she gave the male her number and asked him to call if he felt like doing so, thus giving him the power and control over the situation. So Carly broke the stereotype by making the first move, but she also fits the role of a stereotypical girl, due to the fact that she still has to wait to see if he's going to call her, and make the next move.

  3. There is no denial that I am always listening to this song when I'm bored. One reason why the song appealed to me is that Carly Rae Jepson is ultimately charge in this video. Her action of giving her number to the male is a sign of gender reversal. It is stereotypically common for males to take initiative and ask the girl for her number. However, in this video, Carly is taking the first step to giving the male her number, even though she is later rejected. However, the way Carly and the male are portrayed in the video I find to be stereotypical. Washing car in shorts, a crop tank top, and heels is not the most practical attire to wear. She is also uses her sexual appeal in order in the hopes of gaining the male's attention. As a result, I think that although Carly is undermining traditional gender roles by taking the risk of asking the boy out, she is also subjected to stereotypes since she had to use her sexual appeal and dress a certain way to have the male's attention.

  4. I feel that in the context of both the song and the music video Carly is playing right into the stereotypical girlish role. The only difference, is that she's more outgoing. Judging by her outfit, her actions while washing the car, and her line "all the other boys, try to chase me" she isn't really breaking through any gender stereotypes, but just playing a popular, outgoing girl. This isn't to say that I don't enjoy the song, or think that her making the first move is unusual for girls, but this has been portrayed many times and is a little overdone. For instance, girls in movies like Mean Girls will put themselves out there, make the first move and give the guy their number, but this isn't really a change in gender roles.

  5. I have recently discovered that most guys love listening to Carly Rae's Call Me Maybe song more than most girls enjoy listening to it. I find this census among my friends very amusing as well as perplexing. The song has a very upbeat and fun rhythm and Carly Rae has a very girlish tone to her voice. I think that guys are pleasantly surprised by the confidence that the girl in the song has to give the guy her number. Carly Rae is breaking gender roles by making the first move rather than sitting back wishing that the guy would develop an interest. It is interesting how many guys would be in favor of this role reversal so many Carly Rae is really onto something with her catchy single. In honor of the song, here's my number 123-4567 ....so call my maybe!

  6. I agree with madlyn- how is this breaking gender norms?! Just because she gave a guy her number doesn't mean that she is radically altering the structure of gender in America, nor does it mean that she is empowered. Giving a guy your number is outgoing, sure, but it is not an anomaly, it's been done before. Every facet of the song ( besides her lover being homosexual) perpetuates gender norms: her ditzy nature, her permiscuous attempt to woo her lover, and her uncertainty about him calling her back all show the conformity to gender roles. Defying gender roles takes more than a phone call, and it doesn't come in the form of a pop song about heterosexual love.

  7. Carly may be breaking the "gender norms" of the 1950s, but in modern society she is not out of accepted norms. On the topic of gender norms, it may be more noteworthy to acknowledge how entertainment is a male dominated industry--whether it be movies or music. When naming artists that have reached great success, one would most likely mention males. However, there are a very successful females, but they are exceptions. The same goes for movies--most dominant roles are played by males. This theme is a "gender norm" in today's society. Carly did release a hit song, but she is not a successful artist like Jay-Z or Kanye West.

    Additionally, the song is portraying a character, and one cannot say that it is Carly Rae Jespen--it is a ficticious situation that never happened. Therefore, the only gender roles that Carly plays in society is being a female singer.

  8. Although she is making the first move by giving him her number, she still takes the passive role by waiting for his call. Why didn’t she ask for his number so she could call him on her own discretion? In general, the lyrics of the song imply that she is not defying gender stereotypes at all. A couple lines of the song that really show that she is succumbing to these stereotypes are…

    “You took your time with the call.
    I took no time with the fall.
    You gave me nothing at all.”

    These lyrics tell nothing of female empowerment. Instead, they emphasize the fact that the male is in power, with the female hopelessly trailing after him. I also think it’s interesting that even though “all the boys try to chase her,” she chooses to chase after a relationship in which the man is in power-fulfilling the stereotypical gender roles. Wouldn’t a girl defying gender stereotypes choose a relationship that she could have more power and independence in?

  9. I have to agree with Emily Tess on this one. Though I do love this song, the way that Carly Rae portrayed herself in this song had the complete opposite effect of female empowerment. For the first half of the video, she is hiding in her room admiring from afar and fantasizing her life with him as a typical romance novel. After an attempt of seducing him with her body in a very stereotypically female way, she finally works up the courage to give him her number, only to still put the boy back in charge by waiting helplessly for im to call her. To make this song more empowering, I feel like the title should be changed from "Call me, maybe," to just "Call me". Though it wouldn't be as catchy, I feel like she'd at least sound a bit more commanding.


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