by Lori M.
For those of you who aren’t aware, Dean Brody is a country music artist. I’ve seen him in concert a couple of times, the most recent being this last month here at the Aitken Center (Fredericton, NB). You’re probably wondering what in the world this has to do with gender, sport and leisure. Well, his song “Canadian Girls” touches on all three of these topics. In this song, he drives at the idea that women from Canada are different – they’re not the stereotypical girls you might find in the rest of the world, and he sees this as a good thing. Obviously this is a big generalization and not every girl in Canada would find what he talks about in the song applicable to them, but I’d like to take a few minutes to break down what he’s saying, and even further, the messages that the music video for the song promote (I’ve provided the link below).
The first lyrics you hear are “she grew up watching hockey with her daddy on Saturday night, he taught her how to tie her skates, her brothers taught her how to fight”. One of the main things that Brody advocates for through this song, is the promotion of women’s hockey. During his concert, the last song he played was Canadian Girls, and he came out wearing a Hayley Wickenheiser Team Canada Jersey. He does this frequently at his shows, and can also be seen wearing it in the music video for the song. He has sung the National Anthem at women’s hockey events like the 2013 IIHF Ice Hockey Women’s World Championship, and states “in our house, it doesn’t matter if it’s the men’s or women’s team, they’re both as equally as big of a deal to watch those games” (Lipscombe, 2013). He says that he drew much of his inspiration for this song from his wife and his daughter. His wife played hockey growing up, and Brody said he plans to buy a pair of skates for his daughter in the near future (Lipscombe, 2013).
In the video for Canadian Girls, although we do see a girl playing hockey, this isn’t the only positive message being sent. Throughout the duration of the video, the idea is that females can do and be whatever they want – they don’t need to fit into the frame that society sometimes tries to put them in. We see a girl snowboarding, fishing, and even a women in the military, paired with the lyric “she’d give her life for the red and white”. A wide range of careers women have chosen are displayed though real life examples in this video, including: an entrepreneur, mechanic, yoga instructor, recycling technician, engineer, chef, mom, various types of artists, photographer, part time athlete, acrobat, and a machinist. Some of these we might not see as all that “abnormal”, but some definitely challenge society to see women in a different light.
So what does all this mean? From my perspective as a women who sometimes likes to go against the grain, this song (as cheesy as it may sound) is an encouragement to me and definitely one of my favorites. It reached number one on the CMT top 20 countdown (Lipscombe, 2013), so I’d say there are a few other women out there who appreciate it too. We’ve talked about women’s oppression and some of the challenges that we can be faced a lot in our class, and there is just something about these messages of encouragement being put out there to the public though a song from a male artist – I think it’s pretty significant.
Lipscombe, K. (2013, 03 31). O canada!: Dean brody . Retrieved from http://www.hockeycanada.ca/en-ca/news/country-musician-dean-brody-to-kick-off-womens-worlds