I still recall the sickening nausea I felt in the aftermath of media reports that X Factor judge and alleged musician Redfoo had been glassed in a Double Bay hotel in August. It wasn't caused by accounts of the pub violence, but washed over me when, never having heard of the guy, I foolishly decided to find out.
Yes, I subjected myself to actual videos featuring Stefan Kendal Gordy, who — for some inexplicable reason — calls himself “Redfoo”.
Having put myself through this horror, I can save you all the agony and report that the much-condemned misogyny that Redfoo displays in his horrific new track “Literally, I Can't” — in which he joins Play-N-Skillz, Lil Jon and Enertia Mcfly to shout “Shut the fuck up” at young women who refuse demands to, among other things, perform “girl on girl” — is no aberration.
Redfoo's shtick features in-your-face sexism wrapped up in a “it's party time, dudes!” persona that comes with stupid costumes and those ever-present, oversized lenseless glasses. It's an act that would be unseemly for anyone, but for a man who is nearly 40, it borders on the truly pathetic.
Redfoo's big problem goes well beyond his lack of any perceivable talent. Rather, it is the disturbing attitudes to gender with which he fills his otherwise forgettable tracks.
For instance, “Let's Get Ridiculous”, in which Redfoo “sings” that, “All the time I be seeing you at school, And you so fine I just had to play it cool”.
Now, Redfoo is 39, so if he saw the lucky object of his lust “in school”, we can only presume it would be in his capacity as her geography teacher, the gardener and/or the local Rolf Harris impersonator. We might also, while we are at it, ask why the hell a 39-year-old is hanging out at a campus frat party in the “Literally, I Can't” clip.
Then there is the video for his track “New Thang”, in which Redfoo walks the streets suggesting to various scantily clad women that all their dreams could soon come true. Yes, Redfoo, says, “you could be my new thang” because “you sexy girl, you sexy!” Woohoo! Please form an orderly queue, ladies!
It is worth keeping in mind that “thangs” is literally how Redfoo refers to women. For instance, when Redfoo was glassed, he was, by various accounts, in the company of several women. But not by his own account.
No, by Redfoo's own account, he was “surrounded by some thangs”. Get it? Some thangs, that is, some women! Ha ha! This guy just bleeds charm (I'm not sorry for the pun).
Given such attitudes, it is no surprise to hear a line in Redfoo's band LFMAO's hit "Party Rock Anthem" like: "I'm running through these hoes like Drano." Or you could read, if you really wanted to, the even less pleasant lyrics to LFMAO's "Shots".
Of course, not only is Redfoo's misogyny nothing new, but misogyny in popular culture extends far beyond Redfoo. But that is what makes the outcry against “Literally, I Can't” so important. It sets a precedent.
If it is unacceptable when Redfoo does it — and he deserves to be sacked from his TV gig — then we must insist all such misogyny is unacceptable in all cases.
There is some cause for hope. The media condemned “Literally, I Can't” just days after online and “real life” protests against Julien Blanc — who promotes manipulating and potentially assaulting women to secure sex — drove him from Australia.
It was this activism that led to venue after venue cancelling Blanc's seminars — even some hotels cancelling his accommodation — and, finally, the government cancelling his visa. Such activism may also ensure Redfoo's days on Australian TV are over (and you can join thousands of others and add your name to the Change.org petition).
This activism is badly needed — statistics indicate as many as one-in-five US women are sexually assaulted at college. Misogyny in popular culture helps create conditions for this to occur — and for women to be blamed.
The outcry over Redfoo and Blanc can open much wider, and badly needed, discussions on this — and hopefully fuel the fight back.
In the meantime, although I obviously do not in any way condone pub violence (if only for the high risk of alcohol being spilled), I feel it would be remiss of me not to highlight the fact that “The Glass That Glassed Redfoo” now has its own Facebook page — with hundreds of likes.