Language and Gender
This song adopts first person narration which speaks through a mother’s personal viewpoint, using words Like “l” and “me. ” It creates a more Intimate perspective for the reader. Women are always the target subjects In gender studies. Through different interpretation of “you”, this song could reveal maternal love or a love-hate relationship between a male and a female. The song lyrics delivered a message that women have an instinct to love while the music video is saying women have a maternal instinct to protect her children.
Maternal Instinct refers to selfless love that mothers lavish on their children which as long been assumed to be an innate element of a woman’s nature. In terms of family spoken interaction, mothers maintain connection maneuvers. They value maintaining relationship more than problem solving. In the music video, the mother tried to reclaim her two sons from Children AID Social Services illegally by pretending to be somebody else. She did not solve the problem on thinking how to be granted custody of her children. Instead, she wanted to spend as much time as she could with her children even though they are on the run.
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It demonstrated a feminine character of a mother to emphasize intimacy rather than independence. Mothers need to be closely connected to her children. “Animal Instinct” in the music lyrics could be attributed to the emotions that you are unconsciously In control of. In the video, the mother brought her children to restaurant and touched their heads with a smile. She did not have enough money but she wanted her children to be happy by having ice-cream. She didn’t care about right or wrong and Just escaped with her children. It is a maternal instinct that a other could do everything for her children.
In a patriarchal society, mother Is being socially constructed as a caregiver and father Is a breadwinner. Women could seldom bring up her children by herself because women are considered to be weaker. However, this song revealed that men and women are able to perform identical social functions with regard to psychological androgyny. As proposed by Carl Jung, animus refers to masculine nature within a woman’s soul. The mother in this case unconsciously possesses masculine mental features and power to protect her children. Just like the mother In this case, she tried being taken away.
In the lyrics, “they’ in “they won’t take you away’ refers to the officials or intruders to their relationship. In the video, the mother tried to perform paternal responsibility to solve problems, for example, reading maps to find road direction. She also tried to continue their Journey by hitchhiking with one child on her arms and one child holding hands with her. Based on “Have/Hold” discourse, every woman is two-faced with a dual character. When they sense a potential danger in relationship, they will stand up and fight against.
On the other hand, this song could also be interpreted as the story of two lovers. If the “you” in the song lyrics refers to “a man” and “me” refers to “a women”, it demonstrated compulsory heterosexuality discourse that women have an inevitable relationship with men. The two lovers may have some argument and she was “suddenly feeling depressed and stressed”. Then she said that he’ll never realize her pain (“And the thing that gets to me is you’ll never really see”) and she was feeling insecure “And the thing that freaks me out is I’ll always be in doubt”.
She tried to eek for support from “him” so that “he” could take her hands and change reality with “her”. It is “her” animal instinct to fall in love in a relationship. In this case, the female become a self-problematic who tried to seek family support. Women regard support and consolation as a way of connection. In conclusion, this song could provide positive mental support for the divorced mother. Women are portrayed as the sources of care and nurture for children, but they could also bear the responsibility to bring up a child by themselves. Men and women are able to perform identical social functions.
Read also: “Gender and optical illusions”