For my song, Cause I’m a Man by Tame Impala, there are many contextual elements that contribute to the issues it is critiquing. The song was released in 2015, and it landed on the album “Currents.” Tame Impala is comprised of one man, Kevin Parker, who is popularly known as a powerhouse artist in modern psychedelic rock. In 2015, and the early 2010’s in general, women empowerment music was rising in relevance amidst the years that eventually brought us the “Me Too’ movement. This, however, was usually a move utilized by women artists, to both express personal disdain to the patriarchy, as well as to capitalize on the new heights that society’s passion for abolishing sexism was reaching. 

What makes Cause I’m a Man different is that it is written by Kevin, a man, who agrees with the women who were outspoken about how men can be brash, selfish, and careless in their actions toward undeserving targets. Not only does he agree with the women and sing almost affirmingly towards the claims that generally, men get away with far too much, but he is critiquing himself: using “I” statements. 

“Cause I’m a man, woman

Don’t always think before I do

Cause I’m a man, woman

That’s the only answer I’ve got for you”

He categorizes himself as just a “man” addressing a “woman”, in a way that simplifies and generalizes both gender roles: men as the excusatory explainers, women as the reluctant, tired listeners. The way Kevin Parker successfully critiques not only himself, but the male tendency to run “boys will be boys” into the ground, whilst incorporating psychedelic, otherworldly warps throughout is something to consider here. The repetitive nature of the lyrics, coupled with the subject matter seems to be purposeful… driving home the point that sexism will unapologetically morph its way into our society no matter what stage the world is in. 

Saying sorry ain’t as good as saying why

But it buys me a little more time

Lost in the moment for the second time

Each fuck up that I make, that makes you cry

I’m as pathetic, as the reason why

In desperation, all that you can do is ask me why”

These lyrics, assisted by the hippie-like, spacy synths that boom through the instrumentals give an ode to the modern trope: “Men will take psychedelics once, and experience empathy for the first time.” He is pitying himself, as a distraction to make the woman feel bad for him: which he knowingly does to distract her from his initial actions that brought them to this assumed argument. He admittedly does not have the emotional intelligence to actually apologize, so he insults himself to strike the natural empathy that women are known to possess. This theme is common amongst women who are accusers of male sexual assault: they feel reluctant to come forward due to the inherent fear of hurting the man, regardless of how much he has hurt her to cause the accusation in the first place. Kevin nods to this here, crying out for his own self loathing instead of facing any real consequences for the true victim in the situation.