Lineage Songs: “You Oughta Know” Alanis Morrisette (1995) —> “Before He Cheats” Carrie Underwood (2005) —> “If I Were a Boy” Beyonce (2008) —> “Cause I’m a Man” Tame Impala (2015)

The reason that I chose these three songs to represent a lineage that eventually lead to Cause I’m a Man, is because they are all critiques of men that mirror or enhance Kevin Parker’s argument. However, these songs were all written by women, which I feel juxtaposes Cause I’m a Man in a way that emphasizes the rarity that men will outwardly admit they are not oblivious to the damage they tend to cause in relationships. Specifically, You Oughta Know, by Alanis Morrisette is an angrily written song that berates a man she was in a relationship with (speculatively Dave Coulier) for blindsiding her and leaving her for another woman. The lyrics condescendingly suggest that although Morrisette knows the man in question was aware of how badly he betrayed her, she still feels the need to remind him of the severity due to his own selfishness and narcissism. The notion of men “playing dumb” and giving empty excuses only to move on to another woman seemingly unscathed, directly can be correlated to Kevin Parker’s admission to being unsure whether he cares more for his own ego than his partner’s feelings. I feel the following lyrics from both songs can almost act as a response to each other, in the sense that Cause I’m a Man could serve as a probable response to You Oughta Know.


You Oughta Know:

And I’m here, to remind youOf the mess you left when you went awayIt’s not fair, to deny meOf the cross I bear that you gave to meYou, you, you oughta know

Cause I’m a Man:
You wanna know why I always think I’m right?Can never accept defeat and let it slideI have no voice if I don’t speak my mindMy weakness is the source of all my prideI’ll tell you why
‘Cause I’m a man, woman
As a woman myself, who has been in the shoes of Alanis Morrisette, it is difficult to find out after explaining your emotions as thoroughly as possible, that it does not truly matter because the man in question is unable to feel as deeply for anyone but himself. You Oughta Know definitely helps me understand Cause I’m a Man better, because it provides a probable placeholder for a woman’s response to the behavior that Kevin Parker is discussing. Additionally, the way that he excuses it by “just being a man” illuminates the difference in emotional intelligence that can occur between a male and female romantic partnership.