In the song Hey Paula the main stereotype present is letting the man do what he needs while the woman sits by and waits. The line “I’ve waited so long for school to be through” exemplifies this stereotype in this song. Another stereotype in that line is men are generally smarter than women, a stereotype we know nowadays is not true. If gender roles were reversed in this song then this song and it was the woman who did all the work and the man was waiting then it would have sounded strange for the time period. However in today’s society more situations of this role reversal are coming up. Women working are much more prevalent today then in the 50’s and 60’s.
“We had a silly quarrel the other day I hope these pretty flowers chase her blues away” This line shows a couple of stereotypes of men. It shows that women’s opinions may be valued less than a man’s so when they fight the man may consider it “silly” because he thinks he is right and she is wrong. Another one is a stereotype that when women have a problem with their man a simple gift like a flower can fix the problem. Even when the problem can only be solved by working it out together the stereotype that men don’t like to show weakness or emotion comes in so they hid behind simple gifts such as flowers. If the gender roles were reversed in this song then it would be a strange concept for a man to stay at home being “blue” while the lady is out buying flowers for him.
“I need you oh how I need you, But all you do is treat me bad” The main stereotype in this song is that women can’t be by themselves. This line reinforces that women need to be with a man to define themselves. They need a man even if he is terrible to her at doesn’t treat her right she should still stay with him or risk being alone. If the roles were reversed then this song would be less about trying to stay together and more about men saying that if she can’t treat you right then leave her.
“If you want him to be
The very heart of you
Makes you want to breathe”
This song really emphasizes the stereotype that a woman needs a man to define herself. It enforces this idea so much that it even says that women should give up something, in this song their pride, just so they can have a man.
If you want him to be
Always by your side
Take his hand tonight
Swallow your foolish pride
If the gender roles were flipped in this song it would mostly be similar. Except in lines about defining yourself by your partner, or swallowing your pride, it may even be about getting a woman who boosts your pride and don’t settle.
“And I pray that someday he’ll love me” This song shows the princess in waiting stereotype. It promotes the idea that women should just wait around and one day their prince will come for them. If the roles were reversed this song would be the complete opposite. It would more likely be about telling men to go find their princess, don’t wait for her to get stolen. Still the same stereotype but from a different perspective.