Dr. Luke and Max Martin’s Going-Out Guide for Girls

Because sometimes you just need to end the week with a dance party and a dissertation: I found myself kind of unable to stop listening to Avril Lavigne’s new single “What the Hell.” And it got me thinking about how perhaps the two most effective pop song writers of our age, Dr. Luke and Max Martin, think about the ethical function of partying, particularly for women. One thing I hadn’t realized before I looked at their discographies again was how heavily their respective catalogues were weighted towards dudes in the nineties in early oughts. In recent years, though, both men have made hay, and highly danceable music, for women that celebrates the right to go out and have good, clean, irresponsible fun. Unlike Andrew WK, who gets to have a liberation theory of partying without any particular complication, these songs usually do an effective, efficient job of stating the case for why women ought to be able to go out and get stupid, and then making it sound great*. To wit:
1. Partying unites America across race and class lines:

2. Partying is an act of feminist rebellion against the creeps who give you a hard time at bars:

3. After being denied the right to party, partying is a form of reparations:

4. Partying is an assertion of solidarity across lines of gender and sexual orientation:

5. Partying it will stick it to moralists:

6. And besides, it’s fun:

*Listen up, Caitlin Flanagan!