In the age of misogyny-inspired mass shootings, a cute pop song from my childhood is ominous

Do you all remember Joe Jackson’s 1979 breakout single “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” It has a catchy, quirky rhythm and engaging lyrics.

Nearly 40 years later, after learning about domestic violence and hearing about those who engage in mass shootings, I imagine that the protagonist of the song is doing more than “staring as my coffee grows cold” and getting “so mean around the scene.” I imagine him stockpiling guns and ammo so that Jeanie learns the hard way that her new boyfriend isn’t half the man he is. Then we won’t have to find out “if looks could kill.” We’ll have proof that a real man with guns can. Continue reading