Most of us, I hope, are familiar with the Cavetown. Also known as Robert Daniel Skinner sings many popular songs, amongst the most popular “This is Home”, that have been trendy on TikTok and other social media. Cavetown is also popular for their song “Boys Will be Bugs”. This song has a deep meaning in reference to toxic masculinity. It is not often recognized the pressures placed on young men and boys as they go through puberty. This song highlights how boys are expected to act tough and not show weakness. The lyrics “pretend it doesn’t bother me” and “I really need a hug” show how boys go through difficult stresses because there is an expectation that they cannot let things bug them or show emotion.
Boys are compared to bugs because bugs are easily dismissed, as boys are. The lyrics “I’ll fuck you up if you’re mean to bugs” displays this comparison between bugs being easily swatted or smushed, as boys feelings are easily looked over. Being a young man at any age navigating through life in todays standards is difficult due to society emphasis on male toughness and how society frowns upon male weakness. The saddest line “my mum tells me that she’s worried and I couldn’t give a shit”. It is so sad that boys are so concrete and hard up in their emotions that they cannot have feelings, even where their mother is concerned. The lyrics “don’t message me cause I won’t reply I wanna make you cry”, really shows how boys are also thought to be the big bad guy that wants to hurt girls feelings.
Additionally, this song has become a trend on Tik Tok. People have posted the lyrics “I’m not very strong but I’ll fuck you up if you’re mean to *friend, significant other, family member’s name*”. They post someone they want to protect. The fact that this has become a trend is admirable, because it shows that people understand the concept of the song, that people are often mean to the people they think can handle it, when in fact, there is someone behind them protecting them.
Overall, this song is really important because the references are really important and easy to understand. It is important to acknowledge the toxic masculinity in todays society. Feminism is gaining momentum and it is important to make sure men also get the attention they need and to allow them freedom to express emotion. That starts with change in society and encouraging men to be open and honest about their feelings.