An article here notes the popularity of "revenge songs" in country music, where after a bad breakup or catching the boyfriend cheating, the singer kidnaps, ties and gags, or even flat-out murders the guy, with the actions often Played for Laughs. Chances are if a male singer made a video where he tied up and gagged an ex-girlfriend or attempted to kill her, he would be justifiably condemned by the public.
"'Misery' is about the desperation of wanting someone really badly in your life but having it be very difficult. Kind of what all the songs I write are about. I'm not treading on new ground, but I think a lot of people – including myself – deal with that all the time. Relationships are difficult, and it's good therapy to write about them." (source)
When Florence + the Machine's "Kiss With A Fist" came out, a number of critics condemned it for its Romanticized Abuse overtones — fair enough, except that they all seemed to see the female singer as the poor, innocent victim, despite the fact that she's clearly giving as good as she gets (she hits him, slaps him, sets fire to his bed, breaks his jaw...).
Carrie Underwood's "Before He Cheats" is all about a woman destroying her boyfriend's car because of the cheating he might be doing. The video says she was right in her unconfirmed suspicions, but there's no way she would be able to get away with it with the genders reversed. Let's see: "I dug my key into the side/Of her pretty little souped-up 4 wheel drive/Carved my name into her leather seat/I took a Louisville slugger to both head lights/Slashed a hole in all 4 tires/And maybe next time she'll think before she cheats". Um, yeah. Changing four pronouns changes the connotations quite a bit.
Poor guy's probably hiding in the bar, terrified of his psychotic "girlfriend" (chances are she's not even his girlfriend, just an obsessed lunatic), hoping she doesn't come into the bar after him because he wouldn't get any help from the people around him.
The video for the Vanessa Carlton song "Pretty Baby" has a Twist Ending where it turns out that the singer has her boyfriend Bound and Gagged in a locked room after catching him talking to another girl earlier in the song.
The video for Christina Aguilera's "Can't Hold Us Down" has a street full of women ganging up on all the men and spraying them with a fire hose. Why? Because one guy grabbed Christina's ass as she walked by.
The Rihanna song "Man Down" off her Loud Album - about a woman killing a man with a gun - was met with a backlash from the male audience. At the same time, the female audience defended the song and celebrated it. This was especially the case, because of the attack music star Chris Brown, inflicted on her in real life still being on woman's minds. The song was a huge hit. In the music video the woman kills the man after he rapes her. It's hard to imagine a man killing his female rapist being as highly regarded.
In what is supposed to be comedic (presumably) but comes off as just seriously disturbing is the music video for "I Pray for You" by Jaron and the Long Road to Love. The song itself is about the narrator grumbling about an ex-girlfriend who has treated him badly and praying all sorts of horrible things happen to her. But the video is just sadistic. The video starts with the man walking into the house, where his girlfriend throws several vases at his head and a hot cup of coffee in his face. The next scene has the man tied up in a bathtub full of water while his girlfriend teasingly dangles a hairdryer over him! The the man gives her a teddy bear. She cuddles it close and then kicks him in the crotch. She then proceeds to try and smother him with the teddy bear.Later, she lays a trip-wire of dental floss that makes him fall down the stairs. And when he tries to leave, she runs over his car with a monster truck. And this is played as funny. If the gender roles were reversed, this would probably be the music video to a tragic song about the horrors of domestic violence.
"You Don't Love Me Anymore" by "Weird Al" Yankovic describes a man's girlfriend, among other things, disconnecting the brakes in his car, leaving poisonous snakes in his underwear drawer, slamming his face into a barbecue grill, pushing him down an elevator shaft, threatening him with a knife, setting his house on fire, telling all her friends that he's the Antichrist, leaving him for dead in a ditch, and shaving off his eyebrows. Imagine if the song was sung from a female perspective.
Taylor Swift's song "Stay Stay Stay" features the singer throwing her phone across the room at her boyfriend. The boyfriend played it for laughs by coming back with a football helmet. A song with the roles reversed would not take this so lightheartedly.
Another Taylor Swift exemple: "Blank Space" features a woman throwing a vase at her boyfriend, destroying his clothes, his car, dropping his cellphone in the water. She also destroys his portrait violently with scissors, even assaulting him physically at some point. After all the abuse, the man leaves and is replaced by another one, implying it's going to start all over again. Let's also note that the song includes the lyrics "Boys only want love if it's torture." While the video is Adam Westing for Taylor's image as a woman who keeps scaring off her men, if the genders were reversed, there would have been an uproar after the song came out.
Read the lyrics to "Please Don't Leave Me" by P!nk. Now, imagine the reaction if that song were sung by a man. And her latest, "True Love" where she sings about wanting to put her hands around a guy's neck at the same time she allegedly wants to hug him. Somehow, this song is seen as empowering, even though it's pretty clearly not supposed to represent an entirely healthy relationship. note In fact, she and her husband have been in marriage counseling, and nearly got divorced. If a guy were singing those lyrics...yeah. Most male covers keep the lyrics as-is but Halfway To Hollywood genderflipped half of the lyrics. Thus we get like "Sometimes I hate every stupid word you say/Sometimes you wanna slap me in my whole face" and "At the same time, I wanna hug you/You wanna wrap your hands around my neck/I'm an asshole but I love you". It comes off as a Domestic Abuse victim self-victim blaming themselves.
In the video for John Legend's "Ordinary People" this trope is gratifyingly averted. Yes, there is the bit where the man hits the woman, but then you have the couple in which it is the woman who strikes first, and in neither case is it considered funny, or appropriate, or anything other than tragic that things have come to the point of violence.
In the controversial video for 'Fuiste Mía', the singer (Gerardo Ortiz) finds out his girlfriend (wife?) is cheating on him with another guy. He promptly shoots the guy in the forehead. Then, he puts the girl inside the trunk of a car and puts the car on fire. Ortiz was strongly criticized and even sued because of his "violence toward women" in the video, to the point he had to pull out the video from the social networks. No one complained about him shooting the guy in the song. Even Ortiz himself only apologized regarding the attack toward women.
That, and the fact that if it had been a woman who had killed her lover with fire, no one had said a thing.
The video to Lily Allen's "Smile" features her paying a group of thugs to beat up her ex and ransack his apartment. They even scratch all the records he uses at his job as a DJ, and they stuff his clothes in the toilet in anticipation of the Laxative Prank that Lily plays on him. Throughout the video, Lily pretends to comfort him, then laughs at his suffering when he turns away. If the genders were flipped, Lily's sociopathy would be far less likely to be portrayed comedically.
Averted by Aviators' song "I Could Believe You (feat. Glaze)". The song is sung from a man's perspective, as he is haunted by the ghost of his abusive girlfriend. The subject is portrayed seriously and unironically.