Earlier this week, Goldieblox, a toy company which makes products to promote girls' understanding of and passion for engineering, released an adorable video that went viral. Featuring reworked lyrics of the Beastie Boys' incredibly sexist "Girls," three girls cheer fun beyond Princess b.s. as they set a Rube Goldberg machine in action. But do you know who is unhappy by this shot of girl power? The Beastie Boys!
The group is apparently going after Goldieblox with a copyright infringement claim. [UPDATE HERE] The Hollywood Reporter reported that Goldieblox has filed lawsuit which says "the Beastie Boys have now threatened GoldieBlox with copyright infringement. Lawyers for the Beastie Boys claim that the GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video is a copyright infringement, is not a fair use and that GoldieBlox's unauthorized use of the Beastie Boys intellectual property is a 'big problem' that has a 'very significant impact.'"
The Beastie Boys' X-rated 'Girls/She's Crafty' album
Goldieblox's lawsuit (PDF) is trying to get them protection from the copyright infringement claims—and it reminds everyone how their original song is pretty sexist!
In the lyrics of the Beastie Boys’ song entitled Girls, girls are limited (at best) to household chores, and are presented as useful only to the extent they fulfill the wishes of the male subjects. The GoldieBlox Girls Parody Video takes direct aim at the song both visually and with a revised set of lyrics celebrating the many capabilities of girls.
Set to the tune of Girls but with anew recording of the music and new lyrics, girls are heard singing an anthem celebrating their broad set of capabilities—exactly the opposite of the message of the original. They are also shown engaging in activities far beyond what the Beastie Boys song would permit. GoldieBlox created its parody video specifically to comment on the Beastie Boys song, and to further the company’s goal to break down gender stereotypes and to encourage young girls to engage inactivities that challenge their intellect, particularly in the fields of science, technology, engineering and math.
Here are some Beastie Boys' lyrics from "Girls":
Girls - to do the dishes
Girls - to clean up my room
Girls - to do the laundry
Girls - and in the bathroom
Girls, that's all I really want is girls
Two at a time I want girls
With new wave hairdos I want girls
I ought to whip out my girls, girls, girls, girls, girls!
The Goldieblox version has "Girls - to build the spaceship/ Girls - to code the new app/ Girls - to grow up knowing/ That they can engineer that/ Girls. That's all we really need is girls."
Granted, "Girls" is from the Beastie Boys' debut album, Licensed to Ill. They did evolve to embrace feminism, with MCA rapping in "Sure Shot," "I want to say a little something that’s long overdue / The disrespect to women has to got to be through / To all the mothers and sisters and the wives and friends / I want to offer my love and respect till the end." Then again, MCA's will said his work and image can't be used in advertising.