Adam Levine’s advice to men trying to be allies to women: ‘Just be a set of ears’

Prince Harry greets the crowds outside Windsor Castle on the evening before his wedding to Meghan Markle

I don’t like Adam Levine, so I do tend to ignore him. I don’t seek out news about him, so I apologize to the people who are really hungry for weekly Adam Levine news. I tend to get tunnel-visioned about my faves, so I just assume that everybody hates the same people I hate. All of this to say… this Variety cover story with Levine is the first interview I’ve read with him in years, and I actually didn’t completely hate him? I mean, he’s sort of d-bag, but he’s far from the worst. Adam Levine has managed to survive and thrive in an industry which has shifted year after year, and what’s weird is that… he’s still thriving? Even after all this time, he’s still making popular music and he’ll be the Super Bowl Half-time performer, and he’s popular on The Voice. It’s really strange how he’s figured out a way to navigate everything and be successful at all of it. You can read the full Variety piece here. Some highlights:

On the backlash to the Super Bowl gig: “I’m still formulating a lot of things.”

On “Girls Like You”: “We had a historic [midterm] election with how many women turned out and ran. Like, hell, we can actually do this! That’s why the iconography of the video is really important — for all of us to remember as men to support these women. Let’s be pillars of strength and support and not approach it from a defensive standpoint, or one that would suggest I know anything about how a woman would feel. Remain reverent to what is happening and not claim to know. Just be a set of ears.

Why he’s connected to the plight of women: “Having little girls. But being a male who is a prominent public figure is a very tricky place to be. There are dangerous waters to navigate. You always want to be on the right side of something you feel passionately about. I have two young daughters, and to think about them being mistreated at all — ever — made my blood boil. So we went for it because I felt that as long as I stayed close to my heart with this concept, I could never go wrong. … In the video, I was doing it for my kids and my wife. If anyone doesn’t understand the intentions, f— ’em.

Why he is now his own manager (after his manager passed away): “I’m almost 40 and have been doing this a long time. I don’t need a babysitter.”

Learning about the TV business: “I’m not in the TV business. I am and I’m not. Anything we approach is done under the guise of how do we do things differently? Not how can we fit in? I think there’s an obsession with regards to fitting in because TV is kind of running scared. There’s this looming storm cloud of tech, which we’ve been experiencing in the music industry for a long time. People are going to stop watching certain types of television like they stopped buying albums and downloading songs. These things are unavoidable. I hope “The Voice” stays on the air for a thousand years. But the truth is, it may not. People want different.

Where is rock music? “Rock music is nowhere, really. I don’t know where it is. If it’s around, no one’s invited me to the party. All of the innovation and the incredible things happening in music are in hip-hop. It’s better than everything else. Hip-hop is weird and avant-garde and flawed and real, and that’s why people love it. … My goal is to make songs that don’t sound dated 10 years later. My main criteria for a song is, can I live with it forever? And if I can’t, I just don’t have the heart to do it. It’s that simple.

[From Variety]

“Rock music is nowhere, really. I don’t know where it is.” I think about that a lot, how I came of age during the transition between heavy metal/’80s rock to grunge/alt-rock. And then Britney and Backstreet destroyed actual rock bands and actual rock music. It’s all just pop now, even most of hip-hop is pop now. As for what he says about women is… actually pretty good? He’s not polishing his I’M AN ALLY credentials, he’s just saying “listen to women, dudes.” God, maybe I don’t hate Adam Levine anymore? What is happening.

Celebrities at the Los Angeles Lakers game

Photos courtesy of WENN, cover courtesy of Variety.

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16 Responses to “Adam Levine’s advice to men trying to be allies to women: ‘Just be a set of ears’”

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  1. Jadedone says:

    A lot of times people just need to be heard, they dont need advice or help, they just want you to listen.

    • Meg says:

      My college boyfriend would say he didnt know how to help me, he didnt know what to do. I let him know inwasnt looking to hik for answers just support and listening, showing you care

  2. minx says:

    He has never done anything for me but I give him credit here. All men should have daughters, they learn from them.

    • Jadedone says:

      I wish men could understand women without having to be fathers of daughters

      • Cee says:


      • minx says:

        I wish that as well.

      • Maya says:

        Yep – how about learning about this when they have mothers, sisters and grandmothers?

      • Alyse Leitao says:

        While this is true, sometimes it does take having a personal connection to take someone from thinking they care about *insert minority* to actually properly seeing & thinking about the extent of what they go through and how effed up it is… so it may not be that they didn’t care before, but it adds a new level for them.

        People aren’t perfect, but it’s our nature to care more about whatever we have personal connections to – no matter how woke we are

      • SK says:

        Yeah… I can never get past the stories about Levine that a model friend told me. Gross, sleazy, douchey stories. Perhaps he is a changed man these days; but I don’t see why men need to have daughters in order to learn how to respect women.

  3. Lucia says:

    Honestly this works with anyone in any situation. But we women are the least heard. I’m with Kaiser in thinking Adam is a dbag.

  4. Valois says:

    Rock music is still around and there’s plenty of great bands. It’s just not the most commercially successful genre right now (that would be rap and EDM) and it hasn’t been for a while.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    I disagree about rock. I’ve always been a rocker. Rock, hard, grunge, alternative, new wave, southern, industrial, swamp, progressive, blues, indie and the million other categories people tend to love to come up with, rock is very alive and oh so good. It’s rich and deep and layered and awesome AF lol.

    • MarcelMarcel says:

      His response kinda explains why his music sucks tho? I agree that hip hop is amazing and I listen to a lot! But there’s so much happening with rock so I’m confused by his answer.
      I don’t even understand why he performs in a genre that he is so dismissive towards.

  6. hkk says:

    Okay he’s got to say something but performers are turning down Super Bowl halftime performance because the NFL is not speaking out to say of course you can kneel, of course you can protest. Until he and Maroon 5 are ready to be an EAR for black and brown people as well as women, I’m not here for him. At. All.