photo: Chelsea Nesvig/Flickr

You're not a true 90s kid/early 2000s tween unless you and your friends barked along to the Baha Men hit, "Who Let The Dogs Out."

Almost every PG-rated movie released during this era featured the single (or so it seemed). And if you didn't hear it there, then you certainly danced to the song at a block party or school dance, in between N*sync's "Bye Bye Bye" and Britney Spears' "I'm Not A Girl, Not Yet A Woman."

It's been quite some time since this song peaked and, quite honestly, I had completely forgotten about it until I saw this meme on my Facebook timeline:




OK, hold up. Time out. What?!

Based on this meme, the childhood anthem that we've all come to adore and cherish is a lie. Per this foul, foul meme, the song that made us lose ourselves and reminded us of the sweet days of summer is a misogynistic lie. 

After a few double-takes and cursing the world — how dare you Baha Men, how. dare. you. — I decided to put my journalist cap on and do some digging. I was determined to exonerate this song all of fuckboyness.  And I'm glad I did, because as it turns out, "Who Let The Dogs Out" is about something more than canines set loose. It's actually, dare I say, feminist.

First of all, the bad news.

Baha Men didn't write the song. They weren't the first to record it, either. According to Fusion, the group actually heard the single, called Doggie, performed by artist Anslem Douglas. The Baha Men just tweaked the song to give it their own signature Caribbean edge. 

Now, the good news. 

In an interview on his website, Douglas explains that the song is actually comparing men who catcall and "bark" at women at clubs to dogs. And not in a good way:

It’s a man-bashing song.  I’ll tell you why. The lyric of the song says, "The party was nice, the party was pumpin.'" When I said the word "party" I was being metaphorical.  It really means things were going great.

The "Yippie-Yi-Yo," that’s everybody’s happy, right? "And everybody was having a ball." Life was going great.

"Until the men start the name-callin’ / And then the girls respond to the call."  So the men started calling the women “skank” and “skettel,” every dirty word you can think of.  The men started the name-calling and then the girls respond to the call. And then a woman shouts out, “Who let the dogs out?” And we start calling men dogs.  It was really a man-bashing song.

*in the voice of the dad from "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"* So there you go. 

Sorry, meme and misogynists, the song is about guys who can't control themselves when they see women and harass them. 

2000s babies, we can all sleep soundly now. But first...