These last 48 hours have been a #whirlwind. I laid a bit low today. Taught my classes, reminded myself to breathe, and responded to messages when I could. To those I haven't been able to respond to, your love and support are not lost on me. Thank you all!— Lynzy Lab (@mercedeslynz) October 10, 2018
Standing in front of a camera, Lynzy Lab smiles, laughs and says that she wrote a song. The vertical camera view shows Lab, a dance lecturer at Texas State University, holding her ukulele in a YouTube video published Sunday. Days earlier, President Donald Trump described how the national debate surrounding the sexual misconduct accusations made against Supreme Court Justice Brett M. Kavanaugh represents "a very scary time for young men."
"It's a really scary time for dudes right now," she tweeted early Monday. "So I wrote a song about it."
It was the president's line that made for the inspiration for "A Scary Time," a catchy political satire that's become an unlikely viral sensation in the days following Trump's comments and Kavanaugh's confirmation to the highest court in the land.
"I can't walk to my car late at night while on the phone. I can't open up my windows when I'm home alone," she said. "I can't go to a bar without a chaperone. And I can't wear a miniskirt if it's the only one I own."
Though Lab never directly mentions Trump or the newest Supreme Court justice, perhaps the most poignant part of the song comes with her use of the term "35 years," a reference to the time period that Christine Blasey Ford alleges Kavanaugh to have assaulted her at a high school party. The verse also reflects the time period of the second accusation from Deborah Ramirez, who said Kavanaugh assaulted her at a dorm party at Yale. (Kavanaugh denies the allegations.)
"I can't jog around the city with headphones on my ears. I can't speak out against my rapist after 35 years. I can't be taken seriously if I'm holding back tears," Lab sang while plucking the ukulele. "And I can't ever speak earnestly about all my fears."
By the end of a two-and-a-half-minute song that lists a number of everyday situations as to why it's "a scary time" not for men but for women, Lab morphed into the newest feminist voice of the Democratic resistance - even receiving celebrity endorsements - with her tune acting as a protest anthem for those frustrated with Trump or Kavanaugh just weeks away from the midterm elections.
The success of "A Scary Time" is in the numbers. Since the YouTube video was published, it has gotten more than 438,000 views as of early Wednesday. The video on Instagram has racked up more than 40,000 likes. On Twitter, it has earned more than 220,000 likes and nearly 100,000 retweets. Before tweeting out the video on Monday, Lab, who now has more than 50,000 followers, hadn't posted to her account since March 2016. And a video of Lab's song posted on Facebook by NowThis Politics, the political channel of the video news content company, has been viewed roughly 28 million times since Monday.
"I did not expect such an overwhelming response," Lab, a performance artist in San Marcos, Texas, told HuffPost on Tuesday.
It was a response that got attention from the likes of actor Mark Ruffalo, who offered his support on Monday.
"Listen to women like @MercedesLynz to give you an idea of the world as they experience it," Ruffalo tweeted. The Marvel actor added: "We are evolving toward greater equality, which is a great thing for us ALL. Don't be afraid to have greater awareness. It can not harm you nor diminish you."
On Tuesday, Ellen DeGeneres, the popular daytime television talk show host, offered a one-word agreement to Lab's performance: "Yup."
But it hasn't been all celebratory for Lab, as supporters of Trump, Kavanaugh or both have questioned her motivations. With Lab becoming a viral star in recent days, she took to Twitter early Wednesday to clear up whatever perceptions people have made about her or her reasoning for making the video.
"I'm not here to delegitimize men's struggles. I'm just hoping that we can finally start legitimizing women's," she tweeted. "Regardless of what you've decided about me, I'm not 'anti-men'. I am, however, super 'pro-women'. You should be too."
The Washington Post