Elvis Costello maintains that his songs are not misogynistic. During a chat with The Los Angeles Times, Costello was reminded of a quote in the 2000 movie High Fidelity, where actor John Cusack is compiling a "Top Five Angry Songs About Women" and he explains, "You kind of have to start with Elvis Costello, but where?"
The line confused Costello, one of rock's greatest songwriters, who admitted, "I don’t get that myself. I think it’s in the eye of the beholder. (In the song) 'Alison' -- It’s 'I know the world is killing you,' not 'I am killing you.' I’m not being pedantic here. It says, 'my aim is true.' I am responsible. It’s not like I want to kill you, but this love that we’re in isn’t going to work out. There’s a lot of songs that are like that. People want to hear them as angry."
He went on to say, "I’ve even seen the 'm-word' attached to my name lots of times. Misogynist. I think the songs are more about being a young man trying to work out what those feelings are supposed to be about. I’m not always writing the idyllic love song because maybe somebody does that better than me. Some of it’s from real life. I’ve lived parts of those songs. But I don’t think they’re misogynistic. I wonder if the people who think that are the ones with the problem."