I learned that I can sing “rapey” (Kai) lyrics with knowing. Am I normal?
“She say she won’t, but I bet she will, timber,” is a lyric in “Timber”,
by Pitbull and Ke$ha. This lyric has a very clear hint at sexual assault, and/or rape. Its weird that when you actually listen, just how many songs have this same theme.
“In The Summertime”, a song written in 1970, by a British songwriter, highlights drinking and driving, and sexual assault. In the second verse, a lyric rings out, “If her daddy’s rich take her out for a meal, If her daddy’s poor just do what you feel.” Sure like Mr. Hughes, I agree the song is catchy, and I have a hard time condemning it, but that lyric when sung clear from my speaker shocked me. It opened my eyes to how many songs have inappropriate lyrics but continue in circulation. One song I have listened to countless times, sung every lyric, and never caught just how sexist it is. The song is “Blurred Lines,” by Robin Thicke Feat. T.I. and Pharrell.
Throughout this song while reading the lyrics many stand out as sexist, take “Okay, now he was close. Tried to domesticate ya. But you’re an animal. Baby, it’s in your nature.” When Thicke was asked about this lyric he said, “Even very good girls have a little bad side. You just have to know how to pull it out of them.” This answer angers me highly because WHO EVER SAID IT NEEDED TO LEAVE? A woman is allowed to have an aggressive personality. How would we be able to play sports? Get to university? Or even maintain a job with all these men trying to silence us? This reaction reminds me a little to much of Taming Of The Shrew, with the treatment of Kate. Everyones goal is to “tame” Kate, exactly what this comment is telling men today to do. Another song with the same sort of lyrics is Back To Sleep, by Chris Brown.
Where the lyrics read, “Just let me rock, I’mma f*ck you back to sleep, girl. Oh don’t talk to me, girl, right now.” This song is filled with horrible lyrics and a horrible beat, so I have less of a problem condemning it, but I’m still lost as to how songs like these can become part of our culture without us even seeing the issues. If you wonder what songs I’m talking about I’ve created a playlist.
An article by The Standard that I found about just this said, “Some of the most well-known, top-selling artists are unknowingly raising the expectations for men to act and women to be submissive,” which I couldn’t agree with more. These lyrics become what young people look up to. The lyrics are basically woman being submissive. Each of the songs in the playlist I created have had their time on top charts, or are known. Which means that people have listened and are now susceptible to their flawed meaning. Personally I feel that we can’t escape these songs, instead we have to learn as a culture that woman being submissive is not ok, and that it doesn’t have to shape who you become. Because once at that point, sexist songs will not hold such a strong hold on woman, because people will understand that sexism shouldn’t sell.
I highly recommend you visit Bustle, which had a lot of good insight into this topic.