It’s Not a Love Song, It’s Sexual Assault

Let’s talk love songs, and songs about relationships. There are some songs that might be mistaken as being romantic music about unrequited love, however when you actually listen to the lyrics they have alarming undertones of sexual assault and domestic abuse. You listen to it twice and realise that the song is about a poor girl being stalked, or about some poor girl with a boyfriend hell-bent on conforming to gender stereotypes to the point that he makes degrading comments about her. These songs aren’t limited by genre either, here is a list of songs that I feel have sexist and violent undertones, and perpetuate ideas that stalking and sexual assault are acceptable because it’s ‘love’.

Warning: Some content may offend.

Rock/Pop:

Nickelback- Follow You Home

‘You can slap me in the face/You can scream profanity
Leave me here to die alone but/I’ll still follow you home’

So basically the female in this song doesn’t want the male to keep harassing her, but he keeps persevering. The song goes on to say that she can yell at him, swear, put a bounty on his head, kill him etc. and he will still follow her home. It’s creepy, and perpetuating the idea that if a male keep harassing and stalking a female then he will have her eventually. She’s not playing hard to get when she takes out a restraining order or tries to kill you she’s that scared.

Country:

Brad Paisley ‘I’m Still A Guy’

‘But when you say a back rub means only a back rub/ Then you swat my hand when I try
Well, now what can I say at the end of the day/Honey, I’m still a guy’

Apart from all the grossly exaggerated gender stereotypes this song feeds into I find the words ‘but when you say a backrub is just a backrub and swat my hand when I try’ the most alarming lyrics of this song as it has undertones of sexual assault. That and he called the female love interests dog a sissie, and is feeding into traditional masculinity through clearly showing his ideas of a ‘real man’. He perpetuates the idea that males are the dominant gender and, to him, a male doing anything he considers feminine is equivalent to removing his testicles. It is reinforcing gender stereotypes and shows women as weak, unimportant, and manipulative.

Dance/Pop:

Cobra Starship- It’s Warmer In The Basement

‘This is what you get/When you’re talking back baby
I never bounce a check/So give it up, baby
Open up your eyes/I want to watch you cry… No one hears you in this room’

Another incredibly creepy ‘love’ song about a male who has a female love interest trapped in the basement. The dissonance between the upbeat music and the torture, sexual assault, and kidnap style lyrics is astounding. In this song the male sings about how no one will hear her cries as he has her trapped. It also has incredibly violent disturbing undertones about how he is filming her pleas, and that locking her up was some sort of punishment for talking back to him.

What do you think of these lyrics?

Any more to add to the list?

-Rocheen

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