Once you start noticing all of the songs that promote non-consensual sex, you can’t stop seeing or hearing them. There seem to be two or three songs about date rape released every year, and if you try to understand why this phenomena exists you’ll lose your mind and swear off pop music forever. Popular date rape songs are interwoven into the musical landscape, and they exist in every genre that’s played on the radio. Most of these songs conceal their rapey message with infectious grooves and baby talk lyrics, but once you begin to parse through the meaning it’s hard not to just punch the first man you see in the street.
The mainstream musical establishment’s treatment of women has... been less than stellar. Artists who have been straight-up horrible to women are continually lauded in the press, and validated with album sales. In some cases of rapey songs, it seems like the artist doesn’t even realize they’re normalizing something (in the worst way) millions of women face every day. The amount of music dedicated to singing about getting women drunk in order to sleep with them is staggering. Why do we reward artists for writing songs like this? There are no answers, no satisfaction to be gained be examining the rape tracks that follow. But, at least you'll be super frustrated with male culture in general by the time you're finished reading. And, you'll hopefully stop singing along when the song comes on your Weekly Discover playlist. Become part of the solution, y'all.
Prepare to never look at these artists the same way again, as you read and listen to the songs you never noticed are about date rape.
The Scenario: A guy invited a woman over to his house for Christmas drinks (or something?) and now he's finding any excuse possible to keep her locked up in his tasteful brownstone.
How It's About Sexual Assault: To put it delicately, a young woman is trying to escape her romantic suitor, who's attempting to force her into staying the night at his place while plying her with alcohol.
Lyrics That Make It Pretty Clear: "I ought to say no, no, no, sir" / "(Mind if I move in closer?)"
The Scenario: This is one of many "up in the club" tracks that veer wildly into the rape zon. Rather than just be about meeting a woman at a bar and taking advantage of her (which would be bad enough), it's about using your status as a super cool alpha male to convince a woman that the person she's dating, or just got out of a relationship with, wasn't man enough for her.
How It's About Sexual Assault: Assuming you know exactly what someone else wants without asking them, especially when it comes to sex, is never a good way to begin a relationship. Even if it's just a one-off thing. Pretending the titular "blurred lines" somehow make this song sexy and fun ignores the fact that women are put through bullsh*t macho garbage constantly. It results in destroyed lives, PTSD, and every other thing people shouldn't have to go through when they just want to dance.
Lyrics That Make It Pretty Clear: "Good girl/I know you want it." OR "Now he was close/Tried to domesticate you/But you're an animal/Baby, it's in your nature/Just let me liberate you."
The Scenario: Hey, it's the club again. This time the Goose is flowing thanks to Jamie Foxx.
How It's About Sexual Assault: The lines in this song explicitly state, "I'm going to make you do what you've already said you're not going to do." That's straight-up rape. This might be the scariest song written since the intro to Wu-Tang Clan's "Method Man."
Lyrics That Make It Pretty Clear: "Say she usually don't, but I know that she front/'Cause shawty know what she want, but she don't wanna seem like she easy/I hear you saying what ya wont do, but you know we probably goin' do."
The Scenario: Justin Bieber is trying to figure out what his confusing girlfriend is talking about.
How It's About Sexual Assault: So, Justin isn't sure if when a girl tells him "no," if it really means no. In a word: yes. Of course it does Justin, you big dumb idiot. If you're not sure about consent in a situation like this, err on the side of caution and call it a night. Or order pizza. Everybody likes pizza, almost as much as they hate non-consensual sex.
Lyrics That Make It Pretty Clear: "What do you mean, when you nod your head yes, but you wanna say no/What do you mean?"