Tuesday, June 19, 2012

This song isn't about sexual assault at all!

I was listening to some Top 40 Radio this afternoon. Usually I don't listen too carefully to lyrics because generally speaking they're idiotic in Top 40 music. Today, though, my ears couldn't help but hear some lyrics that made me feel a bit.. awkward.

Apparently there is a new song called "Kiss you inside out" by the band Hedley. Not only is Hedley just plain offensive because their music hurts my ears, but these lyrics are bizarre:

I don’t know if you’re ready to go
Where I’m willing to take you girl
I will feel every inch of your skin
And you know I can rock your world 

Let's start here, shall we? If you aren't sure whether or not your "girl" is "ready to go" where you're "willing" to take her, then you have a problem.  You will feel every inch of her skin? Well, maybe you should wait until you know whether or not she wants you to? Just because you're some whiny sounding pop singer with neck tattoos doesn't meant that what you're saying is less threatening.

Turn off the lights
Take off your clothes
Turn on the stereo
Ouuu oohhh
Give up the fight
I’m in control
Why don’t you let it go.

What? Give up the fight?! There's a fight? This is what I don't get about pop music. This shit is aimed directly at the wallets and hearts of pre-teen girls and what this song is telling them is that it's romantic when a guy pushes you to "give up the fight" and just accept that he's "in control" and so you might as well just "let it go." Guess what, this scenario is called sexual assault! This guy is turning on the stereo because he doesn't want his neighbours to hear this poor girl screaming, most likely.

Just close your eyes and shut your mouth
And let me kiss you inside out.

Shut your mouth?! How are you supposed to kiss someone back, say yes, or express any kind of pleasure, when you have your mouth shut? This is just so fucking creepy. These are 30 year old men singing about a woman just lying back with her eyes closed, mouth shut, letting whatever is happening just happen to her. You sell your music to children, Hedley! You sell your music to young girls who are already vulnerable to sexual assault and date rape! How can you be so irresponsible? Not only are you hideously untalented musicians you're also embarrassing human beings.

I don’t care if you steal all my air
we can breath in together as one
it’s all right if you’re here every night
waking up with you in the sun
we start with an hour and we find we waste the day
kicking back with the love we found.

Oh right, because sexual assault is a great precursor for a loving and long-term relationship. He's only assaulting you because he loves you! Having sex when you don't want to is just what you do in a relationship! Just lay back and take it, unless of course you don't want to have a boyfriend. What the hell kind of message is this?

let me love you, let me love you
let me love you babe. 

Ah yes, because sex is always equated with love and someone who says they love you could never hurt you, right?

How, in 2012, a band comprised of adult males can get away with lyrics like this is beyond me. How do they exist in society and not realize that what they're saying is not only fucking disgusting but it's describing something that is against the law. I get it, pop culture is rape culture. Our mainstream media is saturated with things that normalize sexual assault and sexualize women and girls.Sometimes I just forget, for a moment, how blatant these messages really are until I turn on the radio or the TV and get smoked in the face with a song about date rape.  Men who sing to girls have a responsibility to not just write or perform conventional music about female sexual passivity. The fact that this kind of music is still being performed just goes to show exactly how much artistic creativity actually exists in our mainstream music: zero. That this group got up and sang this song at the MMVAs, so a crowd of thousands of screaming twelve year old girls, solidifies their position as men who are part of the problem. 

Maybe try trading your silly tattoos, vintage t shirts,and counterculture haircuts for something that is actually different and radical: standing up to a music community that normalizes and naturalizes sexual assault. Or, you could continue just being an annoying, entitled, totally oblivious band of insignificant assholes.


Lauren said...

Oh my gosh, so it's not just me who was reminded of rape! My friends love this song. I think the lyrics are disgusting and demeaning toward women, and it sends a horrible message to young girls.

Anonymous said...

Glad I'm not the only one raging about how dehumanizing the lyrics are to all women. Great post!

Anonymous said...

Okay, I get it. This particular song by Hedley isn't appropriate and it's disgusting. But their other so songs are great. Almost all of the songs that they release as singles aren't as good as the ones that they don't release as singles. And actually, they didn't always sing pop. I liked it better when they didn't. Look at their first and second albums. Their songs are much better and they are not in appropriate or disgusting. They were much better then than they are now.

Anonymous said...

Being a huge fan of Andrée-Anne Leclerc, I am really happy for her that she got to sing with Hedley. However, despite the fact that I really like the beat of that song, the words make me quite uncomfortable. Too bad. Bad choice of words. Unacceptable. "Cette chanson est vraiment trop dégradante pour la femme! Dommage... et triste à la fois"

Anonymous said...

glad there are others that notice this. Awefulness. Awefulness. Well said. They are 'men who are part of the problem'

I'm a dude by the way.

Nicole K said...

Everyone is entitled to their opinion however i do not believe this song is about rape. If you watch the video its about two people who fall in love and get married and in one part of the song the lyrics say " I wanna know you inside out I’ll spend my life trying to figure out" clearly this isnt just about sex. Maybe before you rant you should look into every aspect. In another view of the "give up the fight im in control" lyrics maybe she likes S&M. Dont assume the song is about rape. And btw your picture of Hedley is so out of date its not even funny. Maybe listen to all of their songs and get an idea about what their music means. I know its saved many lives.

Anonymous said...

If you dont like their music dont listen to it. you dont have to b**tch and be another troll on the internet.

tee said...

Oh, Anonymous. This is my blog and so what I write isn't considered trolling. You saying I'm bitching, that's trolling.

Anonymous said...

if you dont like the top 40 shit then turn off the top 40 shit and dont put down others. You're a low life bully obviously

Anonymous said...

I love rocking to this song because its so catchty but then later I look at lyrics and when I saw "Give up the fight I’m in control why don’t you let it go" it freaked me out and realized its about rape.

karkitten Vantas said...

This is beautiful and I'm glad you wrote it. I would add that it also sends a horrendous message to men and boys along with women and girls. As a man I do not want to hear these messages which try to turn me into a misogynistic and I don't want guys who feel the same to be seen as counter-culture or abnormal.
To the anon who tells you if you don't like it not to bitch about, first of all that kid needs to learn about terms and maybe read some Levi-Strauss (not the jeans), secondly it actually is our and your responsibility to speak out and criticize when we see or hear things that do not fit with us, otherwise we're just as bad as the people who say it's fine. Things don't change when we ignore them, so even if we don't agree let's have a discussion about our perspectives and see where that leads instead of shutting our mouths and giving up control.

tee said...

Thank you so much! I agree, the message that this song normalizes is really disturbing. That love and romance are somehow better when they're forced or forceful is something we hear all too often and the popularity of this song just proves how easy it is to ignore.

Your comment made my day, thank you again!!

Anonymous said...

I'm glad I'm not the only person who was creeped out by this song. It's oddly graphic for a radio-pop tune:

"Take off your clothes [...] And let me kiss you inside out."

I'm not necessarily against lyrics depicting graphic sex on principle. It's just really weird to hear it sung so innocently.

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