Debate Magazine

Boys, Music, Rape - the Usual Suspects

Posted on the 08 November 2011 by Starofdavida
Boys, Music, Rape - the Usual SuspectsI babysit two absolutely lovelyboys, aged eight and ten. (The older one has been my “boyfriend” for a numberof years now.) Their parents are also very sweet people who. I know the familythrough synagogue and from around the neighborhood. They try really hard to observehalakha (Jewish law), and send their boys to an Orthodox school. (Thefact that I’m willing to babysit for them is a testament to how great these twokids are, because I’m really picky about my clients.)
The last time I was babysittingthem, one of the boys was messing around on his dad’s iPad and playing music.His first choice was Ke$ha’s “Crazy Beautiful Life.” His second was KatyPerry’s ET. I asked if his parents mind if he listens to that music, and hesaid that the only reason he doesn’t usually play it out loud is because hismom is in the yearlong mourning period and can’t listen to music.
It kinda surprised me that hischoices were those particular artists and songs. I know a lot of people don’t understand my problem with Ke$ha,but I’m sticking to my guns here. A lot of her stuff has sexual overtones orare downright explicit. Right now I’m thinking of “And they turn me on / whenthey take it off / when they take it off / everybody take it off” and “Justturn around boy and let me hit that / Don’t be a little b***h with your chitchat / Just show me where your d**k’s at,” among many other Ke$ha lyrics. In“Crazy Beautiful Life,” she uses the word douche in the chorus, as wellas the b word and s word, and talks about being high. It’s just not appropriatefor little kids. Yes, I know they can hear those words and worse on television,especially cable, but curb it where you can, you know?
I find the fact that they werelistening to “ET” absolutely unacceptable, though. The song, as stated inseveral feminist blogs, is a violent rape fantasy. Katy says in the chorus “Kiss me, kiss me / Infectme with your love and / Fill me with your poison / Take me, take me / Wanna beyour victim / Ready for abduction.” It’s not like it’s hard to understand oranything. The lyrics are blatant. Then Kanye West comes in and raps! Surprisingthat a guy who enjoys raping dead white women would collaborate on a song likethis, huh?Well, he does, stating that “Imma disrobe you / Then Imma probe you / See I’veabducted you / So I’ll tell you what to do.” Again, completely blatant. Nodouble entendres or sexual innuendos here. Katy and Kanye like telling it likeit is, apparently.
And so, I think that anyone withany sense of appropriateness will agree with me that this song is completelynot anywhere near the realm of okay for children. Two young boys, listening toa woman say how she wants to be raped and hearing a man describe how to rapeher? I’m sorry, that doesn’t jibe with me. I know the nuances of the song aretotally lost on kids that little, and they probably don’t listen to it thathard and don’t understand it if they do, but it’s still in their heads. I knowthat I’ve still got songs stuck in my head that I listened to when I was theirage and haven’t heard since. What a way to raise future feminists!
It’s not their parents’ fault,since they weren’t home when they were playing these songs. However, theincident still really bothered me. I know people will think I’m overreacting tothis and say that I’m making a big deal over nothing, but I really think thisis an issue. There are links between violent, sexualized video games to murderand other violent physical crimes. I don’t know of any identified link between musicwith violent descriptions to crime, but is it so far-fetched? I really don’tthink so.
It’s absolutely crazy, to behonest. There are hundreds of great organizations out there that are working tochange this, but it’s still the reality women and men face. It certainly has tobe changed.

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