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OPINION: "Every time we sing these lyrics, violence against women becomes more mainstream."

douches

By KATE LEAVER

World-famous men are making money threatening to beat, stalk, maim, and silence women. And we let them get away with it.

Why? Because all of them made their vile threats in songs. And you can get away with anything as long as there’s a sick beat behind it. In our world, making people want to dance is more important than making women feel safe.

Think I’m being dramatic? Let me walk you through it.

1. Eminem just rapped about wanting to punch singer Lana Del Ray in the face.

In a freestyle rap video released online overnight, Eminem rapped about wanting to punch Lana Del Ray in the face – twice. He likened himself to the infamous American footballer Ray Rice – a man who was caught on tape beating his wife unconscious in an elevator and then forcing her to apologise to save his career.

(The lyrics appear around the 4 minute mark in this video).

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cRbIp66VwY4

2. Redfoo told women to “shut the fuck up” in the “most sexist song of the year”.

Lyrics to Redfoo’s latest song “Literally, I can’t” include the following instructions for young women who refuse to perform pornographic acts at a party:

“You’re annoying b—- because you’re talking. Shut the f— up.”

“Girl I’m sipping on this drink, trying to see what you got, not hear what you think.”

”Shhh… I said jump on the pole; I didn’t need your opinion…”

redfooclip

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3. Robin Thicke tried to win back his wife with footage of a drowning woman, a battered face, and a series of abusive text messages.

4. Adam Levine made this sexy short film about a violent stalker.

The film clip for Maroon 5’s song “Animals” is basically a fantasy about a violent, dangerous stalker with a day job as a butcher. A beautiful woman is photographed without her consent, followed, frightened, and then made the object of a violent man’s obsession.

Between them, these men are worth more than $200 million. They’re some of the highest paid musicians on the planet, and are ritually rewarded for spreading violent messages to their fans.

All of these songs will be played in clubs, bars, and parties everywhere. They will be hits. And every time some guy sings the lyrics, he makes it that little bit more acceptable to disrespect women. Domestic abuse, rape, and intimidation become just a little bit more normal.

Before you say “it’s just a song” or “it’s just a bit of fun” or “STFU Kate, stop being the morality police,” please: consider this:

We live in a world right now where the global rates of domestic abuse are higher than they have ever been. We live in a country where one woman dies every week at the hands of her partner.

Women are scared to walk down the street because men will yell vulgar things at them. Girls go to parties where they are drugged and gang-raped, only to find footage of their attack all over the internet the next day. Wives and girlfriends are stuck in emotionally and physically abusive relationships, frightened to leave and with nowhere to go.

Women lose jobs, get paid less, end up homeless, get killed, or feel unsafe every day. As a society, we are at crisis point.

Violence against women, misogyny, street harassment, and sexism is affecting every aspect of our lives. The fact that it’s omnipresent in pop culture — that we can’t escape it even when we listen to music — is beyond alarming. If art reflects life, a Saturday morning spent watching MTV is enough to unravel the darkest aspects of humanity. It’s exhausting, it’s suffocating, and it’s not right.

But as long as we buy their singles and dance their music, men like Redfoo, Eminem, Robin Thicke and Adam Levine will continue to profit from misogyny.

Do you still want to dance?

Are you disturbed by this trend for violent pop songs?

If you or someone you know are affected by domestic violence, call the Domestic Violence Helpline in 1800 800 098 24 hours, 7 days a week, or click here.

Like Kate Leaver on Facebook or follow her on Twitter. 

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