Saturday, June 14, 2014

It Ain't Sexy, But It's Good

A few of my friends on Facebook posted a link to Matt Walsh's blog post titled We can't end 'rape culture' if we don't end hook up culture.

I read the article. I liked it. But it was hard to believe what Walsh was saying about the way young people are partying these days, so I am not sure I totally saw the connection between hook-up and rape.  I don't have cable television, so it's like I don't even live on the same planet as most people.

But then I heard a song today- Timber by Pitbull featuring Kesha. It was on a new workout CD I bought. I couldn't believe what I was listening to! So I Googled the lyrics to the song to see if I heard them right. 

Here's how they go-

(This portion of the song is sung by a female.  I think that is very important.)

It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night you won't remember
I'll be the one you won't forget

Wooooah (timber), wooooah (timber), wooooah (it's going down)
Wooooah (timber), wooooah (timber), wooooah (it's going down)

(The man [Pitbull] starts to sing.)

The bigger they are, the harder they fall
These big-iddy boys are dig-gidy dogs
I have 'em like Miley Cyrus, clothes off
Twerking in their bras and thongs, timber
Face down, booty up, timber
That's the way we like to–what?–timber
I'm slicker than an oil spill
She say she won't, but I bet she will, timber

Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down
Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down

Just a quick break-down of the song lyrics reveals some pretty disturbing thinking for both the man and woman singing.

I'll break down just a few of the lines. The lady sings,

Let's make a night you won't remember-

Why won't he remember?  Will he be too drunk to remember anything? Too drunk to make good decisions?

I'll be the one you won't forget- 

So this girl knows that the guy has hooked-up with so many other women that he has forgotten a lot of them, but she is going to preform so good in bed (or in the bathroom or wherever they do it) that he won't forget her. That's not likely. 

Then the man sings-

The bigger they are, the harder they fall-

Sex is obviously just a conquest to this guy, not a privilege to connect with and bless a woman that he loves and cares for.

These big-iddy boys are dig-gidy dogs-

We're dogs, animals. Let's just act like animals. 

... Twerking in their bras and thongs.

So this has gone from a dance party to an orgy apparently. 

I'll skip some of the worst lyrics.

But I feel I have to share the most offensive line of all-

She say she won't, but I bet she will-

That's right, the guy actually sings,

She says she won't, but I bet she will.-

The girl is saying she doesn't want to go have sex now... but given enough time and drinks... 

Is this the way men and women involved in this "hook up culture" are thinking? It appears to be.  And it is not hard to see now how this hook-up culture perpetuates a rape culture.  People are singing about the fact that they are going to sexually use and be used "at the end of night" just like the song says.

I think it's also important to note that these performers aren't singing these songs in the dark, so to speak. They are actually in prime places, being placed in front of young people, even. Unless I am mistaken, (which is quite possible, since I told you I don't have cable television so I am not up on popular culture,) but Kesha, the lady who sings in the song (and who preforms in the pretty pornographic music video that goes with it), appears to be the same lady who performed at the Kids Choice Awards in 2013.  The Kids Choice Awards! Now, she didn't sing Timber at the Kids Choice Awards, but I still think we must have lost our collective minds if we think this doesn't matter. Kids are definitely going to be more likely to listen to songs with her name on them now. And there is never any doubt that what kids (and adults) listen to will naturally influence the way the think, feel, and act.

In his article Matt Walsh says,

"If we tell men that it’s OK to use women like they’re nothing more than masturbatory aides — and that is indeed all that’s happening in the hook-up culture – then we will end up with men who do just that."

When are we telling men it's okay to use women like that?  Well, for one, it is happening in songs and videos like the one I heard today.

Walsh goes on to say, "The ‘get consent’ crowd asks only for the bare minimum, and then rejects those who come up with a strategy that more effectively achieves their desired results.  The fight against rape has to involve more than some paltry little sermon about consent. We need to use words like ‘love’ and ‘commitment’ and ‘marriage.’ This won’t end rape entirely, but it’s the only message that will make a difference."
 
If it wasn't obvious before now, this blog post is an appeal to considering returning to more traditional thinking, feeling, and acting about sex.  At least consider it. Like Walsh says in his article, we've pushed the limits to mere consent. But now men and woman are using each other so often that we have actually come up with terms for it- "hook-up culture." And now the use is perpetuating so much abuse, we even have a "rape culture." These are cultures now! So I tend to agree with Walsh. Consent is too blurry of a line, especially when people are literally so drunk they can't see straight. When it comes to alcohol at sexually charged parties let's start using words like responsibility, moderation, and discretion. When it comes to sex, let's draw the line back somewhere back toward marriage, commitment, and love and see how well that serves our society.
 
A friend of mine once told me how a friend of her husband's came to visit them for a few days. He was a single guy and didn't share their traditional values about marriage and sex, so he wasn't sure he'd enjoy staying with an old, boring couple. But as he watched their relationship those few days, how they kissed in the kitchen, joked and laughed, handled the kids their love had made, and generally worked really, really hard to respect each other, communicate, and get through life together, he said, "You know, what you have... It ain't sexy. But it's good."

True.

Love. Commitment. Marriage. They aren't always sexy, but they are good.

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