“Rape culture is the condoning and normalizing of physical, emotional and sexual terrorism against women and girls and marginalized subjects.”
A woman sits on her bed, torn clothes disseminated across the floor, her waterproof mascara doing nothing to fight the tears from plummeting to their death. Her hair is scruffy and jaded. She’s shaking. Her tormentor walks in the room, a satisfied smile on his face. She looks at him and her eyes, mouth and hands all say the same thing: Why me? Surprised, he quotes his favourite singer and says, “Good Girl, I know you want it.”
Misogyny in the media is ruining lives and cascading us back to the stone ages, where partners having non-consensual sex was not only legal, but the norm. Rappers and singers have championed this by not only writing sexist lyrics, but now by even actively encouraging rape culture. Nearly half of women (48%) have experienced sexual violence since the age of 16 and approximately 85,000 women are raped on average in England and Wales every year.
Every time I mention this topic people say I am over exaggerating, so let me show you the type of lyrics I am talking about:
Rick Ross: “Put Molly (A drug) all in the champagne. She aint even know it. I took her home and enjoy that. She aint even know it.”
Spiking someone’s drink then having sex with them is non-consensual, which means he’s describing a rape scene. The drug Rohypnol is sometimes referred to as the 'date rape drug' but other drugs, including prescription medication and most often alcohol, can be used to incapacitate women or to try and make them vulnerable to a sexual attack.
You may give that the benefit of the doubt, so let me give you another example by one of the most famous rappers ever, the ‘Legend’ that is Eminem…
“Heard of me before, see whore, you’re the kind of girl I’d assault. And rape, then figure why not make your pu*** wider”
The album this song was on is called Relapse, which went to number 1, amazing.
Music has always got away with what ordinary words can’t, which is something we need to change in our society. I’m a keen musician and songwriter myself so I hate to put barriers on what people can and can’t play, but there has to be a point when music is trialled by the same morals as anything else. Sometimes we need to realise what we can and can’t say.
Music is one of the best things we have in the world and can be used to spread positive messages – not misogyny and rape culture. It’s important that we use it in the best way we can and don’t let it become above the law.
Female artists can do more themselves to stop this sexist epidemic. Whether you like the Pussycat Dolls or not, their song ‘I don’t need a man’, definitely had me and other feminists around the world smiling. I’m not saying women can’t be as sexual as they want, like my good friend Chante Joseph pointed out, “Being SEXUAL isn’t the problem, but being SEXUALISED.” But women need to know the difference so they can empower themselves.
Music is a phenomenal weapon; let’s make sure it is used wisely.
By Ife Grillo