For all of history music has been used in one way or another to influence people. Think of America’s
Star-Spangled Banner, it’s not just a song we sing at sporting events, but rather a song that creates a
sense of loyalty. Every school has its own fight song that again creates a sense of loyalty.
On the other hand, music can also help keep certain beliefs going, or in the case of this blog post
encourage the rape culture. A strong example of this is the song Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke and
Pharrel Williams. A Christmas song that is doing the same is Baby It’s Cold Outside. To be honest that is
one of my favorite Christmas songs; I love the back and forth banter between the male and female
singers and the tune is catchy. Though after I listened with the ears of a woman who is passionate about
speaking out against sexual violence and rape culture, I was saddened to realize it truly is a song that
encourages the rape culture.
So really what’s the big deal with the song? The few lines that scream out at me are her saying she has
to leave and him pressuring her to stay and then the line about what’s in this drink with the idea he
either overloaded her with alcohol or worse yet slipped a drug in her drink, both would constitute sexual
assault should it progress beyond him trying to prevent her leaving.
The #MeToo movement is being blamed for trying to villainize songs everywhere, but it’s not the
movement and that’s not the purpose of calling attention to these songs. People everywhere are
listening to these songs and just as the Star-Spangled Banner can create feelings of loyalty, these songs
can encourage behavior that is not just morally wrong, but at times also criminally wrong.
Next time you’re singing along with one the songs that have been put under fire stop and think if my
daughter, wife, cousin, friend, etc. were being treated or talked about in this way would I be okay with
that? My guess is your answer would be absolutely not.
By: Cassie Potts, MA, LPC.