All Articles Tagged "sexual assault"
In an interview with the UK paper The Guardian, Chris Brown speaks with writer Decca Aitkenhead about the time he was sexually assaulted by a teenage girl, but it’s all good, because boys “can’t” get raped:
It’s different in the country. By that point, we were already kind of like hot to trot, you know what I’m saying? Like, girls, we weren’t afraid to talk to them; I wasn’t afraid. So, at eight, being able to do it, it kind of preps you for the long run, so you can be a beast at it. You can be the best at it.” (…he doesn’t want to say how many women he’s slept with: “But you know how Prince had a lot of girls back in the day? Prince was, like, the guy. I’m just that, today. But most women won’t have any complaints if they’ve been with me. They can’t really complain. It’s all good.”)
A friend and I were having a conversation recently, which was sparked by the story of the Montana school teacher who received 30 days in prison for the sexual assault of a 14-year-old student. The girl killed herself as a result of the sexual assault and the attention that surrounded it. During our conversation, my friend, who is the daughter of a former sex crime detective, remarked very poignantly on what her father used to tell her about how some sexual abuse victims can come to perceive their victimization. Basically, if you live in a particular environment long enough, no matter what kind of sick and depraved things happen in that environment, it all becomes sort of normal. In that spirit, it puts attention on understanding how patriarchal norms also help to normalize the sexual abuse of boys in our society.
Brown is not the only Southern boy to have been sexually abused as a prepubescent kid. R&B singer Ne-Yo told the story once of “losing” his virginity at 9 years old to a teenager. A couple of years ago, NOLA native and rapper Lil’ Wayne admitted to Jimmy Kimmel in an interview that he was “seduced” by a grown woman at the age of 11 years old. However, I don’t know if we can blame this on country folks – or by default the black community in general (because generally that’s how these things go whenever the person in question is African-American). Why? Because in popular culture, particularly in film and in television, it has pretty much been perpetuated that manhood and an active sexuality go hand in hand. One of the biggest movie troupes in teen flicks is the awkward and nerdy high school guy, who has one summer to finally lose his virginity so he can enter college, or adulthood, as “a man.” Once he gets the punany, he is suddenly transformed from awkward nerd into cool stud. And if he fails, well, he ends up as the 40-year-old electronic store employee with an abnormally large action figure collection and still on the hunt for his manhood.
Outside of the realm of entertainment and on to the more personal, I have heard similar stories from men I know who claimed to have had their first sexual experience at prepubescent ages, and at the hands of a much older woman. In the majority of instances, their “sex partners” were women well into their middle ages and they weren’t looking for it, nor were they the initiators. Their first experience, just sort of happened; like an ex-boyfriend, who told me of his first sexual encounter happening at 12 years old and being at the hands of a 42-year-old former neighbor and friend of his mother. When I raised the point that what happened to him verged on, if not surpassed, sexual abuse, he just kind of shrugged it off and said, “It’s different for girls and boys. All my friends were already f**king and I was the last one. So when she came along, I was like, yeah…”
However, the thought never occurred to him that perhaps his friends were lying to impress him and others. And perhaps, the pressure he felt to measure up to his friends motivated him more than his desire to actually be with this woman. What if my ex-boyfriend would have resisted the advances of his mother’s friend and instead told his homies that he opted for chastity instead? In our society, a man, who has never “engaged” in sexual intercourse is looked upon as socially awkward or worse, “not man enough.”
In this respect, the expectation to be hyper-masculine can be just as oppressive to boys, who in actuality, might have more thoughtful and gentle spirits. In fact, there is research that suggests that one in three boys feel pressured into sex and are more likely to think that waiting is a myth. However, that is not the general message we see. What we see and hear is that men are supposed to do it and do it regularly. Not only that, but they are supposed to do it with a variety of partners: older, younger, man, woman, fat, slim, one-legged, bucked teeth, Spanish, Asian, etc…the more conquests, the bigger his badge of masculinity. It is this constant pressure to hold up to the ideas of what male sexuality is supposed to be, which probably keeps boys from admitting to weakness and vulnerability, including being pressured and forced into a sexual relationship they didn’t want or feel that they were ready for.
I can’t say if this is what Chris Brown feels emotionally about the incident being sexual assault or molestation. I would say that a 15-year-old engaging in sexual activity with an 8-year-old is definitely sexual abuse. And I would also say that his continued reliance on his sexual prowess with the opposite sex as a testimony to what kind of partner he is with the ladies – even years removed from that “country” upbringing – says lots about how we rear boys to view themselves and their roles in society.
In crazy world news…
According to the Daily Mail, 27-year-old Richard Thomas of Manchester (in England) was given five years and four months in jail, as well as inclusion in the Sex Offenders’ Register for life for rape. He pleaded guilty to sexually assaulting a woman he knew after entering her home in a drunken and high stupor. As the story goes, Thomas went into the victim’s home on July 20 in the middle of the night while she was sleeping after taking a sleeping tablet. When she awoke, she looked up to find that Thomas was assaulting her. Prosecutors claimed that no actual words were spoken as she made the horrifying discovery, and that Thomas pulled up his pants and ran out the house.
When he was arrested soon after, it was found that Thomas had been high on coke and ecstasy, and had been drinking, so he says that he couldn’t and still can’t recall much of the incident. However, he still plead guilty to the rape, telling his lawyer of the victim, “…she tells the truth. If she says I have done it, I have done it.” The two actually knew each other in the past, and while Thomas knew the victim had another illness she was trying to keep in check, he wasn’t aware that she also has HIV…
When Thomas was told by police that the victim had HIV and that he could have possibly contracted it, according to the Daily Mail, he collapsed and asked to be taken to the hospital. He is still waiting to hear whether or not he contracted the virus, which of course, is incurable, and will be told his test results this Friday. Thomas has reportedly been trying to contact his family, but they allegedly don’t want anything to do with him. While he waits to find out the outcome of his test, and prepares for jail, without the support of his family, his own lawyer had this to say about a possible positive test:
“It is his own fault, if he had not committed this offence he would not have placed himself in this position.”
Dr. Phil done messed up now!
In an attempt to either spark controversy, come up with an idea for a new segment of his talk show, or just piss a heck of a lot of people off, Phil McGraw, known to most of us as just Dr. Phil, has most certainly done the latter with a controversial question he asked on Twitter that many say incites sexual assault.
As you can imagine, it didn’t take long before two things happened: one, people went all the way in on the television psychologist, and two, the tweet was subsequently deleted. Unfortunately for Dr. Phil the damage wasn’t undone by the simple delete of a tweet. Inevitably, the hashtag #DrPhilQuestions lit up Twitter with people berating the talk show host with such tweets as:
If a woman has an opinion that differs from yours, should you assume she has her period? #drphilquestions
— shannonwoodward (@shannonwoodward) August 21, 2013
Is it okay to belittle teenage rape victims for Twitter attention? Well, what if I’m drunk? #DrPhilQuestions
— Cliff Pervocracy (@pervocracy) August 20, 2013
If a person is a misogynist, is it OK to just refer to him as “Dr. Phil” from now on? #DrPhilQuestions
— Imran Siddiquee (@imransiddiquee) August 20, 2013
All of the backlash prompted “The Dr. Phil Show” to issue a statement explaining Dr. Phil’s true intentions, which read:
“This Tweet was intended to evoke discussion leading into a very serious show topic based upon a recent news story, hence the #teensaccused label. It was a poll question, not a statement or a joke. As he has maintained over many years, Dr. Phil believes that the position of those incapacitated in any fashion; be it drugs, alcohol, age or mental illness can not and do not have the capacity to give their consent to anything, especially sex, which could have life changing repercussions. This was a research post in preparation for a show, not a personal post and Dr. Phil deleted it the second he saw it. It was clearly ill-advised. We sincerely apologize that it suggested anything other than what was intended, data gathering. As you can imagine, Dr. Phil is very upset that this happened.”
Still, the #teensaccused segment was taped yesterday and will air in the next season of Dr. Phil’s show. Guess we’ll have to wait until the air date to see if the backlash is addressed. Do you think Dr. Phil’s tweet was irresponsible?
From The Grio
Rosa Pickett was 17 when she was raped in her hometown of Robbins, Il. on September 3, 1977.
She was walking to a party at night in the nearly all-black village of Robbins located in the Cook County region that also contains the mecca of Chicago. After being rescued by a stranger who found her in a ditch, he took her home. Her mother barely recognized Pickett’s face, which was swollen from receiving repeated punches during her assault.
Mother and daughter, eager to report the crime in a timely manner that might lead to a conviction, went to the hospital so that medical workers could administer a rape kit, a police-approved means of collecting evidence in the aftermath of a violent sex crime.
Pickett’s rape kit remains lost after 36 years. Her assailant was never found. From her perspective, Picket was sexually assaulted, reported her crime, and the Robbins police did nothing.
Lost rape kits: A prevalent problem
This is not an isolated incident. A 2013 investigation launched by the Cook County Sheriff’s Office has uncovered that at least 203 rape kits have been collected in the tiny locale of Robbins since the mid-’70s, but were never used to properly investigate sexual assaults.
Because of a 2010 law passed in the state of Illinois requiring police to account for unprocessed rape kits, Cook County began the task of tracking down what happened to kits collected at hospitals, or that were sent in from police departments, but did not result in convictions or seemed otherwise unaccounted for.
In January 2013, the previous mayor of Robbins, Irene Brody, who just stepped down this year, invited these authorities to review how sexual assault evidence in her town was housed. According to the Sheriff’s Office, Robbins had an alarmingly high number of rape kits that were unaccounted for at 44. Additionally, no rape convictions related to these kits had come out of the town.
Among shelves filled with evidence gathered at the scenes of sexual assaults — shreds of torn clothing, stained paper bags, and vials of blood – 51 unsubmitted rape kits were discovered jammed onto a massive basement rack.
One hundred and fifty additional kits were unearthed that had been submitted to a central state agency for analysis and returned to local Robbins police, but then were never subsequently “worked” — meaning the police never followed up on the evidence in an attempt to identify suspects.
Addressing police failures
In February 2013, the Cook County Sheriff’s Office held a town hall meeting to invite Robbins residents to discuss this and other issues stemming from poor policing. Officers stood accused of not responding to emergency calls, and failing to solve robberies. Rape victims were also asked to come forward to be matched with the rape kits that had been discovered. Prosecutors were going to make an effort to reopen cases.
It was at this meeting that Rosa Pickett first stepped forward.
Now Pickett is working with the Sheriff’s Office to be the face of its efforts to work all the kits to potentially bring about convictions, or at least some measure of justice for sexual assault victims whose cases were forgotten.
In Pickett’s case, the negligence was so great that her rape kit is gone. After sorting through disorganized file cabinets and stacks of boxes, Cook County Sheriff’s Office officials were only able to find a single typed card documenting her rape 36 years ago. Perhaps the rape kit — probably contained in a small box that became stamped with labels and scrawled with handwritten numbers after phases of use — was confused with refuse in the rubble of the police storage area.
Yet, in addition to misplaced rape kits, unused kits lead to additional levels of injustice that can rarely be compensated for due to the passage of time.
Passage of time creates greater injustices
Had police used Pickett’s kit when it was collected, it may have helped them determine who raped and beat her in 1977. Even if Pickett’s kit had been found in 2013, the crime was so long ago, the DNA evidence it contained would not have been as effective as evidence 36 years later.
Many issues related to lost time — such as kit contents being completely used during a first analysis, with no opportunity to acquire new samples closer to events — make the negative effects of letting so much time pass even greater.
Today, vast databases containing DNA that has been collected from criminals now assist in processing rape kits, but these did not exist when Pickett was assaulted. For other victims, these databases offer hope.
In the case of another Robbins victim who has stepped forward, her rape kit has already identified a suspect through DNA evidence, decades after she was sexually assaulted.
Pickett is an older woman, who survived a drug addiction acquired after her assault to become a successful mother. This victim, a younger woman, prefers to remain anonymous.
The violent rape she endured at the age of 14 in 1991 still evokes sobbing when she tries to recount her story. Still, after courageously stepping forward, her kit was found and worked by Cook County Sheriff’s Office officials this year as part of the current audit. And the DNA from her kit matched a suspect in the system.
But, because her rape kit sat unworked on a basement shelf in Robbins for 22 years, her attacker might go unprosecuted. In this victim’s case, the statute of limitations has run out.
Read more at TheGrio.com
His name is Aswad Ayinde, director of the MTV Video Music Award winning Fugees video, “Killing Me Softly,” and aside from some serious jail time, Ayinde needs the butt-whooping of a lifetime.
We told you earlier in the year about the “Killing Me Softly” director around the time his second of five trials had started. It was reported today that he was given 50 years in prison for his actions, which included raping one of his daughters since she was eight years old, and impregnating her four different times. Ayinde was accused of sexually assaulting five of his seven daughters and impregnating some of them, bringing about six children, so that he could create a “pure bloodline.” A few months ago, his wife, Beverly Ayinde, recounted her life with the director, including his control over herself and their children:
“He equaled himself to being a prophet. As time went on, he was god-like. I had to call him, ‘my god.’ He equated himself to Jesus Christ … He would sit us all down and lecture us about his greatness and his power … At another point, he equated himself to Prince and Michael Jackson.”
Not only did Ayinde sexually assault his daughters many times, he also walked around his family’s home unclothed according to testimony, and he even made lewd comments about his children in front of Beverly. This includes a time where he told her that spirits were telling him that he should perform oral sex on the victim of this second case when she was just eight years old. Beverly claims she didn’t call police because he threatened to kill the girls, and according to reports, all of his sexual assaults went on for 30 years in different homes (and even an abandoned funeral home), until Beverly left her husband. But despite all that, it was his daughters that went to the police in 2006. As the victim from this second trial put it, “We found out we had other siblings, young siblings, and we had to put him to a stop. Even though we were healing, they could still fall victim.” She’s probably referring to the 12 other children Ayinde had with other women over the years. Ayinde was also accused of beating his daughters and brought some of the children they had into the world in the family home, with at least two dying in the home and being buried without authorities knowing at the time.
Though he was given 50 years for his crimes against his daughter on Friday, in 2010, he was sentenced to 40 years for assault for raping and impregnating another one of his daughters (hence the 90). The women impregnated were given separate trials, so that’s why Ayinde has three more to face. The daughter from this second trial, now 35, has had two children from her father who have genetic illnesses caused by incest (and reportedly had four in total with one dying of spinal muscular atrophy). She is doing better these days, and she even went back to school to study communications. But she took time out to speak out against her father, and to him, at his trial in New Jersey on Friday as he prepared for another sentencing by saying, “I can’t describe how much you hurt me and my sisters.” The last time Ayinde tried to assault this particular victim, was in 2003.
While 90+ years in prison sounds like a hell of a punishment, what God has in store for this man is on a whole other level…
Those who went to a liberal arts college, most likely heard (or saw) the organization Take Back The Night (TBTN). TBTN is a sexual assault awareness organization that seeks to promote knowledge of sexual and domestic violence against women. Their campus rallies have served as a place for women to share their experiences with sexual matters and abuse.
Unfortunately, Justin Timberlake didn’t get the memo about TBTN. He accidentally penned the title of his latest single with the same name as the organization, and unsurprisingly they weren’t too happy. TBTN was not only upset they did not receive a request from his legal team to use the organization’s name as a song, they also don’t approve of the song’s lyrics, such as “C’mon, use me up until there’s nothing left,” which do not coincide with TBTN’s purpose.
The executive director of TBTN, Katherine Koestner, told Rolling Stone:
“It just shows how far we have to go when Take Back the Night as a historic movement to end sexual violence in all forms is still not widely enough known, according to Mr. Timberlake, that he claims he didn’t know that we existed,”
That is precisely what Mr. Timberlake claimed in a statement of apology released to RadarOnline:
“Upon the release of my new single ‘Take Back The Night,’ I was made aware of an organization of the same name called The Take Back The Night Foundation. I wanted to take this opportunity to let all know that neither my song nor its lyrics have any association with the organization. As I’ve learned more about The Take Back The Night Foundation, I’m moved by its efforts to stop violence against women, create safe communities and encourage respectful relationships for women — something we all should rally around. It is my hope that this coincidence will bring more awareness to this cause.”
Initially, TBTN sent a letter stating they would take legal action against Timberlake but later rescinded because they believed it would be a waste of time. Instead TBTN, still in disbelief a celebrity like Timberlake has not heard of them, has decided to increase their visibility as an organization.
After critics called Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ a rape song, we are sure Justin Timberlake wanted to avoid this TBTN mishap like the plague. Although I doubt JT never heard of TBTN, he created a song that reflects having a great night on the town with a potential lover. Hopefully feminists do not become critical of another great summer song.
Listen to Timberlake’s ‘Take Back The Night’ below. What do you think about this drama?
Today, I discovered a Twitter trending topic that was actually worth writing about: #ShoutingBack. One of our writers, Brokey McPoverty, was discussing some type of “game” she and her peers played in middle school and with her followers. The game didn’t have a name but from what I could see several of Tracy’s followers, from all over were familiar with it. I searched “down thread” to find out what they were all talking about.
there’s a “game” that in a lot of middle schools where boys sneak of on girls and smack their asses as hard as they can. #shoutingback
— Brokey McPoverty (@brokeymcpoverty) June 18, 2013
Sadly, I remember that game. And other ways in which slick comments from our male counterparts were brushed off as “boys being boys.” There was the boy, Ewing, who I liked my entire middle school career. In seventh grade, I was fortunate enough to sit at the same lab table with Ewing and one of best friends. I thought for sure, this would be the semester our love flame would grow. Instead he said something completely disrespectful. One day I dropped my pencil and bent down to pick it up. By the time my head was above the table again, Ewing, the boo in my head, said the most vile thing: “What you wanna suck me or something?!”
I snarled and turned away from him choosing to do all work for that day on my lap so I wouldn’t have to look at him. But it never occurred to me to tell on him. He was being a boy and that’s what boys, especially boys in middle school, did. In his defense, I do believe he apologized later but middle school was just the beginning of the type of sexual assault that plagues my life and the lives of young girls and women around me and around the world, on a almost daily basis.
As the discussion continued on Brokey’s page, one of followers admitted that eventually the game became so prevalent and so accepted that she found herself wanting to be involved in it, because she knew it was the boys’ way of showing affection.
— SouthernShellac (@lusciousraen) June 18, 2013
As ashamed as I was to admit this to myself I had been there as well. When I first moved to New York from Indianapolis, I read this book unclothed in which black women talk about body issues, identity and self esteem. In one of the essays, one woman talked about the street harassment she endured particularly in Brooklyn. Having just relocated to Brooklyn, I wondered if these New York men would find me attractive and I secretly wished I’d get a fraction of that attention the woman talked about. Before I had only explored the neighborhood with the protection of my father; but as soon as he left and I hit the streets on my own, I learned to be careful what you wish for. By the second week of men hollering all types of disrespectful pick up lines, I knew, whether they were genuinely trying to compliment me or not, this was harassment and I didn’t want any parts of it.
There have been hundreds of examples but one of the most terrifying ones came when my cousin and I moved to the Bronx a few months later. We lived in a very sketchy neighborhood where it wasn’t uncommon to hear about our area on the news or see the blocks leading to our apartment roped off with police tape. One night when we were walking home, these two men, who we could barely see in the darkness asked us if we were walking home. We ignored them. They kept following us. They asked us if they could walk with us. We ignored them. They kept following us. And apparently took offense to our silence. “What you don’t like us because we’re not light skinned? Ya’ll want Chris Brown looking ni**as huh?” Then “Are ya’ll scared? Why are you walking away so fast?” Luckily it ended with them turning in another direction and my cousin and I getting into our apartment, shaken but unharmed.
The tragic thing about this type of harassment is that it’s not uncommon. Anywhere you go in the world, you’ll find men assaulting women verbally or physically. And many times we, women never say anything about it. We let it ride, assuming that this is just our lot in life, the way of the world, just how men do what they do. But the days of silence are very played out.
A campaign called #ShoutingBack started by Laura Bates, founder of the Everyday Sexism Project, encourages women to be more vocal about the types of sexual assault they’ve experienced, letting other women know that they’re not alone and that it’s not okay.
Check out this video of women detailing the types of assault they’ve experienced from right around the time they hit puberty, to present day.
What are some examples of the types of sexual assaults you experienced? Did you always feel comfortable speaking about these incidents?
According to an article in Salon, “Hundreds of teen-agers are raped or sexually assaulted during their stays in the country’s juvenile detention facilities, and many of them are victimized repeatedly.”
This insight comes by way of a recent United States Justice Department survey, which involved over 8,000 adjudicated youth in both group homes and in secure juvenile detention facilities all across the country. According to the survey’s findings, 1,720 teens (or an estimated 9.5 percent) reported being sexually assaulted by either another youth or facility staff member within the past 12 months. Most shocking, the highest rate of reported incidences occurred at the Paulding Regional Youth Detention Center in Georgia and the Circleville Juvenile Correctional Facility in Ohio, where one in three teens reported sexual abuse by the hands of staff members. Among the other findings of the report, it was revealed that while male youth were more likely than female youth to report sexual victimization with facility staff, female youth were more likely to report forced sexual activity with another adjudicated youth. Also, white youth reported sexual victimization at the hands of another youth at a rate higher than their black and Hispanic counterparts. However, black youth reported a higher rate of sexual victimization by facility staff than white youth or Hispanic youth.
This report comes on the heels of another article I read in Gawker about a recent lawsuit filed by the ACLU on behalf of prisoners at the East Mississippi Correctional Facility, who allege poor and dangerous living conditions, including prisoners living under the constant threat of sexual assault. The article also includes a handwritten letter from a victim of prison rape, who describes in great detail being sexually assaulted by several gang members that held him captive for hours. His attack resulted in severe facial and rectum injuries. Writes the unidentified inmate, who came to prison by way of a parole violation for shoplifting:
“All I could do was cry because I knew that one false move and I knew this man would take my life. After being the victim of rape by another man, I am suffering still from anxiety, depression and stress issues because of this attack. …
…Due to this tragic incident that happened to me all I want to do is speak out to others that are suffering from what I went through on Feb 23rd 2013 and let them know it’s okay to speak out and tell someone because no one should be violated of their sexual personal space.”
I agree that no one should be violated, even a convicted prisoner. And stories like this are the reason why I do not find anything remotely humorous about prison rape. According to the group, Just Detention International, a health and human rights organization that seeks to end sexual abuse within the prison system, more than 200,000 adults and youth are raped behind bars each year – and that is just those who report it. Matter of fact, you should probably go over to the website, Stop Prison Rape, and check out the vast collection of survivor stories from other current and former inmates who have been sexually assaulted. Be warned, it is not the funny anecdotal stories about Bubba, the booty-snatching cellmate folks are used to telling in jest. But then again, real life tales of rape never are.
The purpose of prison is supposed to be rehabilitation, however, we all know that it stopped being that long ago – if it ever was. Most folks want those who are guilty of crimes to pay their debt to society and the people for whom they have wronged. And they don’t care how. However, sexual assault should never be viewed as a punishment. It is a crime. It’s a violent crime. And even more specifically, it is a violent crime, which people do go to jail for a very long time for. If we condone or even make light of these crimes, how can we ever claim the moral high ground?
She’s Killed For Less…(Kidding!): Fan At Beyoncé Concert Slaps Her Booty During Show, She Sets Him Straight
If there’s one thing a lady doesn’t want, it’s a man sexually assaulting her when she’s minding her business trying to work.
Unfortunately for Beyoncé, that’s the exact situation she found herself when performing in Copenhagen. During her performance of “Irreplaceable,” while dressed in her sequin blue jumpsuit, the singer took to the crowd to give her fans the chance to sing her song. When she walked up to a young man and put the microphone to his face, it’s not clear if he really sang anything at all, but when she turned around to continue singing, he slapped her on the backside. While she’s not the feistiest chick in the industry ready to curse folks out, she turned around really quick, pointed at the guy and said, “I will have you escorted out right now. Alright?”
And as if nothing happened, she continued on, roaring out the song: “Don’t you ever for a second get to thinkiiiiiiiing!” As the entertainers say, the show must go on. But with all foolery at live shows, someone caught the man with the hands he couldn’t keep to himself on camera. Despite her threat to get him thrown out, according to NME, the overzealous fan was allowed to stay and enjoy the rest of the show. This isn’t the first time folks have come too close to Beyoncé during her up-close-and-personal moments with fans. Earlier in the tour while walking through the crowd at a show, a couple fans grabbed at her hair and touched her face. Not to say she shouldn’t interact with her fans, but yeah…she might want to be a bit more careful.
As Clarke Gail Baines pointed out in her recent post, there are certainly times when our favorite songs give us reason to pause.
In her case it was Miguel’s “How Many Drinks.” In my case that song has always been Aaron Hall’s “Don’t Be Afraid” (Nasty Man Groove), which includes such questionable narration as this:
“No need to run and no need to hide / All the doors are locked baby and I have you inside / You can yell and you can hit me / It just makes me more horny”
Yeah, somebody needs to get detectives Stabler and Benson up in here because we might have a predator on the loose. Seriously, I do not want this song following me down a dark alley. But at one time in my past, I remember this being one of my favorite Hall songs. Just goes to show you how contradictory our culture is about the message of the wrongness of sexual assault.
As defined by this anti-rape culture website:
“Rape culture includes jokes, TV, music, advertising, legal jargon, laws, words and imagery, that make violence against women and sexual coercion seem so normal that people believe that rape is inevitable. Rather than viewing the culture of rape as a problem to change, people in a rape culture think about the persistence of rape as ‘just the way things are.’”
Sort of how we indoctrinate women (since birth) on how not to get raped (including erroneous advice, which in some cases can run dangerously counterproductive to the realities of sexual assault) yet neglect to reinforce with the same level of tenacity the concept of “do not rape.” You know, like teaching folks that certain behavior, say like holding a yelling and screaming woman against her will, a la Hall in this song, is likely not an indication that this anonymous woman is looking for a little sexay time. In fact, as the song title suggests, she actually sounds pretty afraid.
We can say that it was just a sign of the times, that folks didn’t know better, however folks have been having this same conversation since Bing Crosby put a little something extra in Doris Day’s cocktail, while trying to convince her to stay the night because, Baby It’s Cold Outside. And that’s a damn holiday song that our grand folks were singing as they toasted egg nog around Christmas trees. Point is, sexual violence against women has long been normalized in society. And it is not just reflective in music. The website Racialious did an excellent job breaking down how we routinely paint problematic behavior in all forms of popular culture as okay, and even laudable or romantic. Basically in the world of popular culture, the accepted idea is that consent is erroneous. And that women, in particular, can always be convinced to say yes. You just have to be persistent and inventive.