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Not asking for it: no matter what Rick Ross says

Date: April 18, 2013 | Posted By: David

 

Image of Lil' Wayne from music video.

In every situation, no means no, no matter what a song suggests.

All of this news about rape is making me sick.

But what makes me even more sick is the fact that media also seem to promote rape. Take these two songs that have recently been on the Billboard Top 100 charts: Lil’ Wayne’s “Love Me” and Rick Ross’s “U.O.E.N.O”.

It makes me sick to even link to those lyrics here, but I know from personal experience that if you don’t actually read what they’re singing, it’s nearly impossible to separate the music from what is being said.

Look carefully at those lyrics. Both songs promote rape in one key way: They say that depending on how a girl dresses or where she is, she is asking for sex. This attitude is completely wrong and horribly damaging.

Rick Ross’s song even goes as far as bragging about a date-rape scenario: “Put Molly all in her champagne, she ain’t even know it/I took her home and I enjoyed that, she ain’t even know it.”

Just think about all of the times that you may have listened to these songs and not paid attention to the lyrics. Or think about all of the people who listen to these songs, and songs like them, over and over again until somehow they learn that no doesn’t mean no in every case. It’s time to stop listening to songs condoning rape.

Image of Rick Ross.

Rapping about date rape is never cool.

In real life, no means no. Every time.

No girl gets dressed for a party thinking to herself, “I’m dressing to be raped tonight.” They’ll never walk into a party and exclaim, “Someone please rape me.”

Yet with songs like these ones, people get the idea that somehow it’s okay to have sex with a woman against her will. That even if a woman says no, or if she is passed out, that she really wants it.

Let me repeat: In real life, no means no.

Unless she coherently and enthusiastically says that she wants it, she doesn’t want it. Don’t assume that she does just because she can’t say no.

Men, when you see a woman drunk at a party, take her home without any stops. If you don’t know where she lives, check her into a hotel, and leave a note and cab fare. Don’t make a move, even if in her drunken state she makes you think she wants it.

You’re better than that. If you’re interested in her, leave her your number on the note and ask her out on a proper date. There is no excuse for taking advantage of her. None. No matter what kinds of messages about women media attempt to ingrain in us.

David Pearson is a recent graduate of Brigham Young University in Media Arts. He studied media, religion, and gender and how they’re all related. When he’s not writing at www.experimentalcriticism.com, he’s trolling the Internet for discriminatory memes and wondering where the closest pizza place is.




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12 Responses to Not asking for it: no matter what Rick Ross says

  1. Ells on 04-19-2013

    These songs are just plain wrong, that goes without saying.

    But...

    How about not even getting to that undignified, disgusting drunken state that many girls today do, in the name of feminism, independence and "I do what I want"? How about just not even getting into that situation? And how about those girls who dress like a 50-year old used hooker, lead a boy on, willingly have sex with, then get scared and cry rape? How about taking some responsibility for our own actions, as well? If 16 year old girls feel quite comfortable giving blowjobs to guys in clubs (and frankly, it's not that rare) because it's cool, then is it a wonder that men behave badly as well?

    Of course they shouldn't. But bad female behaviour is just as much to blame. How come that I never have been taken advantage of? How come I never passed out to the point where I was unable to say a coherent "no"? Well, I never got myself into a drunken, pathetic mess.

    Just the other side of the argument. No need to start flaming and namecalling me. Just maybe think about it.

    I am all for empowerment and positive ideals, but I do think this blog is dangerously one-sided and limited.
  2. Reply
    • Ashley on 04-19-2013

      There's nothing wrong with wanting sex. Sex is great! All that matters is that people do it safely and WITH CONSENT. Even if the woman or man wants sex, there is no reason to take advantage of because that is DISRESPECT. Wanting sex and giving respect should not be separate subjects. Of course people should take caution in such situations but somebody could take all the caution in the world and still be taken advantage of and that speaks to the cultural problem of patriarchy. Only rapists cause rape.
    • Reply
      • Ells on 04-19-2013

        Ashley, in the vast majority of cases, unfortunately, girls don't take "all the caution". See my point above by dressing and behaving degradingly, plus extensive alcohol intake.

        Nothing is black and white.
      • Reply
    • justme on 04-20-2013

      Your comment makes me sad, Ells. I can't control what other girls do in clubs, but I shouldn't have to suffer for it. I shouldn't have to stay home because the behavior of some girls makes men feel justified in their "rape is okay" attitude. But instead, I have to worry that just being in a club and enjoying a few drinks is "asking for it" in the warped opinion of an entitled douchebag who lacks self control.
      It's never a good idea to get so drunk that you're unaware of your surroundings, but it's not okay to imply that a woman in such a state is asking to be raped. That men are so completely unable to control themselves, that the responsibility of not getting raped lies entirely on the woman's shoulders, and if she fails, then she deserves to be raped.
      Moreover, there are many reasons why a woman might be in an "undignified, disgusting drunken state" that you speak of.
      Maybe she's an alcoholic, and can't stop once she starts drinking. She needs to get help, but she doesn't deserve to be raped.
      Maybe she's on medication that doesn't interact well with alcohol. She should probably listen to her pharmacist more carefully, but she doesn't deserve to be raped.
      Maybe she doesn't normally drink, but feels pressured to by her friends. She needs new friends, but she doesn't deserve to be raped.
      Maybe someone has already drugged her drink with the intention of raping her. There's no way you would know that, but you're probably still judging her, assuming that she's "just drunk", and that she's "asking for it."
      Maybe she just really likes to drink. But guess what? She still doesn't deserve to be raped.
      No deserves to be raped. Your comment only shows how far the attitude in those disgusting songs has permeated our society.
    • Reply
      • justme on 04-20-2013

        *supposed to say "No one deserves to be raped."
      • Reply
      • Ells on 04-20-2013

        Justme, I don't think you would suffer for how *other* girls behave in clubs. I sincerely hope that you have never been assaulted. The vast majority of "date rape" happens to women who behave badly and irresponsibly though. I am not saying that it's all the woman's responsibility, far from it, and I didnt say rape was ok.

        But I do think that an undignified, drunken girl dressed up and made up like a whore, with cigarette in one hand, an an hour-old vomit on the miniskirt and top, sitting spread-legged in the back of a man's car is giving the message that "I am valuing neither you, nor myself, and especially not my body to less than the cost of this beer. I couldn't care less about the world and I couldn't care less about what you do so yeah, fuck me or not, whateva". And really please don't think that this is uncommon. My niece comes home with horror stories from school even of how "X gave Y a blowjob in the loo cus he said she was frigid and she wanted to prove him otherwise". Do you see the point I am trying to make? This issue is far from black and white.

        Both men and women should be able to control themselves, both drinks, alcohol and sex-wise. Sad truth is that most of the time neither of them do.

        "Maybe she's on medication that doesn't interact well with alcohol."

        Then she or he should not drink alcohol. Crazy notion, but get this: some people only drink a glass of wine once in a while, and they life full, happy lives too! wow, right? ;)

        "Maybe she doesn't normally drink, but feels pressured to by her friends. She needs new friends"

        That's sad in itself and just proves my point of female (and male) bad behaviour.

        "Maybe someone has already drugged her drink with the intention of raping her."

        This is obviously outside the remit of this discussion and no question about how wrong and criminalistic this is.

        "here's no way you would know that, but you're probably still judging her, assuming that she's "just drunk", and that she's "asking for it.""

        No I am not saying "she's asking for it", and I never did. I said nothing is black and white.

        Once again, let me try to get my point across. I completely agree with you that noone deserves to be raped. But in many "date rape" instances, there is, SADLY, most of the time, an explanation (not an excuse!! an explanation!) as to why it happened at all, and the vast, vast majority of cases it does boil down to one thing: people, and that is WOMEN AND MEN beehaving badly and irresponsibly.

        I assume you don't live in my degenerate, entitlement-entwined, alcohol and drug fuelled country, so i encourage you to google images and stories like "drunken teenagers in the uk" and i do hope you will see what I mean.
      • Reply
        • RachelKelsey on 04-25-2013

          I tried. I really really tried to see your point of view, and I just couldn't. You can't honestly blame other women's "bad behavior" on men raping women. I was abused, and guess what that has nothing to do with me drinking too much or any other girl drinking too much. It has nothing to do with what I wore or any other girl. In fact no other girls behavior had any involvement in my rape. That's a ridiculous notion. You're basically victim blaming, you are saying that if I wasn't a girl this wouldn't have happened. Because if I wasn't a girl I wouldn't have to worry about other girls behavior leading men to think it was okay to rape me. And an explanation? There is none besides the fact that the man I was dating felt weak and needed a way to show power. That's what rape is: a power play. A way for (in my case) him to feel more in control, and less insecure about himself. But that isn't an explanation for it, not really, because an explanation makes it sound like it was okay. As long as there was a REASON it doesn't matter that my boyfriend raped me over and over again for months.

          Every one of your sentiments on date rape honestly made me sick. You just exemplify the rape culture that is sadly pervading our country.

          I'm glad that you were never abused, but that has nothing to do with you "protecting" yourself in every possible way. It's honestly more luck than anything.

          I know that things aren't black and white but in the case of rape it is. Any sexual engagement that did not have active, clear, and sober consent is wrong. Always. End of story.

          I'm sure just like everyone else always says to me, you must just think that it was still in the end my fault for choosing the wrong guy.
        • Reply
        • Tara on 04-29-2013

          First, if a teen is being pressurised via bullying into performing sexual acts - that is sexual abuse and rape NOT "girls gone wild". Maybe instead of reading the sun or the guardian, you should be educating your niece on how real men treat women.

          Incessantly goading a girl into sexual acts is abuse - I would contact the school and make a complaint at the very least. Child protective services should also be involved.

          As for your other comments; they are not new to my ears and I'm saddened by their refusal to disappear from people's discussion about rape. What you're saying from your words is basically "what do they expect"..you can deny that when its rephrasing as being a rape apologist but basically that's what your saying.

          1 thing happens that causes rape. It really is that simple. A person decides to rape.

          As for your "girls get scared abotu sleeping around" inference...I would stay away from prehistoric, tory government members and actually educate yourself on rape.

          False accusations are rare and the horrific reporting procedure tends to lower the amount of genuine reports too. There is a very invasive medical exam that is filmed. I was 16 when I had one of these and they didnt give me a female chaperone..I was in a room with 2 male doctors and a video camera.

          The whole thing was violating and horrid. The court case was just as violating with the defence accusing me of being too fat to be raped (i wasnt even fat) or out to get the accused.

          I'll tell you what's scary..reporting a rape. Know what else is scary? having people know you were raped and wondering if they believe you or not. Something else - having people make crude jokes about how they "wouldn't have said no to [accused]"...like somehow it was lucky to be forced into sex by someone attractive. Another scary thing - bumping into the man you have reported for rape and his friends..real fear of what may happen to you.

          Scared of my parents finding out i like sex? Pssh nothing in comparison.
        • Reply
    • Anon on 06-07-2013

      I just would like to point out that people can be taken advantage of without being drunk. I was sexually assaulted last year by an abusive ex, and I've never touched alcohol in my life. So you might want to tone down the victim-blaming a little bit.
    • Reply
  3. shiloah on 04-19-2013

    this kind of music makes me sad. but, there is SO MUCH music out there dedicated to goodness. music shaped our minds and influences how we feel- make the message powerful and uplifting. i want my daughter to feel empowered by being a woman, not a slave to her sexuality...our culture is in need of serious shift. and i make sure that shift starts at home, with myself and with my family and most definitely with our music..'if you feel like a bad man, keep it to yourself'...
  4. Reply
  5. David on 04-22-2013

    Hello everyone,

    I am the author of this piece and wanted to thank everyone for the conversation. I also wanted to share a few statistics about rape that did not fit in the article, but that might shed some light on why this topic is important to discuss.

    First, over 55% of rapes happen in either the victim's home or the rapist's home. Just over 2% happen in a bar, club, or other similar public place.



    What this says to me is one of two things. First, that a couple strikes up relationship with each other. They go back to one of their places and the girl says, "No, stop, I don't want this" or is intoxicated and unable to give consent or decline (I am comfortable using this generalization as the vast majority of rapes are man to woman).

    The other thing this might mean is that a friend, acquaintance, or even relative forces himself on a woman in some way. Seeing as how nearly 45% of rape cases fit into that category this seems to fit.

    This, leads me to my number one rule to change rape culture. Let's start believing women.

    When a woman says she has been raped, let's get her help not ask, "What were you wearing?"

    If a person gets shot do we say, "If you were wearing a longer skirt it wouldn't happen." If a woman gets mugged do we suggest that she is at fault for it? If a woman gets hit by a drunk driver do we claim that if she was dressed "properly" then she wouldn't have been hit?

    Of course not.

    Unfortunately when a woman is raped we ask all of those questions or make all of those claims.
  6. Reply
  7. Blaise on 05-02-2013

    Rape has nothing to do with clothing. We can see this as so many women are raped in Yemen, Saudi Arabia, and many other conservative countries. Children are sold as sex slaves in poorer countries, so their families can have some quick money to eat. It isn't about how you dress or look, or how old you are.
  8. Reply