I was hesitant to post my thoughts on this song at first because it deals with uncomfortable subject matter. The other problem was I had to be 100% sure I was right before I addressed it. I am 100% sure I am right, as the lyrics speak for themselves. This is not a case of analysis as I could easily just say “Watch this video and read the lyrics and tell me something is not wrong with this picture”, but the fact that this song is a Top 40 hit leads me to believe that somehow people are either too naive or mentally incapable of understanding the words in this song. That being said, I can only speculate what the intentions of the actual songwriters was. Did they mean to do this? Are they riding the coattails of BDSM best seller “50 Shades of Grey”? Or is the band the embodiment of the creepy kid who smells you in class and thinks that’s going to flatter you? Because that’s what this song is, but even worse.
Now things get really scary. Imagine you’re in that same man’s bedroom such as we find ourselves in the next few lines of this song. After he invites you to lay in his bed and tells you you’ll be staying there forever, he begins to command you to do a list of things: Turn off the lights. Take off your clothes. Wait, hold on a second, seriously? I have seen this song described as “cute”. In what world does following up a command to remove your clothing with “Give up the fight, I’m in control” equal cute? Now, turn on the stereo for him. So the lights are off, you “give up the fight” (his lyrics, I’m not making this up), remove your clothing against your will and now he tells you he wants to know you inside out, tells you to “shut your mouth” and to LET HIM KISS YOU INSIDE OUT (note: I can’t in all honesty figure out what that even means, but it sounds bad… like, really bad).
I’m quoting this song word for word, so don’t go thinking I’m taking it out of context. This is not a hidden message, the song at face value is one of the most frighteningly real portrayals of forced sexual assault in our culture today. Sure I’ve taken out the TWO “sweet” lines, but that was to save time in the narrative. Furthermore, each “sweet” line is immediately followed up by something contrastingly dark (Example: “I’ll be the calm in the storm you’re looking for” followed by “I’ll be the shipwreck that takes you down”) Which brings me to my point of why it’s so real; because it shows the emotional and mental manipulation involved. Confusing the emotions of the victim with the occasional kind word to make them not process the other ten things he’s said that should be making her run far away. There’s no metaphor, just a group of young men who are so braindead they don’t even realize what they’ve written, which in itself is a major problem with male culture as a whole. All reasonable, level headed males such as myself need to speak up and start saying “Hey, this is not cool.” Or, like me, post about it right here.
Here’s the two songs. The first is a well written song with a debatable dark secret (A) and the second is a song about how to treat yo’ woman (B). Alicia Keys is quality pop, I don’t care what you say.
(A) The National – Green Gloves
(B) Alicia Keys – A Woman’s Worth