Saturday, December 28, 2013

Song Lyric Some Days: Consent and "Blame It" Part II- (Please Don't) Blame It (On the Alcohol)

Trigger warning- song described is about rape, nothing in detail about that rape is mentioned in this post because this post describes more about the idea of blaming behavior on alcohol.

Speaking of blaming the victim, there is still a whole huge issue in this song that we have not covered.

The title of the song is "Blame It (On the Alcohol)," but Mr. Rapist over there is not blaming HIS actions on the alcohol.  No, he claims that the "shawty" in question is blaming HERS.  

"Ay she say she usually don't
But I know that she front
Cause shawty know what she want
But she don't wanna seem like she easy."

So obviously what she is going to do is:

"Blame it on the goose
Got you feeling loose
Blame it on Patron
Got you in the zone
Blame it on the a a a a a alcohol."

This is an actual problem for women in society, I will admit.  Women with sexual agency are seen as loose, easy, sluts, and lots of other bad words that have no equivalent for males who practice the same behavior.  I'll spare you the slut vs. player analysis because we all know I'm preaching to the choir anyway.  

A response to not wanting to be seen as "easy," at least in popular media, is the "I never do this" phenomenon, wherein a woman claims that she never hooks up/has one night stands/whatever while hooking up/having a one night stand/whatever.  While doing this, said lady may "blame it on the alcohol." (However, we all know that that should give their partner pause because as we have established in the previous blog post, sexual acts that happen because of alcohol that would not happen otherwise are rape.)

Because the woman in the song is in the "I never do this" category, she actually, at first, has a measure of agency.  "She say she usually don't" implies that she usually doesn't do this, but is going to make an exception, meaning that she is giving consent.  Of course, later in the song they have to go and ruin all of that, what with her total intoxication, but they got off to a not totally terrible start. 

However, I do want to explore the idea that women who take agency in their own sex lives have to pretend not to have it.

First, a message to the female identified people, I know it is hard because Society and Norms and lots of other capitalized words that you do not have control over, but if you want to change the world a little at a time, you could start by owning your actions.  Next time you are hooking up, instead of saying, "I never do this," say, "Let's do this."  Seriously, what kind of dude is going to mind that you did not deny (or confirm) frequently hooking up with people if you happen to be choosing him on this particular night?  And for the love of pizza and puppies and sunshine and all things good and sacred, please do not make consent any more confusing than it already is.  Do NOT blame it on the alcohol if you actually want to be doing whatever you want to be doing with this person.

HOWEVER (and this is a really big however- literally- see what I did there?), I'm pretty sure it isn't the female-identified people to blame, here.  Not ever having tried to pick up a woman in a club or anywhere may bias me here, but my female friends seem to own their sexual agency plenty and say what they mean.  Jaime Foxx, T Pain, and their awful writing team, in my mind, are perpetuating a myth that goes along with the whole "no means yes" phenomenon.  They PORTRAY women as not saying what they mean, as "blaming the alcohol" for the behavior that they actually deep down want to do anyways.  ("We probably gon do what you been feeling deep inside, don't lie now.")  

This is a huge contributor to rape culture because young men learn from these songs.  They learn to see behavior that women genuinely mean to be disinterest ("I don't want to dance with you."), lack of consent ("I don't want to have sex with you."), or the display of the inability to consent ("I'm soooo drunk.") as "fronts" or simply challenges to be overcome.  While some ladies really do blur the lines for the rest of us by not saying what they mean and not owning their behavior, the vast, vast majority of us aren't blaming the alcohol for actions we'd want to do anyway or saying no when we mean yes.  

In the end, it isn't women, but Jaime Foxx and T Pain who need to stop blaming it on the alcohol.

A personal appeal:  I say what I mean.  I am a deep, complex human with desires and dislikes and a story to tell.  Society teaches people that women are liars, that they don't say what they mean, that they don't know what is best for them, that they are generally second class citizens, and that deep down, all of them, always, want the d***.  When I say something to you, please, try to get past all this noise and listen to ME.  Don't let songs like "Blame It" make me voiceless.

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