So one of my best friends asked me why I didn’t like Eminem, and I kind of skirted around the question and said something to the effect of “he has violent lyrics" because in actuality, I had never listened to any of his songs and was going on simply from what I had heard.
This same friend has a habit of challenging me to defend my beliefs. He won’t allow me to believe something “just for the heck of it" or because I was raised that way or whatever reason I have—he challenges me to have a reason for my beliefs and that’s one of the things I love about him.
Anyway, the subject of Eminem was dropped and it was a conversation that stayed in the back of my mind that I thought about every once in a while. Then a couple weeks ago, I came across an article on tumblr that said that Eminem was uncomfortable that the guy who was dating his daughter was a fan of his music. I was reading through the article that described many of his song lyrics, especially his song “Kim" where he graphically describes killing his ex-wife.
Well, today I started thinking about the conversation I had with my friend and I decided that I was going to go through and read some of Eminem’s lyrics to find out what they were really about.
To be completely blunt, what I found freaked me out. “Kim" isn’t the only song that graphically described murder. “I’m Having a Relapse" is disturbingly close to the same lines.
And yes, I’ve heard people say that they are just songs and that they are harmless. Other people say that Eminem has his bad songs, but can’t we focus on his good songs where he talks about his daughter and other positive aspects of life?
Honestly, I don’t think I can focus on his good songs, and this article states eight reasons why I can’t:
- Eminem’s lyrics help desensitize boys and men to the pain and suffering of girls and women.
- Girls are encouraged to be attracted to boys and men who don’t respect women.
- His popularity with girls sends a dangerous message to boys and men.
- The racial storyline around Eminem perpetuates the racist myth that “hip" white guys are those who most closely emulate the sexist beliefs and hypermasculine posturing of some Black males.
- Eminem’s personal trajectory – either the so-called “true" story, or the explicitly fictionalized version in 8 Mile – perpetuates damaging mythology about abusive men.
- Eminem’s success has unleashed a torrent of mother-blaming.
- Eminem has elevated to an art form the practice of verbally bullying and degrading people (especially women and gays) and then claiming “I was just kidding around."
- Eminem’s rebel image obscures the fact that sexism and men’s violence against women perpetuates established male power – it is not rebellious.
And those are the smaller things, but Eminem—and many other artists—are promoting violence, hatred and degradation instead of respect and common courtesy. And we wonder as a society why our women are being raped. We wonder why our woman are being degraded and insulted on a regular basis. We wonder why there are people walking into High Schools and starting to open fire on students who have their entire lives ahead of them. We wonder why anons on tumblr are perfectly comfortable telling people to go kill themselves, while they hide behind their anonymity.
This is rape culture, guys. Eminem is hugely popular despite the fact that he is preaching the rape, violence and hate are perfectly acceptable.
And it’s not only degradation against women either. Some women believe that all men are jerks who are only controlled by their sex drives. Many women feel the need to prove that they are better than men, usually by attacking them and stereotyping all of them into people who can’t controlled themselves—or choose not to—and have no respect for anybody and don’t care about anybody but themselves. But are the women really that much better? Does anyone really care about anybody but themselves anymore?
And no, I am not saying that anybody who listens to Eminem or other artists that promote violence are automatically going to go kill/rape people. I am not saying that at all. But seriously, what is allowed to enter the mind will effect future behavior in some way or another. Just because a fan of violent music doesn't shoot up a high school doesn't mean it’s not negatively affecting the way he/she acts in other scenarios. Bullying and cyberbullying are huge problems in our culture today. Why is this?
Skillet just released a new song called “Sick of It" and it talks about about things in our society that we are sick of. Well, I’m sick of the violence. I’m sick of the rape culture that is being accepted and justified in our midst. I’m sick of the lack of respect. I’m sick of the way that men are treating women and the way women are treating men.
Seriously, why are we accepting this? Why is writing songs about this okay? How the heck can writing song lyrics like this ever be okay? Just why, guys? Why? This is so freaking harmful, why are we supporting this?
I just don’t get it.
EDIT: Sorry for the weird spacing, I have been trying to fix it, but Livejournal hates me.
I feel: angry
I hear: The Rescue - Kutlass