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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Pop music perpetuates sex/violence double standard

When notorious rapper/weirdo Lil Wayne’s song “”Lollipop,”” a raunchy ode to fellatio, plays on the radio, the lyrics are edited so that the song, already thin on meaning, makes absolutely no sense. “”She lick me like a lollipop,”” an overt reference to oral sex, becomes “”I’m l-l-l-l-like a lollipop.”” The song’s bridge, which is, inexplicably, “”Call me, so I can make it juicy for ya”” becomes more inexplicable still because the operative word “”juicy”” is removed. Instead, Lil Wayne drawls, “”Call me so I can get it (bizarrely long pause) for ya.””

Though censoring the word “”juicy,”” which could have a variety of interpretations, is odd, the rest of the song is perhaps too sexy for the airwaves. Children in the car with their parents don’t need to hear Lil Wayne espousing the virtues of being “”licked … like a lollipop.””

Compare that semi-innocuous reference, however, to the current Billboard No. 1 song, Eminem’s “”Love the Way You Lie,”” which is played unedited on the radio except for some choice f-bombs.

The song tells of a tumultuous relationship marked by violence from both parties. While a female voice wails about liking the pain of being burned — figuratively by love and, as you later learn, literally by domestic abuse/arson — Eminem spews hate-laced lyrics about hitting his significant other, regretting it, swearing never to repeat the action, then turning around and doing it again.

The song ends with perhaps the most disturbing words in recent pop music history. Eminem, whose virulently misogynistic lyrics have garnered media attention for years, raps: “”If she ever tries to f—ing leave again / I’mma tie her to the bed / And set the house on fire.””

On American screens and airwaves, it seems you can do anything to a human, especially female, body except gratify it sexually. The popularity of “”Love the Way You Lie”” points to a disturbing American cultural trend. While sexuality titillates us, but ultimately makes us squeamish, advocating violence is fair game. While the Federal Communications Commission polices vanilla anatomical terms — when’s the last time you heard the word “”dick”” on the radio? — Eminem can encourage his fans to “”teach women a lesson”” by physically and emotionally abusing them.

Eminem has every right to produce whatever violent, hateful drivel he sees fit, though it’s a shame his considerable talent isn’t put to better use. If people want to buy the album, that’s their prerogative.

The real villain here is not the artist. It’s the American double standard about sex and violence, and the FCC for perpetuating that double standard. If radio censorship exists in part to protect innocent ears, allowing songs like “”Love the Way You Lie”” to play unedited, flies in the face of that purpose.

As much as parents do not want their young children to hear Lil Wayne babbling about his sexual escapades, they should be far more wary of songs that glorify domestic violence, which Eminem’s latest hit blatantly does. The worst thing a person might learn from the likes of “”Lollipop”” is that so-called deviant sex acts can be totally awesome. “”Love the Way You Lie”” has a far more sinister message, one depicting violence as a viable, even romantic, ingredient in relationships.

Which would you rather teach your child?

— Heather Price-Wright is the opinions editor of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. She can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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