Lyric Violence


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An essay that describes how music degrades women with it's lyrics.

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Lyric Violence

  1. 1. Davila Jonathan Davila Professor Dougherty English 68 11 November 2010 Sound of Violence Music has always been a way for people to forget about their problems and as a way of relaxing, but some people disagree by saying that music is what causes violence in our society. In John Hamerlinck’s essay “Killing Women: A Pop-Music Tradition,” he gives many examples of music artists that use lyrics that degrade women and cause violence against women. I disagree with music lyrics degrade and cause violence against women because throughout time there has always been violence against women, but not because of lyrics that someone sings. In my case music often brings back good memories of when I traveled or when I was out with my friends. Some music does degrade women because many artists talk about sleeping with women and being with whomever they want. The lyrics in a song will not cause someone to go out of their way to go hurt women. The media often portray women wearing very little clothing such as bikinis and short skirts. Although music contains many bad lyrics that degrade women we cannot blame music for violence that is turned towards women. Everyday people listen to music whose lyrics often talk about violence, rape, and drugs. We never hear someone on the news say that they killed someone because of a song. Many artists use their lyrics as a way of 1
  2. 2. Davila helping people forget their problems. Although this may be true John Hamerlinck talks about a song called “Careless Love,” which states, “he promises to shoot his lover numerous times and then stand over her until she is finished dying”(Hamerlinck 169). Lyrics such as these cannot be blamed for the violence against women we face in our society. Many times these acts of violence against women occur because of rage or because of problems in a relationship. John Hamerlinck also quotes a song stating, “that prison chains are better than having a women cheat and lie to you” (Hamerlinck 169). This shows us that he believes that due to these lyrics someone would be willing to kill their wife just to be put in jail. Many husbands kill their wives because of jealousy or because they are facing mental issues that affect the way they think. Based on this analysis we can conclude that lyrics are not the reason why people are out committing acts of violence towards others. On the radio we often hear rap and rock artist whose lyrics talk about women’s bodies and how men with money can sleep with whoever they want. These lyrics do indeed degrade women because it makes it look like the man has more power over the women. Although women listen to the same music as men they may not realize how rude the lyrics may be, because they are too busy listening to the beat of the song. John Hamerlinck states that people often think that, “if the beat is good and the chorus has a catchy hook, we don’t need to concern ourselves with things like meaning, right?”(Hamerlinck 171). Most songs produced by artists often have a meaning to them whether it is about a relationship or a problem they faced in life. For example, I listen to 2
  3. 3. Davila bands that can relate to Hamerlinck’s essay but that does not mean I’m going to listen to what the singer says. People could often relate with a song because of it has meaning to them, but most people do not care about the lyrics because they are too busy listening to the good beats instead of the true meanings behind the lyrics. The people who do listen to the lyrics often realize that they should not be listening to that type of music because of all the bad language and rude comments. Violence against women is one of the most widespread human rights abuses affecting the world today. Every day, thousands of women and girls are abused and murdered by their families, raped in armed conflicts and attacked for defending woman's rights. People do not find the lyrics offensive due to the fact they view it simply as entertainment. John Hamerlinck says that, “as long as men have sung the blues, they have told stories of killing the women who have “done them wrong.””(Hamerlinck 169). A lot of criminals who are in jails for domestic violence never tell authorities that they murdered or raped a women just because of some lyrics they heard in a song. Violence against women has been accepted and even condoned throughout history. Hamerlinck is wrong in thinking that lyrics cause such violence towards women, because if this was true everyone would be out committing these acts of violence. From film to television to music videos, song lyrics, t-shirts and advertisements, violence against women is often portrayed as normal or erotic. To say that music is the reason for violence against women is wrong because it is caused mostly by what they wear and also depends on who they 3
  4. 4. Davila hang around with. People cannot be blaming music saying that it encourages violence against women, because the women are the ones who make the choices on what they wear and how they want to be treated by a man. A lesson we can learn from this is that people should not let music control their lives, because that just shows how weak the person really is. By understanding the lyrics of a song we can decide on whether to continue listening to the song or change our taste of music to something more calm and relaxing. If people do not want to hear lyrics that degrade women they should just change the station and live on with their current lives. 957 Words 4
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