Aerosmith, Alice Cooper, and The Offspring: Tackling Sexual Assault in Songs

Everyone knows how prominent an issue sexual assault is. A very broad category that includes rape, child abuse, hate crimes, incest, sexual harassment and stalking, sexual assault is omnipresent in society today. Most we do not hear of or see, they fly under the radar, while others are reported to authorities.

Living in the society we do today, where media dominates, and celebrities practically tower over politicians, sexual assault receives strong publicity. So does music. Music has never been more powerful, as it keeps up with technology in the form of free Internet sites (Pandora, Grooveshark, Spotify). Sexual assault and music go hand in hand. Maybe victims listen to music as a way of trying to forget about the assault. Maybe music is associated directly with the assault. Whatever the case, music and sexual assaults are related. Often times lyrics of songs get lost in the rhythm and beat of the ballad, just as sexual assault victims voices get lost post-assault. Here are a few songs that demonstrate the connection between sexual assault and music.

Love The Way You Lie-Eminem and Rihanna

This was one of the most famous and popular songs of 2010. The song highlights a bad relationship in which the boyfriend is abusive. Lines such as “‘Where you going?’ ‘I’m leaving you.’ ‘No you ain’t, come back,'” and  “I laid hands on her, I never stoop so low again, I guess I don’t know my own strength,” lend themselves to the horror that is sexual assault. The video helps show the abusiveness and is a good depiction of sexual assault.

Janie’s Got A Gun- Aerosmith

This song isn’t quite as famous as the first, but the artist and the meaning behind the words certainly are. The song is about a girl who looks for revenge on her father after being abused by him as a child. Lines like “Janie’s got a gun. Her dog day’s just begun,” and “She said cause nobody believes me, gonna be the same,” really show the emotional difficulty that the girl is going to go through as well as her pain.

Only Women Bleed-Alice Cooper

Yet another song that tackles sexual assault is Alice Cooper’s Only Women Bleed. The song, which is about a woman in an abusive marriage, shows how sexual assault doesn’t just occur at young ages. The line “He lies right at you, you know you hate this game, he slaps you once in a while, and you live and love in pain” goes through the cycle of sexual assault. It tells of the actual experience (slapping) and the turmoil the victim must live in following the assault.

As you can see, sexual assault and music go hand in hand. These three songs are primary examples of how sexual assault develops and the aftermath of it. Sexual assault is an important issue in society today. It is present almost everywhere. With more songs like “Love The Way You Lie”, “Janie’s Got A Gun”, and “Only Women Bleed”, perhaps sexual assault will come to where it belongs, at the forefront of society’s issues.


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