The Sexist

Date Rape Anthem: Asher Roth’s “I Love College”

[youtube:v=43pkqeamXe8]

Date Rape Anthem: Asher Roth's "I Love College"

Relevant Lyrics:

I can't tell you what I learned from school but
I could tell you a story or two, um
Yeah, of course I learned some rules
Like don't pass out with your shoes on (get the sharpie)

And don't leave the house 'til the booze gone (no we're not leaving)
And don't have sex if she's too gone
When it comes to condoms put two on (trust me)
Then tomorrow night find a new jawn

Why It's So Rapey: On the surface, Roth's love-letter to undergraduate debauchery condemns date rape ("don't have sex if she's too gone"). So why would this Village Voice detractor call the Morrisville, Pa. rapper's first album "nothing more than a soundtrack for date rape"?

Maybe it has something to do with the context of Roth's one-line defense of consensual sex. At the beginning of his video for "I Love College," Roth awakes on a fraternity house couch with a half-naked girl passed out on his lap. He doesn't date-rape her: He just pushes her off onto the floor and starts drinking again. Later, when the party is in full-swing, Roth boasts that he drank the party house dry as he "danced my face off and had this one girl completely naked." He doesn't date-rape her: He just uses her naked body to boost his cred in a rap song.

Roth's song does sets limits for consensual sex—don't do her if "she's too gone"—while simultaneously urging college students to push those limits by getting wasted and getting it on—in other words, doing her when she's juuuust gone enough. In a fraternity house full of people partying naked until all the booze is gone, "she's too gone" might start to seem pretty relative.

Meanwhile, one in four women will be sexually assaulted while in college, making the listener wonder how Roth learned the "rules" of college behavior. Roth knows now not to a) pass out with your shoes on, b) leave before the booze is gone, c) date-rape a girl, and d) have unprotected sex. Has he learned from experience?

Still, it's enough for commenters on feminist blog Feministe to defend Roth against charges of racism and sexism: "He does the bare minimum of saying, '…don’t have sex if she’s too far gone,' whatever his motives," one writes. "I honestly didn’t expect that much because date rape is usually so fucking hilarious to frat boys."

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