The Sexist

Date Rape Anthem: The Raveonette’s “Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Destroyed)”

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This blog's date-rape anthem series has traditionally been concerned with songs that appear to support rape tactics. The Raveonette's "Boys Who Rape Should All Be Destroyed," as you may have surmised, takes the opposing position.

Date Rape Anthem: The Raveonette's "Boys Who Rape Should All Be Destroyed," an ode to eliminating perpetrators of sexual violence.

Relevant Lyrics:

Three to one girl
How can you win
One horrid night
You hope that it's a bad dream

They rip you to shreds
Make you feel useless
You'll never forget
Those fuckers stay in your head

Boys who rape should all be destroyed
Boys who rape should all be destroyed

Sooo . . . What Do We Do With This One?: On the one hand, we've got a fairly popular rock group singing a song against rape, and that's awesome. Plus, it's catchy! Double bonus: It focuses its shame on the perpetrator's crime, not the victim's actions.

On the other hand, the mass extermination suggested by the titular command is a bit disturbing, no? Particularly when it functions as the the song's refrain (it's repeated eight times). I'm pretty much in agreement with People Working to End Violence Against Women when they write, "Personally, my version would go 'Boys Who Rape (Should All Be Punished Via The Judicial System Then Must Attend Educational Seminars On Gender Violence, Equity And Male Privilege, While Incarcerated).'" In other words, the end goal is that rape, not people, be destroyed. But that's not very catchy, is it?

PWEVAW also points out that the Raveonettes have another song entitled "Love Can Destroy Everything," which adds another confusing layer to the Ravonette's lyrical rapist destruction campaign. I'm not sure exactly how love might work to destroy boys who rape. I'd settle for boys who rape just not hating women, which I'm convinced will eventually just leave us with . . . boys. Ooh, boys!

  • http://monodrone.org/jeffgerhard jeff gerhard

    absolutely love the raveonettes, but this has to be their most annoying song ever. i can't even really figure out what they were going for. maybe it is supposed to be a parody of earnest political songs?

  • Former Staffer

    entropy destroys everything in the end anyway. why worry ourselves when they're sending the right message. mass extinction of proponents of douchebaggery would make the world a much better place.

  • http://kelly.hogaboom.org/ Kelly

    I haven't heard the song yet but the lyric also (I'm sure not intentionally) further perpetrates the rape myth of "real" rape being uber-violent, physically threatening and physically seriously damaging.

  • Comrade Al Gonzales

    Saw a great show by the Ravonettes at the Black Cat a few years ago. "Rape Me" by Kurdtt Cobain - the great, great, sorely missed, great great Kurt Cobain & Nirvana, is another raping anthem.

  • http://www.solar-powered-record-players.com depresso

    Personally, I chose to read it as that which makes the boys 'rapey' should be destroyed. In the same way that being raped can kinda destroy the person you were beforehand, you know?

  • pmsrhino

    Destroy doesn't have to mean kill. Something like going through the judicial system, being convicted, serving the time, being labeled a sex offender can be considered to destroy one's life. Though I guess only in a world where being a rapist assholes means people think you're a rapist asshole and don't do things like, say, give you Oscars and send you to serve time in your private Swiss chalet. Destroy sounds better in the song, as you said, and I guess it can be interpreted as one wishes. Though when you take a song like "Love Destroys Everything" we can be fairly certain it doesn't imply love literally kills everything but makes ones life freakin' miserable. So in that way destroy can't always be taken as meaning kill or execute.

    And that song is kinda annoying, lol. Wonder if their other stuff is any better. :P

  • http://www.shannondrury.blogspot.com Shannon Drury

    Anyone remember 7 Year Bitch? They had a grunge-era anthem of their own called "Dead Men Don't Rape." Classic.

  • Michael

    You know, I think the idea here is that rape is such an awful thing to do to someone that the only way to get back at the person is to "destroy" them. I actually like it a lot, in all it's darkness. I have a friend who was date-raped and the whole lot of us wanted to literally destroy him.

    My interpretation of the song is that Sharin Foo (female vocalist) was raped and this song is her coping mechanism.

    For boys who rape, it's too late for them to be "Punished Via The Judicial System Then Must Attend Educational Seminars On Gender Violence, Equity And Male Privilege." Damage done. Let's destroy them. All of them.

  • Sorry

    I'm mostly a pacifist, except here. Being molested and raped numerous times by numerous people over the course of many years (and who knows what is yet to come), makes me just want to play this song to everyone I've ever heard. What a wonderful sentiment.

  • http://twitter.com/BasketCasey basketcasey

    There aren't any youtube videos for "Spear And Magic Helmet" by the Gits but there is a cover up and also a video of Joan Jett performing with the surviving members of the Gits after singer Mia was raped and murdered in 1993. I can't find the lyrics correctly anywhere online so here they are copied from the liner notes:

    Now I've heard it all
    The way you build your reputation
    You're fucking with my friends
    Now I'm out to ruin you
    There is no justice
    To what you tried to get away with
    Tried to be a little shit
    You're nothing but a fucking git

    What's the way you think so dumb
    That what I do is shut you up
    All I want is a chance
    To take everything
    What do you play
    It's infused in what I play entirely
    You haven't gotten kicks
    Cause I win this game

    You jump out from behind
    Two against one
    You said, "You've been a bad girl,"
    Then you slapped her right across the face

    What could be going through your mind
    This does no one good
    I suggest you buy a cage
    Cause I'm full of rage

    Then you raped her
    You left her in the alleyway
    I know I have to see you
    And all I think of you is right

    Could've gone on after you
    You're nothing but filth and scum
    Now I have to wail on you
    And your reputation
    Just because you see her there
    You think it's all fair and square
    All I fucking see in you
    Is one goddamn lame excuse

    How could you stand in the display
    The cause of so much pain?
    I suggest that you buy a cage
    Because I'm full of rage

    Now you've heard it all
    Leave it to your discretion
    Between what's right and wrong
    But don't you even give a damn?

    Because I'm coming after you
    You're nothing but filthy scum
    I'd like to wail on you
    And your reputation
    Just because you sing of it
    Think you're dumb, do it right
    All I fucking see in you is one goddamn lame excuse

    What could be going through your mind?
    It's done no one good
    I'll take a pan to your head
    Cause I'm full of rage

    The Gits were really good friends with 7 Year Bitch and I'm sure Mia's death inspired a lot of their anti-violence songs.

  • http://twitter.com/BasketCasey basketcasey

    Forgot to add that if you google the song you can play it from lala.com.

  • Murph

    Maybe transfigurative destruction? Or the destruction of the patriarchal attitudes that make rape possible?

  • peter

    Umm...rapist = fucker= should be destroyed even if it means death

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