The Sexist

Date Rape Anthem: Nada Surf’s “Mother’s Day”

[youtube:v=hbmIpnlhx0U]

Thanks to commenter Keara for suggesting another positive addition to the annals of date rape anthems. Up next:

Date Rape Anthem: "Mother's Day" by Nada Surf, a 2002 track about boys who rape girls on their Star Wars sheets, and why that's unacceptable.

Relevant Lyrics:

What do you see when you look at a girl?
Is she a game you wanna win?
If no one was looking
What would you do to get in?
Do you have friends who would be proud
If you went in for the kill?
Do you have friends who would do it
Even against her will?

. . . On your Star Wars sheets
When you get the scene
Was she seducing you
Or did she want to scream?


It's you versus you versus you
I can't forget that tomorrow's Mother's Day,
I'm talking to you
You know who you are
Going too far
You'll feel good for ten minutes
She'll be screwed up for life
Blue balls and all of that bullshit

Why It's So Anti-Rapey: "Blue balls and all of that bullshit" indeed. The whole song is a pretty damning rejection of excuses made for rape—I'm particularly interested in how Nada Surf criticizes boys who count rapists among their friends—but at it's core, it's about refusing to turn your frustration at sexual rejection into violence against women. The boy in question here is framed as a nerd who has been "laughed at" and "left out" (Star Wars sheets, dude?)—a boy who might feel like he has some power to gain by forcing a woman to submit to him. Proudly nerdy indie rockers Nada Surf are here to tell these boys to cut out the bullshit.

Comments

  1. #1

    Thanks for posting this, and thanks to Keara for suggesting it. It came up randomly on my iTunes a few hours ago (how random?!) and I was going to submit it. I remember hearing this song the first time in 2002, which was around my feminist awakening, and it hit me like a ton of bricks.

  2. #2

    I also think the line "but a body afraid is not a sexual body" is SO FREAKING POWERFUL.

  3. #3

    I shall comment with another anti date-rape anthem, one I'm surprised hasn't come up. Heavenly's "So" from the Atta Girl EP, which is a compilation of two singles, five songs total, all of them somehow about date rape.
    Two other songs from that EP are on YouTube, but I can't find "So". So, I'll copy the lyrics; the song is short, and it's Amelia Fletcher singing a capella. If anyone has seen it uploaded on a music blog somewhere, let us know.

    So I flirted a touch, so maybe I laughed too much.
    So I teased you.
    So I said lots of stuff you interpreted as love.
    I didn't mean to.
    So you felt sure you were mine, I was yours.
    So I was dumb, not to make things
    clear
    before.
    So you hurt deep inside when I talk to other guys.
    So I noticed.
    So you gave me your time, love and hope, but I kept mine.
    So I¹m selfish.
    But nothing I did or could ever have done
    would justify
    what you did to
    me
    last night.

Comments Shown. Turn Comments Off.
...