The Sexist

Date Rape Anthem: Fugazi’s “Suggestion”

[youtube:v=sIywtO0OY78]

Date Rape Anthem: Another refreshing addition to the anti-rape contingent of musical date rape anthems: Fugazi's "Suggestion," which commenter paprbgprncs claims "Restored my faith in men (boys at the time) when I was 16."

Relevant Lyrics:

Why can't I walk down a street free of suggestion?
Is my body the only trait in the eyes of men?
I've got some skin you want to look in
There lays no reward in what you discover
You spent yourself watching me suffer
Suffer you words, suffer your eyes, suffer your hands
Suffer your interpretation of what it is to be a man
I've got some skin you want to look in
She does nothing to deserve it
He only wants to observe it
We sit back like they taught us
We keep quiet like they taught us
He just wants to prove it
She does nothing to remove it
We don't want anyone to mind us
So we play the roles that they assigned us
She does nothing to conceal it
He touches her 'cause he wants to feel it
We blame her for being there
But we are all guilty

Why I Love This Song: I love this song, and here's why: It clearly articulates the connection between all the flavors of harassment inflicted against women, from street harassment ("suffer your words"), to objectification through the male gaze ("suffer your eyes"), to physical sexual assault ("suffer your hands"). In the song,  all contribute to a social structure that devalues women ("suffer your interpretation of what it is to be a man"). By song's end ("He touches her 'cause he wants to feel it / We blame her for being there / But we are all guilty") it's clear that the harm done here has gone far beyond the realm of "suggestion."

The song is clearly anti-rape, but it's also a stinging condemnation of all the bystanders who don't speak up when women are assaulted: "We sit back like they taught us / We keep quiet like they taught us . . . We don't want anyone to mind us / So we play the roles that they assigned us. . . . we are all guilty." The song leaves a lasting suggestion for men who are born into this society: Want to avoid being lumped in with men who harass women? Speak up against sexual harassment and assault, and no one will mistake you for an offender.

Comments

  1. #1

    Oooh, all thse Manthems about "don't rape, bro! 's not cool!" just make me feel all warm and fuzzy inside. If this doesn't stop rape, nothing wilL!

  2. #2

    Love this song.

  3. #3

    Indeed, in the long run the pen is mightier than the sword.

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