The Sexist

Date Rape Anthem: Statutory Rape Edition

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In the long history of date rape jams, this blog has yet to tackle the many tunes dedicated to statutory rapes. So let's take a look at a couple of odes to sex with minors—one in the pro-underage-sex camp, and another that's anti.

PRO: "Young Girl," by Gary Puckett and the Union Gap, (Thanks to Rooster over at if i raise my voice for the suggestion).

Relevant Lyrics:

Young girl, get out of my mind
My love for you is way out of line
Better run, girl.
You're much too young, girl.

With all the charms of a woman
You've kept the secret of your youth
You led me to believe
You're old enough
To give me Love
And now it hurts to know the truth, Oh,
Beneath your perfume and make-up
You're just a baby in disguise

. . . Get out of here
Before I have the time
To change my mind
'Cause I'm afraid we'll go too far, Oh,
Young girl

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CON: Oingo Boingo's "Little Girls," a cautionary tale about chasing after a girl who is "just to little."

Relevant Lyrics:

I love little girls they make me feel so good
I love little girls they make me feel so bad
When they're around they make me feel
Like I'm the only guy in town
I love little girls they make me feel so good

They don't care if I'm a one way mirror
They're not frightened by my cold exterior

. . . Uh oh take a second take
Uh oh it's a mistake
Uh oh I'm in trouble
Uh oh the little girl was just too little
Too little, too little, too little
Isn't this what life's all about
Isn't this a dream come true
Isn't this a nightmare too...

So, What's It Going to Be?: On the surface, both Gary Puckett and Oingo Boingo express ambivalence about having sex with women who are too young to consent. When Puckett learns that the object of his affections is "too young," and has simply been tricking him into believing she is of age with her "perfume and make-up," he expresses that his continued attraction to the girl is "way out of line." He then cautions her that she "better run, girl" in order to make sure that she doesn't temp him into having sex with her anyway. But though the song is about avoiding statutory rape, Puckett is hardly shy about his true feelings on the subject. "Get out of here," he tells the girl, "before I have the time / to change my mind." Is that a threat? Plus, check the soaring, indulgent tone adopted here—way to romanticize your creepiness, dude.

Oingo Boingo, on the other hand, adopts a disturbing, frantic, totally fucking creepy tone in describing a man who is sexually attracted to little girls. That seems more appropriate, no? Lines like "They don't care if I'm a one way mirror / They're not frightened by my cold exterior" reiterate the idea that Oingo Boingo's narrator is unreliable, not heroic. But even this guy understands that what he's doing is wrong: "Uh oh, I'm in trouble / Uh oh the little girl was just too little."


  • michelle

    how could you overlook CHRISTINE SIXTEEN?

  • http://shiyiya.wordpress.com/ Shiyiya

    Damnit, I love Young Girl. I am not very critical of my sixties music. Sadface. It's pretty!

  • http://www.twitter.com/kevdc KevDC

    First of all, I never realized "Little Girls" had a video. I never would have suspected that.

    I think because of the way Danny Elfman crafts the song it does a good job just showing how creepy the concept is. It sort of makes you think about what is happening and realize that this person has a problem. If you know Oingo Boingo, they do a lot of this kind of "storytelling" in their music particularly with "deviant" behaviors. I would recommend taking a listen to "Nasty Habits" or "Only a lad" for context.

    I am more disturbed by songs like "Young Girl," where it doesn't sound creepy at first. It sounds like it's not a big deal that we are dealing with statutory rape, or rather, that it is something that happens in a normal situation all the time. It's only when you actually listen a second or third time that you realize that it's really messed up.

  • chris

    Speaking of which, have you heard Missed Me by the Dresden Dolls? I don't know if you could call it an anthem for rape, exactly, but there's no doubt that it's about statutory rape. It's weird, because the girl in the song isn't completely condemning the guy for what he did, and makes it sound like she consented, but she also seems like she was pretty messed up by it.

  • Heather

    @chris: With all the Amanda Palmer drama going on, I'm not surprised that the girl in the song doesn't condemn the dude. Maybe Sady and Amanda can do a SEXIST BEATDOWN Date Rape Anthem about that song?

    ALSO, when they covered "Young Girl" on Glee it became so much creepier. It was one of those songs that I never really paid much attention to the lyrics but hearing Mr. Shu sing it to Rachel was like a lightbulb. I was all, "Oh, Woody Allen!"

    Every time I hear a date rape anthem on my iPod, my first thought is to tell you about it! Except I do not know how to contact you, so here is one that is kind of fitting. "Saint John" by Cold War Kids. Relevant lyrics:

    a young girl turned the corner with a clerk dress on,
    and that girl was my sister
    just got off the night shift at pennington's place,
    just wanna go home & get some sleep
    the boys grab her by the waist with the caffeine eyes,
    their hands all fidget electric
    i picked up a brick from my papa's front yard
    and threw it at the tallest boy's face
    well blood was streaming like a well got sprung,
    i couldn't believe what i had just done
    the other boy ran and this one stayed
    on the ground and he would never move again.

  • Pamo

    Speaking of the Dresden Dolls, there's also "Lonesome Organist Rapes Page-Turner." Starts off:

    He told me that I knew what to laugh at,
    And I wanted to but I just couldn't ask if he would take it back so I could know for certain.
    So on the bench I watched his left hand crossing
    While doubling entendres with the voicings.
    He said "O darling, you're charming.
    Please don't find it alarming if I pull this stop out to free up a hand for heavy petting."

    "Now there, there.
    I'm a friendly man.
    I joke about sex because it's funny when you're frightened."

    Not to mention "Slide," involving a little girl and an old man at a playground.

  • http://www.aimee-rhodes.com Aimee

    @chris I've always felt that "Missed Me" by the Dresden Dolls occupies the same territory of ambivalence as Joyce Carol Oates's short story "Small Avalanches": there's a sense of nascent power on the part of the narrator, no matter how fucked up, and a sense that what's happening is wrong and potentially dangerous (a relationship with a creepy older man, and engaging with a street crawler, respectively), but also kind of fascinating, a way of flirting with danger.

    I think they're both powerful narratives, and I don't think either of them minimise statutory rape.

    Young Girl, on the other hand (along with Australian band Dragon's "Are You Old Enough")...

  • http://tyciol.livejournal.com Tyciol

    Those songs are awesome. Oh no, Gary has 'creepiness'? That's some specific terminology.

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