While working at the Writing Center in our new Breese Hall location this week, the song “Rock You Like a Hurricane” by the Scorpions was blaring from the hallway. Wow, is 80s rock ever catchy! I sat there, tapping my foot and singing the lyrics in my head, excited about hearing a song that I haven’t heard in a while.
It was not long before I got sick of the song, however, for a few reasons. First, any song that is put on repeat can get annoying, especially a song by the Scorpions. Second, I actually wanted to get some work done in the Writing Center. But the main reason I got annoyed with the song is because I actually started listening to the lyrics. Lines like “The bitch is hungry, She needs to tell, So give her inches, And feed her well”, “The wolf is hungry, He runs to show, He’s licking his lips, He’s reading to win, On the hunt tonight, For love at first sting” and, of course, the chorus “Here I am, rock you like a hurricane” are all very offensive to women. The entire song encourages the representation of women as prey, being hunted by masculine predators.
It’s a bit horrifying to think about many of the 80s rock bands’ lyrical messages. While it is common to hear lyrics that objectify women and promote an ultra-masculinity in genres such as rap and pop, it’s a bit unsettling to think of many 80s songs doing quite the same thing.
This instance brought to my attention that the devaluation of women and violent representations of masculinity is really everywhere, not just rap lyrics and action movies. It is important to be aware of the messages we are receiving and to think about the lyrics and not just getting wrapped up in catchy beats.