Allison Iraheta and the Glamorization of Violence
When Allison Iraheta was on American Idol, I really liked her, and was upset when she got voted off. One of my friends fell totally in love with her. "You gotta hear her single, 'Friday I’ll Be Over U,' it rocks," she kept hocking me. I finally looked it up on YouTube and was unimpressed. When my friend kept insisting that I had to listen to the whole album, I got it from the library.
Since this isn't an album critique, I won't go into detail about how Allison sold her soul to the Music Industry Devil by singing teenybopper songs when she has more of a Janis Joplin appeal. What I will go into detail about is the plain old anti-woman offensiveness on the album. The songs "Friday I’ll Be Over U" and "Don’t Waste the Pretty" are being touted as girl-power anthems, and I admit that they do contain weak positive messages. The offender on the album overshadows any positivity, though: "Beat Me Up."
"Beat Me Up" was PAINFUL to listen to. My Allison-obsessed friend did warn me about it. "There’s this really weird song at the end called 'Beat Me Up' that I don’t even know what it’s about," she said. I don't know, but to me, it doesn't take a brain surgeon to figure out the topic. The title itself screams "I support domestic violence!" It’s not like a hidden message or anything. "You like to keep me on a chain…You beat me up…You hit me up…You always make me do those things…You get your fix out of causing me pain…" To me, it's pretty obvious that she’s singing about a boyfriend who abuses her, physically and sexually.
When I first heard the song and the first verse ended, I expected the song to begin going on a "Never Again" by Nickelback track, where she "pulls the trigger as fast as she can" on her abusive husband at the end of the song, but no. "Beat Me Up" says, "I'll never let you go…I still love you cuz you heat me up…I come running cuz you fix me up…Oh baby just beat me up…I really don't care what they say about me / Cuz he gives me everything I want."
Music Choice, a series of music channels on television, has an oldies channel that my family watches, and they often play a song called "Johnny Get Angry" by Joanie Sommers. In summary, it's a watered-down sixties version of "Beat Me Up." I hate that Music Choice plays it and have complained to them about it in the past (file a complaint to help me get it banned from the channel here), but I can excuse it, as the song was recorded in 1962. That was before The Feminine Mystique was published and before people even heard the term "women’s rights." But in this day and age, for Allison Iraheta to release a song that promotes domestic violence?
I looked into the song and found an interview of Allison Iraheta online. "It's a pretty rad song. This chick likes being mistreated by her guy. A lot of girls out there, they like that! And it's kind of sad, but y'know, that's just the way she is. Not that I'm like that because I'd beat the hell out of whoever the hell mistreats me! I put myself in another girl's shoes, so it's a pretty cool song," she said. While she at least said that she would never personally take abuse from a guy, I sincerely doubt any of the thousands of 10 - 16-year-olds who listened to "Beat Me Up" are going to read that interview.
According to the American Bar Association, 25% of women were raped or assaulted by a current or former spouse, living partner, or boyfriend. 1.3 million women a year are sexually assaulted by their partners, and 33% of female murder victims are killed by their partners. Approximately 85% of spouse and dating abuse victims are female. These are TERRIFYING statistics. Many cases of domestic abuse aren't ever reported, making a lot of these statistics much too low. In books like Burned by Ellen Hopkins, no one in the family ever divulges their father's abuse. "It's embarrass[ing]. You can't show your face in public without feeling like you've done something wrong. Something you need to be punished for. Not only that, but…you've been bad," one of the abuse victims says in Burned.
So, Allison Iraheta, is that what you’re supporting?
Talia also blogs for Star of Davida
More articles in WMC FBomb by Category: Feminism, Gender-based violence, Media, Misogyny, Violence against women
More articles in WMC FBomb by Tag: Activism and advocacy, Music, Rape, Domestic violence, Sexualized violence, Social media, Television, Books, News