I recently wrote a blog post about lyrics aimed towards women in music. It didn’t include domestic violence or violence against women because that needed its own blog. This topic can be found especially in Eminem’s “Love the Way You Lie.” This song came out when I was in high school, a time before I thought deep about the meanings of song lyrics. I had never watched the video either until now, and it conveys an issue that is more prevalent than people realize.
In the video, Megan Fox’s character is in an abusive relationship with a man. They scream and fight at each other, yet on a few occasions they end up hooking up in the heat of their arguments. The lyrics get quite extreme as Eminem says “I’ma tie her to this bed and set this house on fire.” In Rachel Alicia Griffin and Joshua Daniel Phillip’s “Eminem’s Love the Way You Lie And The Normalization Of Men’s Violence Against Women,” they make a very good point. They say “we argue that the song’s lyrics and video imagery reproduce cultural myths about domestic violence, including notions that: (1) men and women are equally responsible for perpetuating violence in relationships, (2) women “ask” to be abused, and (3) violence is a means to ignite sexual arousal.”
Our class last week discussed the misleading messages that the video portrays. For example, Rihanna’s lyrics “that’s alright because I like the way it hurts” and “I love the way you lie” indicate a pleasure for pain and a sort of normalization of this kind of abuse. Also, when Megan Fox is shown hooking up with her man after he has physically and verbally abused her, it shows that the violence is igniting that sexual arousal. In this case, the misconceptions about domestic violence relationships aren’t going to help decrease this issue’s prevalence. It’s important to recognize these lyrics with a deeper meaning considering that audiences typically learn from what they see and hear within popular culture.