Would you tell?
Posted on July 15th, 2011
Yesterday I took Pea out for pizza at a local franchise. I like the people who work there and the food is OK, but I looked around and thought, this is probably the last time I can stand to bring her here. It’s going downhill fast. No one cleaned tables, dishes were piled up, and things were quite literally held together with duct tape in places.
And then, halfway through our meal, a rap song came on. Because Pea was busy devouring huge quantities of pizza (and not talking), I paid attention to the lyrics and realized it was about rough sex. And it was graphic. And from a male point of view.
Now, don’t get me wrong: I like sex just fine. I like men. I don’t mind sex being evoked in music. Graphically. Not my cup of tea, but whatever.
Except. But. There’s one problem.
The rough part.
In my adult life, I’ve talked to dozens (a lot of dozens) of women (and men) who have been raped. I’ve had to write and talk about their trauma. Graphically. In a fair number of these cases, the other party would (did) characterize it as consensual rough sex.
[Long rant about the fallacy of fake rape allegations omitted for sanity's sake. Short version: women don't make those stories up.]
[Long rant about the widespread cultural acceptance of victimization of women in the media omitted for sanity's sake. Short version: society thinks it's OK to degrade women. It's not.]
So this isn’t the kind of thing I want my four-year-old listening to over lunch, even if she is busy devouring pepperoni pizza. The kid is a sponge.
I did what any mom in 2011 would do. I tweeted the parent franchise about it. They asked which location; I told them.
Immediately I felt guilty. Really, really guilty. And…WTF? I shouldn’t have had to listen to the song (my kid certainly shouldn’t), and what if there were a rape victim in the restaurant (who could have been retraumatized)? It was totally inappropriate – and yet I still feel bad for tattling on employees of a restaurant I wouldn’t be willing to go back to, anyway.
And that’s the part I don’t get.