Van Halen & rape culture: Jamie’s Crying

This morning I decided to burn a CD of the first Van Halen studio album.  As I arrived at work, I was deep in a lyrical analysis of “Jamie’s Crying”.

In addition to being the sixth or seventh best song on the record, it is also a funky track about consent.  Sung from the perspective of a young woman who said no to a ‘one night stand,’ and is now sad that the only romance her prospective lover wants is quick sex.  (Hence, why she is cryin’).

It seems like an interesting take on consent.  In this case, the lover pressures Jamie and Jamie refuses.  I appreciate that the pressuring lover simply ups and leaves when “Jamie wouldn’t say alright.” But the prevailing message of the song is that if someone doesn’t sleep with the band, they’ll never get any other interaction (‘gone forever.’).   A sort of nod to consent in a forward motion toward rape culture.

Cue Van Halen groupie reel.

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Filed under music, representation, sexism, sexual assault

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