'What Do You Mean' busted for promoting rape culture

Writer Sofia Lyons says with each verse of Bieber's song, she felt a sense of uneasiness she couldn't quite place.

Justin Bieber

Justin Bieber has dropped a new song/video - What Do you Mean - and although the song has become the fastest single on record to reach #1 on iTunes, a latest report claims the song is a rape anthem.

Just like Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines', writer Sofia Lyons says with each verse of Bieber's song, she felt a sense of uneasiness she couldn't quite place. Adding, "I itched in my skin at the connotation of Bieber's words, despite the uplifting and summery pop beat with which he sang them."

Lyons claims the song is the kind  you remember while being in bed with a man and trying to say that you didn't want to go any further, but hearing the inevitable, surprised, and sometimes angry, what do you mean? "The catchy pop beat carefully masks a much more unsettling message: that there is a sexual gray area of sorts, where a man can presume to know what a woman is thinking, despite what she says."

The writer further explains that "What Do You Mean," like "Blurred Lines," points to a consensual ambiguity where a woman's partner takes interpretation into his own hands by presuming (incorrectly) to know what she's thinking -- even when she says otherwise. This can become incredibly dangerous when applied to sexual situations, where a "yes means yes" mentality is imperative: the lyrics perpetuate the idea that unwanted advances or sexual misperceptions are at the fault of the woman because she wasn't clear about her intentions or a man thought she wanted it because she couldn't "make up her mind."

In the song, Bieber is heard singing: "What do you mean, when you nod your head yes/ But you wanna say no?" Bieber croons in the chorus. "When you don't want me to move/ But you tell me to go."

But does that mean Bieber would force himself on a girl because he assumes she is saying 'yes' when she's actually saying 'no'?

What do you guys think?

Note: "Rape culture" is a term which describes the ways in which society victim blames and normalizes sexual violence through the use of popular culture -- most often music and films.


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