Lady Gaga On The Line Between Drunk Dancing And Date Rape


In 2008, Lady Gaga dropped her first single, "Just Dance," an ode to dancing while extremely wasted.

In the song, Gaga details her level of intoxication: She’s lost her keys, she’s lost her phone, she can’t see straight, she’s forgotten the name of the club she’s in, and she can’t figure out why her shirt is turned inside out. Still, everything is “gonna be okay”-until Colby O’Donis enters the scene and announces that he intends on doing more than just dancing with Gaga that night. “I’m gonna hit it, I’m gonna hit it and flex and do it until tomorrow,” he says. “There’s no reason at all why you can’t leave here with me.” Well, I can think of one.

The bouncy club track doesn’t address the disconnect between Gaga’s drunken intentions-just dancing-and those of O’Donnis-hitting it. In the recently released track “Monster,” that drunken interaction takes a sinister turn, and Gaga finally addresses the negative space left by “Just Dance.”

“I asked my girlfriend if she’d seen you round before,” Gaga sings in “Monster.” “She mumbled something while we got down on the floor baby / We might’ve fucked not really sure, don’t quite recall / But something tells me that I’ve seen him, yeah.” If the friend’s lack of clarity on her fucking history with this guy isn’t enough of a red flag, wait for the chorus, where Gaga eliminates all the ambivalence of “Just Dance”: “That boy is a monster.”

Later in the song, Gaga makes a direct reference to her first single as the club monster turns into a “monster in my bed”: “I wanna Just Dance / But he took me home instead / Uh oh, there was a monster in my bed / We french kissed on a subway train / He tore my clothes right off / He ate my heart then he ate my brain.” In the background, the robotic voice of the “monster” provides the stalker’s perspective: “I love that girl, wanna talk to her, she’s hot as hell.”

Reader Zoe, who sent in “Monster” as an example of an anti-Date Rape Anthem, says that the song works as a necessary footnote to “the trend . . . of women singing about how awesome it is to get disorientingly drunk, and then going Ke$ha and saying you can slap the guys away when they try to ‘touch your junk’:”

“I don’t think the song is supposed to be a ‘lesson’ to women about getting drunk,” Zoe adds. “It’s just connecting those dots, and then condemning the dude as a monster. Hooray!” Like Zoe, I’m glad that pop music has a figure like Lady Gaga, who can convincingly defend the harmless entertainment of drinking in the club, and then release an equally compelling dance track condemning the people who want to deny women that experience-rapists.

This post, one in
a series about date rape anthems, originally appeared on the blog The Sexist. Republished with permission.

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