First we had Thicke, with his blurred lines and clear sexism but then burst in Maroon 5, bloody and snarling, with their new music video “Animals” and do a spectacular job in making passion look like obsessive creepiness.
The video itself is nothing short of a typical horror thriller flick : mentally unstable man falls in obsession with a girl, follows her, creepily stands in the rain while watching her and, later on, is covered in blood and surrounded by meat hooks while spouting stories about “hunting her down”.
It only takes a few seconds of the video to get eyebrows rising: was there really no other way to portray obsession without portraying a woman as a cornered animal, almost to just a piece of meat for masculinity to tear into? How does a blood stained face portray ‘passion?
We get it, love and passion for another person can be hot, boiling and aggressive, and in this case Adam Levine has the obvious need to show it to his newlywed wife, Behati Prinsloo, but Adam, was the stalking and metaphoric shank chopping while looking deeply into her eyes necessary?
As handsome as Lavine is, it should be clear as day to him and every ‘bad boy’, that there is nothing lovely about being a sexual predator, there is nothing passionate about “preying” or “eating you alive” – it is unsettling and is a sad reality that many women face in the real world, singing about it will not make it romantic.
It took a while for the masses to realise that, there’s something oddly like sexual harassment playing in Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” and it seems the reaction to “Animals” is on the same pace on the grounds of DMU.
Most of the students who were asked for their impression on the song and video have yet to hear it and those who have, simultaneously called the song “not bad but kind of ‘off’ “ or that they “read something in The Guardian but can not remember what”.
Indeed, The Guardian called the song “an insult to all women”, however, “Animals” goes beyond making only women into objects of twisted fantasies of power dominance, it went on to portray men and masculinity as something dangerous and uncontrollable, primal, covered in blood, hunting and to be feared.
This video actually managed to not only portray women as objects of some obsessed gratification but the constant repetition of “you can’t deny the beast inside” gives grounds to assume that every man is a natural sex predator, like an animal that can’t control its’ urges.
Gabriel Davis-Marks, a third year Creative Writing and Film student at DMU said ‘I get into a lot of debates and arguments, and people who play devil’s advocate tend to complain the feminists paint men in a bad light – calling them animalistic and unable to control their urges. For instance, a lot of men can be uncomfortable with the fact that women have to treat men they don’t know as potential threats in order to stay safe.
‘These men are ignoring the very real facts that women have to be wary of men they don’t know, and the threat is very real. It’s not feminists painting them as unable to control their urges – it’s the men catcalling in the street and sexually harassing people at clubs that give the gender a bad name. There is a lot of work to do in regards to respect for women, and songs like ‘Animals’ doesn’t really help that cause.’
For most of us, this song is nothing more but a good beat and some words, but for a growing spectrum of people, this one song could lead to deep and dark memories that should not be romanticised as an act of passion but instead understood as something that could happen to any member of our community, at any moment, anywhere.
Music is around us constantly, it has the power to inspire us and while it can be argued that the hunter and prey portrayal is nothing more than fantasy and fiction, it is more arguable to ask – for how long is it going to stay in that realm before it becomes reality?
Take a look at the alternative opinion – ‘No: Maroon 5’s new music video, ‘Animals,’ really is not that bad…’
What do you think of the video? @TheDemonPaper #TheCWord