Thursday, August 11, 2011

Is Katy Perry and Kanye West's E.T. about rape?

*Trigger Warning for discussions of non-consensual sex and abduction*

I'm not a huge fan of Katy Perry's music typically, and I don't really enjoy her voice. However, I have to admit that she has some catchy songs. One of them being E.T. (as in extraterrestrial). The basic premise of the song is that Katy has some kind of obsession over being abducted by an alien life form and basically having sex with it. Um, okay. Somehow, when I stopped to listen to the lyrics I became a little uncomfortable with the words.

In the beginning, Kanye West comes in and starts talking about how he is such a badass with a dirty mind who 'gets ass' all the time. Nice guy. He talks about how he wants to 'bathe his ape in her Milky Way', obviously referring to putting his African American penis inside her Caucasian vagina. He calls himself a legend and tells her that she's in the 'danger zone'. Seems like a totally classy guy that anyone would want to get to know. However, his disgusting personality manages to win over Katy Perry who quickly becomes 'hypnotized' and mesmerized by him.

Take me, t-take me
Wanna be a victim
Ready for abduction

Now, you could read into this as being a statement about BDSM, a culture that I am not too familiar with and am still learning about. However, the definition of 'abduction' is to take someone away against their will. In BDSM, consent is a very important concept. Granted, Katy Perry does say she 'wants' to be a victim, which could imply consent. However, I found the desire to be a victim and wanting this domineering alien man to take her away without her permission as not being a very empowering message. Not to mention the similarities between the things Kanye West was saying and what a sexual predator would say to 'groom' someone into trusting them (or at least letting something happen they wouldn't normally allow).

Then Kanye West comes in at the end and starts rapping again:

Tell me what's next, alien sex
I'ma disrobe you, than I'mma probe you
See I abducted you, so I tell ya what to do
I tell ya what to do, what to do, what to do

HE is going to strip her down and get her naked and then tell her what to do because HE abducted her. The controlling nature of this entire song is all about Kanye using his power and control to manipulate Katy into becoming hypnotized and obsessed with him so that she wants him to touch her all over. If that isn't a bit rape-y I don't know what is.


  1. I'm going to say the title of this piece is a bit of a misnomer as there is a version without Kanye West and the one with him is almost a remix.

    So the one without him, might be a better song about BDSM or supernatural fetish, while the Kanye one is definitely about rape.

  2. Thanks Mave, I didn't know about that one. :) I've updated the title.