Posts Tagged ‘maroon 5’

So Maroon 5 released a new video a couple of days ago, “Animals,” and there are already feminist critiques of it out there, talking about its glamorizing of stalking, as well as the general message portraying men as uncontrollable animals that just have to “get” women, no matter what. What I want to throw into the discussion is this thought: were they intentionally trying to create a music video that might as well come with every copy of The Sexual Politics of Meat, just to really drive the point home?

For those of you not familiar with Carol J. Adams’ work, she basically talks about how the culture around meat-eating has a strong connection to sexism and to sexual violence against women. A few examples include our association of meat-eating with manliness, our tendency to compare women to animals like bunnies, the sexualization of meat and nonhuman animals, and the way in which we dissect and use women’s and animals’ bodies for our enjoyment.

Women as Maroon 5 sees them (illustration)

Seriously, this video is so on point in portraying everything that’s messed up about how society views women and animals, that it almost seems like a parody (don’t worry though, I assure you it’s not). He’s a manly man who needs to “hunt you down and eat you alive” (literally that is the chorus! What.), just like he does with his “regular” cow and pig meat. That’s what men do, they hunt weaker animals, women included.

Chickens , as Maroon 5 (probably) sees them (illustration)

The video, which is actually very painful to watch, portrays Levine as a weird guy who works at a butcher shop, and stalks a girl he sees there. Earlier in the video we see Levine hanging out with some animal corpses in what looks like a serial killer’s kill room but I guess is actually just the back of the butcher shop, while the lady he’s stalking walks in the street, undresses seductively in front of the mirror, and sleeps as he creeps into her room. Then they even provide us with a lovely sex scene, where we jump from shots of them passionately doing it to shots of Levine fondling those animals corpses from before (which are perfectly sequenced with his fondling of the lady’s various body parts). Later I guess having sex while thinking about animal corpses becomes not manly enough, so they even go as far as making out in a rain of thick blood. Truly inspiring.

It is seriously a textbook example of how consuming women’s and animals’ bodies is what it’s all about. How meat is sexy, how women are meaty, how it’s pretty much all the same to them, and how sexism and patriarchy go hand in hand with speciesism (the ideology which sees nonhuman animals as inferior to humans).

Maroon 5 in a visual representation of The Sexual Politics of Meat

The reason it’s important to discuss this really gross and creepy aspect of the video, and not just the stalking part, is because it is crucial to understand that as women, our subordination and oppression is tied to that of animals. It’s not a coincidence that they show Levine hanging out with dead animals and not, say, with cupcakes or spinach. There is a very specific meaning and ideology  in our culture around animal meat, and that ideology is very close to the one that makes people think that “Baby, I’m preying on you tonight” and “Maybe you think that you can hide, I can smell your scent from miles” are manifestations of a romantic and sexy situation.

So yeah, Maroon 5: women and animals were not made for your amusement and pleasure, we’re not body parts for you to consume, and we don’t enjoy being abused (whether through stalking like the lady or through butchering like the animals). Go find something else to grope.


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