Timber Kesha

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Lyrics to Timber
It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget
The bigger they are, the harder they fall
This biggity boys are diggity out
I have 'em like Miley Cyrus, clothes off
Twerking on a roseton, timber
Crazy town, booty on, timber
That's the way we like the war, timber
I'm sticking it in oil spill
She say she won't, but I bet she will, timber
Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down
Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down
It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget
It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget
Look up in the sky, it's a bird, it's a plane
No, it's just me, ain't a damn thing changed
Live in hotels, swing on plane
Left to say, money ain't a thing
Club jumping like it going down, bowl it
Order me another round, homie
We about to climb, wild, 'cause it's about to go down
Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down
Swing your partner round and round
End of the night, it's going down
One more shot, another round
End of the night, it's going down
It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget
It's going down, I'm yelling timber
You better move, you better dance
Let's make a night, you won't remember
I'll be the one, you won't forget

Chorus 3 (Kesha):30 The last 30 seconds or so is more of the vocal break, with Kesha doing more of her vocalizations while Pitbull injects 'Timber' from time to time. So Kesha really carries the load here, with about 2:15 of the song devoted to her vocals (accordingly, she gets most of the screentime in the video). Chorus 3 (Kesha):30 The last 30 seconds or so is more of the vocal break, with Kesha doing more of her vocalizations while Pitbull injects 'Timber' from time to time. So Kesha really carries the load here, with about 2:15 of the song devoted to her vocals (accordingly, she gets most of the screentime in the video).

Songwriters: ISAAC, BREYAN STANLEY / RENEA, PRISCILLA / SANDERSON, JAMIE MICHAEL ROBERT / GOTTWALD, LUKASZ / WALTER, HENRY RUSSELL / SEBERT, KESHA ROSE / PEREZ, ARMANDO / OSKAR, LEE / OSKAR, KERI / ERRICO, GREG / ARRINGTON, STEVE / PARKER, ROGER / CARTER, CHARLES CEDE
Publisher: Lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Kobalt Music Publishing Ltd., Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
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Timber Kesha

*trigger warning for sexual assault*

So we’ve all heard about how gross the song ‘Blurred Lines’ is by Robin Thicke (see here for a quick review), and we’ve heard some backlash against R Kelly for being a terrible human being in his new album Black Panties (see here). But I have yet to hear anything about how shockingly terrible ‘Timber’ is. I think speaking up about the rampant misogyny in pop culture is important. Especially with ‘Blurred Lines’, it has brought the feminist community together. I mean, take a look at some of the excellent feminist parodies that have come out of it! (my favorite is ‘Ask First’) And ‘Timber’ perpetuates some rape myths that really deserve national attention. Keyboard accessories for wrist pain. The main issues are that Ke$ha might be a rapist, Pit Bull might be a rapist, and sex isn’t about dominating someone else (well, there is a healthy consenting BDSM community, but more on that later).

Women can be–and some are–rapists. Statistics for this kind of crime are some of the most variable that I have encountered (a discussion on stats of men as victims here 1 or 2). I don’t even have a guess to venture. I’ve heard numbers anywhere from 1 in 10 to 1 in 71. But it does happen, and the more we can talk about it and support survivors, the more we are going to learn about this problem. Ke$sha certainly isn’t helping. She says over and over in ‘Timber’ “Let’s make a night you won’t remember”, implying she’s going to have sex with you when you’re blackout drunk. That’s rape! That’s really not okay! Why aren’t we mad about that? Ke$ha shouldn’t threaten to rape people! And, she thinks you’re going to love her for it chanting “I’ll be the one you can’t forget”. It’s haunting, especially considering men experience higher rates of PTSD after rape (Yea that’s right, it emotionally affects men too.) So chances are, he might have trouble forgetting and moving on. We as a culture have a lot of trouble recognizing that men can be victims too. What was done to them doesn’t make them any ‘less of a man’, whatever that means. Malesurvivor.org is a good resource if you have questions about the healing process for men. The rape of men is a really tragic national problem that we should be approaching with respect and seriousness, not trivializing and glorifying to a catchy tune.

Ke$ha doesn’t specify a gender, so I’m being heteronormative by assuming she’s talking about a man. Ke$ha could definitely be taking about attacking another woman. She even came out as bi-sexual. Women do rape other women too (here is a discussion on prevalence). These statistics vary widely. We do know that lesbians, and bisexuals especially, are at greater risk for experiencing victimization by a man than straight girls (Balsam, et al., 2005). Some of them inexcusably act out this abuse by abusing other women (or other men). Again, this is a serious problem. Ke$ha singing about it charmingly is really disturbing.

Pit Bull’s lyrics are also pretty disturbing. “She say she won’t, but I bet she will, Timber!” and this “One more shot, another round, End of the night, it’s going down” seem to directly threaten date rape. Let me be clear, if she says no, then later after you get her drunk says yes, that is rape. If sex doesn’t come up sober, and then she gets drunk and says yes, that’s rape too. Drunk people can’t consent. Don’t have sex with them. Seriously. Waiting until the next day will not be the end of the world, I promise. And if you’re worried that tomorrow she won’t want to have sex with you, then she never wanted to.

Timber Kesha Song

Timber kesha clean

Some people will hear this song and say that women shouldn’t drink so much if they don’t want to be raped (gag!). A hangover, not rape, should be the punishment for drinking too much. No matter how much anyone drank, rape is always the fault of the rapist. Of course, binge drinking is not a healthy hobby for anyone. We’ve all heard advice on safe drinking, like alternating with nonalcoholic drinks, and eating well. Have you ever been told to limit your drinking to make sure you don’t rape anyone? I’m guessing not, but maybe it should be our advice. Offenders are drunk in up to 75% of sexual assaults (Abbey, 2011), and drunk offenders are more likely to injure their victims than sober offenders (Brecklin & Ullman, 2010). If Pit Bull had held off on another round or two, maybe he would have listened to the woman who said she won’t have sex with him.

Timber Kesha Youtube

Kesha

Also, is shouting ‘Timber!’ over and over really the best way to portray sex? Sex isn’t a domination of someone. Women aren’t trees to be sawed until they yield to sex. And I hope that finally collapsing into bed to have sex with a sober consenting partner is the beginning of a sensual experience, not the climax. BDSM is different; it’s a consenting partnership where boundaries and limits are thoroughly discussed beforehand. What Pit Bull is talking about is the rape of a nonconsenting woman. Even if we give him a huge benefit of the doubt and decide that the woman in question soberly changed her mind under no coercion, this analogy of sex is really problematic. Sex shouldn’t be this resource, this commodity that men take from women. Thinking of sex as a commodity has all sorts of negative consequences, like the objectification of women, and the minimizing of rape. An extreme example of that is when a judge actually decided that when a sex worker was raped at gun point, it was really just theft. Pit Bull and Ke$ha need to sit down and think about what sex means to them, and what it means to their partners, male or female. Until they do, however, I think we all can do that too. And we can talk about it. I know when this song comes on the radio, I speak up. I challenge all of you to as well!

Thanks for reading, feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

References

Abbey, A. (2011). Alcohol’s role in sexual violence perpetration: Theoretical explanations, existing evidence and future directions. Drug and alcohol review, 30(5), 481-489.

Balsam, K. F., Rothblum, E. D., & Beauchaine, T. P. (2005). Victimization over the life span: a comparison of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and heterosexual siblings. Journal of consulting and clinical psychology, 73(3), 477.

Brecklin, L. R., & Ullman, S. E. (2010). The roles of victim and offender substance use in sexual assault outcomes. Journal of interpersonal violence, 25(8), 1503-1522.