Someone Needs to Tell Maroon 5 There's Nothing Sexy About Sexual Harassment

It seems Maroon 5 has been taking the “How to Terrify Women” class at the Robin Thicke School of Music. In the band’s latest song, "Animals," lead singer and “sexiest” creepster alive Adam Levine sings about “preying” on women while promising to “hunt you down” and “eat you alive”. (I don’t think he means this in the good way.)


You might think, given all the international focus on violence against women and sexual assault of late, that one of the biggest musical acts in the world might not be that into writing, releasing and promoting a “hit” that tries to make terrorizing women seem sexy. But instead of considering the message they’re sending to the 3.4 million people who report being stalked in the US alone, the band doubled down and made a video even more disturbing than the song.

In the new music video, Levine stars as a sociopathic stalker who works as a butcher. (At least he’s got a job, eh, ladies?) The famously annoying singer skulks in dark alleys to take pictures of an unsuspecting woman, going as far as breaking into the apartment of his “loved one” and laying next to her as she sleeps. The woman is played by Levine’s new wife, the Victoria’s Secret supermodel Behati Prinsloo.

In between shots of Prinsloo seductively stripping, we’re treated to images of Levine, shirtless, in a meat truck, where he proceeds to play with, punch and hug said meat. (We get it, you like women/meat!) After Levine is rejected by the woman in a nightclub, he fantasizes about having sex with her in a cascade of blood. And who said romance is dead?

I’m sure Levine and his bandmates think they’ve done something edgy, but there is nothing “alternative” about showing women being stalked, hunted, raped or killed because it’s something that happens every day.

What’s particularly disturbing about "Animals" is that the song’s message —that men are animals with no self control — implies there's nothing we can do about issues of sexual violence. If sexual predators are animals, or crazy, it absolves us of social responsibility, because you can’t control an animal, amiright? It’s just in their nature. It's a fairly insulting vision of male sexuality, as well as unfair to actual animals.

Maroon 5’s "Animals" comes on the heels of a Time article from professional provocateur Camille Paglia, who argued, apparently in all seriousness, that a culture that condones and glamorizes violence against women isn’t the problem— “evil” is. “Young women do not see the animal eyes glowing at them in the dark,” she wrote.

But men aren’t animals, and neither are rapists or stalkers—they’re human beings. Humans we’ve raised, humans who have grown up seeing “sexy” images of battered women, who have been brought up to think that women’s sole purpose is to be available to them. You can call that evil, I suppose, but it’s a man-made wrong no matter what you name it.

Levine sings that “you can run free... but you can’t stay away from me.” But we can. And we probably should.

Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

Close