Nada Surf on Rape Culture: “Robot”
From Nada Surf’s second full length album The Proximity Effect (1998), “Robot” tells the tale of normalized rape culture in the party scene:
You’re just walking ’round your little mazesFiguring out how to get byHow to get laid and get famousGet yourself paid, impress the guys
You’re taught to divide the world intoBuddies and wives, sluts and wimpsAnd ever since, you’ve kept a scorecardHow else to prove you’re such the pimpYou are just a robotExecuting a programGet on the train where the crowd is tighteningTo push yourself up against a girlAnd when you’re not getting play, you keep tryingYou don’t understand the consensual wayYou are just a robotAn imitation of a manShe told me one night when we were lying quiet and cold“Something not right”It had been months since the good timesOnce there was sun and now there was night
And she said to me as she turned on the light“There’s something you don’t know keeps me from feeling rightI once knew a guy, I’d seen him aroundHe knew all my friends, he came from town
One night at a party, we both were thereHe followed me into the bathroom, he grabbed my hair”And she said, “I still remember just how the floor feltAnd how my head would hit the tub”Now where is that robotIs he alive or is he done?Does he breathe air that I breatheIs he kept warm by the same sun?
Image via Nada Surf