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Adele and Maroon 5 song lyrics used for Stalking Awareness Month campaign

The aim is to demonstrate how pop songs 'could be interpreted to normalise unhealthy relationship behaviours'

Jess Denham
Thursday 11 February 2016 16:49 GMT
Adele's 'Hello' contains a lyric about 'calling a thousand times'
Adele's 'Hello' contains a lyric about 'calling a thousand times'

Adele’s comeback single “Hello” might have hit number one around the world, but a US student group is accusing her of “normalising sexual harassment” with its lyrics.

The University of Oklahoma’s Gender and Equality Centre has reportedly been sticking up posters around campus using famous songs to promote Stalking Awareness Month.

“I must have called a thousand times” is the quoted lyric from “Hello” while the line “Baby I’m preying on you tonight, hunt you down, eat you alive” from Maroon 5’s “Animals” is also referenced.

The campaigners have added a message beneath the lyrics reading: “Even great songs can normalise sexual harassment.”

Kathy Moxley, director of the Gender and Equality Centre, told Fox News that the posters are using “popular songs that students listen to, attract students’ attention and to bring awareness to subtle messages in popular song lyrics”.

The examples were chosen to “demonstrate how aspects of popular media could be interpreted to normalise unhealthy relationship behaviours”, with Moxley hoping that the campaign will “begin a much needed conversation about harassment on college campuses”.

She added that the posters were not intended to attack the songs or singers, but to raise awareness.

Representatives for Adele and Maroon 5 did not immediately respond to our requests for comment.

It is not just songs that have been used to highlight the potentially dangerous ‘stalker myth’. A recent study found that watching romcoms such as Love Actually that present stalkerish behaviour in a misleading positive light can make women more likely to tolerate it in real life.

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