Do You Really Want To Hurt Me

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This song by the British New Wave band Culture Club came out in 1982 on their debut Kissing To Be Clever album.  It was released as a single which charted #1 in the UK and #2 in the US.  Boy George came up with the lyrics, but the songwriting credit went to all the members in the band including Michael Emile Craig a black Jamaican on bass guitar, Roy Ernest Hay a blond Englishman on guitar and keyboards, Jonathan Aubrey Moss their Jewish drummer and percussionist and George Alan O’Dowd an Irish gay man who sang the lead vocals.  George said later that he wrote the lyrics about his relationship with Jon Moss, as they had an affair for about six years that was kept hidden from the public, and George often felt hurt and emotional.  MTV fans became fascinated with Boy George’ sexual ambiguity, his androgynous style of dress, the braids in his hair, his big hats, and the colorful costumes that he wore.  Boy George had been wearing makeup and women’s clothes since his school days, and although he exaggerated it for publicity, it was his preferred style.

Boy George said, “The most powerful songs in the world are love songs.  They apply to everyone – especially kids who fall in and out of love more times than anyone else.  At the end of the day, everybody wants to be wanted.”  ‘Do You Really Want To Hurt Me?’ was a song about being gay and being victimized for your sexuality.  Boy George performed the song on BBC music program Top Of The Pops wearing something resembling a white nightie with dreads wrapped in colorful ribbons and a face caked in makeup before it was a hit.  George said that he was told that his people couldn’t promote this record because they weren’t sure what it is.  They didn’t know if it was it was a bird, or a plane, or is it a drag queen.  The ensuing tabloid frenzy with the Superman like question headlines gave the song all the publicity it needed and it reached the top of the charts.

This was the first hit for Culture Club and they got their big break appearing on the Top of the Pops television show in England when Shaky Stevens was scheduled to perform on the show got the flu and a slot opened up for them.  Culture Club put out six albums and they sold more than 150 million records worldwide.  All of the songs on their first two albums were inspired by the love affair that Boy George was having with the drummer.  ‘Karma Chameleon’ from the group’s second album Colour by Numbers went to #1 in 1983 on the US Billboard Hot 100 and became the group’s biggest hit and only US #1 single among their many top 10 hits.  Their time in the spotlight was brief, as they were fraught with personal tensions, including Boy George’s drug addiction.  By 1986, the group had broken up, leaving behind several singles that rank as classics of the new wave era.

Give me time to realize my crime
Let me love and steal
I have danced inside your eyes
How can I be real
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Precious kisses words that burn me
Lovers never ask you why
In my heart the fire is burning
Choose my color find a star
Precious people always tell me
That’s a step a step too far
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Words are few
I have spoken
I could waste a thousand years
Wrapped in sorrow, words are token
Come inside and catch my tears
You’ve been talking but believe me
If it’s true you do not know
This boy loves without a reason
I’m prepared to let you go
If it’s love you want from me
Then take it away
Everything’s not what you see it’s over again
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry
Do you really want to hurt me
Do you really want to make me cry

The challenge today is to focus on this song and use it for inspiration in any form of creative expression (including but not limited to short stories, a piece of flash fiction, poems, lyrics, artwork, photography, (etc.) that you can share with the writing community.  Alternatively, if you are a musician, and you have played this song solo or in a group, it would be awesome if you could post a video to showcase your own work.  You could write about how you learned to play the chords or how you learned the lyrics.  There is no need to stick with this song, as if you like to write about another Culture Club song or the group as a whole that would work.  You could chose a song by the Thompson Twins, Spandau Ballet, Wham!, Dead or Alive, the Human League or whatever popular ‘80s new wave group that you desire, so basically this writing challenge is wide open. If you want to write about the Wedding Singer, or Adam Sandler, or Drew Barrymore any of that will work.  The whole point of this MM Music challenge is to get you to think, to trigger something so that you can show how creative you are and everyone is welcome to participate.

Gay bashing and gay bullying is verbal or physical abuse against a person who is perceived by the aggressor to be gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, including persons who identify as heterosexual. A recent article revealed that hate crimes against LGBT people in the UK have surged by nearly 80 per cent in recent years, and many of the incidents that take place are thought to be unreported.  The article went on to say that 60 percent of gay men feel scared to hold hands in public.  The term homosexuality was invented in the 19th century, with the term heterosexuality invented later in the same century to contrast with the earlier term.  In 1891, Oscar Wilde a writer married with two children began an affair with Lord Alfred Douglas, and his father, the Marquis of Queensberry accused him of being homosexual.  At this time in Britain they had the death penalty for sodomy and it was not abolished till 1967, when sex between consenting men was decriminalized.  Wilde was arrested and tried for gross indecency and he was sentenced to two years of hard labor.

Prior to the 2003 Supreme Court ruling in Lawrence v. Texas, same-sex sexual activity was illegal in fourteen US states, Puerto Rico, and the US military.  The 6-3 decision ruled that this private sexual conduct is protected by the liberty rights implicit in the due process clause of the United States Constitution.  The regulation of LGBT employment discrimination in the United States varies by jurisdiction, as there is no federal statute explicitly addressing employment discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity.  Gay pride or LGBT pride is the positive stance against discrimination and violence toward lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) people to promote their self-affirmation, dignity, equality rights, increase their visibility as a social group, build community, and celebrate sexual diversity and gender variance.

In the United states bisexual activist Brenda Howard is known as the “Mother of Pride” for her work in coordinating the first LGBT pride march.  Howard also originated the idea for a week-long series of events around Pride Day which became the genesis of the annual LGBT Pride celebrations that are now held around the world every June.  June was chosen to commemorate the Stonewall LGBT riots following a police raid on the Stonewall Inn in the Greenwich Village neighborhood of Manhattan, New York City, which occurred on Saturday June 28, 1969.  The first national gay rights organization, the Mattachine Society, was formed in 1951, was created by Harry Hay.  The first lesbian rights organization in the US was founded in 1955.  The Daughters of Bilitis was founded in San Francisco, California by activist couple Del Martin and Phyllis Lyon.  October 20 is now known as Spirit Day, which is a day where millions wear purple to show that they stand against bullying and to show their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) youth. May 24 is Pansexual Visibility Day, which is a day to celebrate and recognize those who identify as being pansexual.  LGBT History Month is a month-long celebration that is specific to the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada.  This is celebrated in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11.

I am guilty of having repeated some off color jokes and although I can never unring that bell, I have evolved since then and I believe that all people need to be treated with respect and shown dignity.  If any of these topics make you feel like you would like to write something, that would work out great for this challenge.  If you want to write about how much the world has changed concerning the LBGTQ community, that would make a good post.  If you were bullied or bashed or you lost a job because of discrimination, that would make a perfect story.  If you want to write about Pete Buttigieg the mayor of South Bend, Indiana running for President, that will fit this theme.  If you ever marched in a Pride Parade, it would be great to read how that made you feel.  I realize that this topic may be sensitive for a lot of people, so write your story as a fiction if that helps.  Was US World Cup team member Kelley O’Hara kissing her girlfriend during the parade a newsworthy story?

Dylan Hughes has next Friday, July 19 with her First Line Friday and then I will be back on Friday, July 26 with another MM Music Challenge where we will discuss the song ‘Wild Wild Life’.  When you are finished writing your post, create a ping back to this post, but you can also place your link in the comments section below if you desire.  This Mindlovemisery’s Menagerie MM Music challenge has a special feature called Mr. Linky, which I have working now.  This will allow you to instantly link your post after you click the Mr. Linky Button, and then follow the directions that are given.

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