Irit Dekel is an Israeli singer-songwriter, as well as an actress. On her Spotify page, she says she “imagines music as theatre”– her primary aim is to tell a story. In “Just Because,” a song off of Dekel’s 2021 EP Hello Acoustic, she tells the story of a crush turned prospective romance turned failed-before-it-even-started relationship. Dekel chronicles the feelings of a wronged woman, explaining where the feelings are coming from and how they are completely avoidable with just a little respect from the other person.
“You say ‘come back to my place’
But I know it’s getting late
I don’t want to complicate, so
Why you look like I slap your face”
Dekel describes her date inviting her back to his place for the night, and his dissatisfaction when she declines. Despite a successful night otherwise, her date seems to expect her to come home with him and “give it up.” Her date is taking her decline as a personal attack, instead of trying to understand that she might have other reasons for not wanting to go home with him.
“Just because I didn’t give it up that first night
Doesn’t mean that I’m not keen to”
Dekel’s lyrics are lightheartedly chiding, yet still make a clear statement. Just because Dekel didn’t give it up immediately doesn’t mean she never will. At the same time, just because she is interested in this person doesn’t mean she ever has to.
“I’ve been talking to you friends
They needed contradiction
Now they know your piece of ass
Was a total piece of fiction”
In the next verse, we find out that Dekel’s date lied and told his friends that she did in fact “give it up.” But instead of being angry that this person lied about intimate information, Dekel laments over how it could have actually come true if only this person had respected her. He wouldn’t have had to lie if he accepted her original decision and waited until she was ready. She may have been perfectly willing to “give it up” at some point, but he lost any chance of that after he became offended by her decision and fabricated stories about their activities to his friends.
Dekel’s playful but firm take on this frustrating experience, one shared by many women, is a callout to disrespectful men and an ode to disrespected women. If a woman doesn’t “give it up” she’s often seen as a prude. But if she does, she’s too easy. Dekel wants to simply exist and do whatever she wants with her body without it having a deeper meaning about her character.
“Just Because” foregrounds respect and honesty as nonnegotiable values in a relationship. Dekel champions the idea that women should not put up with anyone that does not radiate those qualities. This song is empowering, a reminder to not compromise on what you are comfortable with in order to please someone you like or because you want to avoid being perceived in a certain way. Women are allowed to be unapologetic in their decisions and free from feeling responsible for others’ reactions, and Dekel conveys that perfectly.