It has been “news” for a while. Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” is the terrible sexist song and video that perpetuates rape culture. That’s what’s been coming up in my facebook news feed. Articles and people talking about it. But i’ll be honest: I’m not offended, and I’d like to know why I “should” be.
I am not saying that other people shouldn’t be offended; everyone has the right to be offended about whatever they choose to be. I am just not sure why this is causing so much offense and upset.
1. Semi-naked girls in the video: unlike almost every other popular pop song? How?
2. Blurred Lines: so what I can grasp from this is that people take this to mean the blurred lines between rape and consent, and that as such the song advocates rape. Personally, while reading the lyrics, I saw no evidence of rape advocacy in any way. Definitely descriptions of finding women attractive and wanting to sleep with them, but no reference to non-consensual sex.
3. The video is derogatory to women: again, this seems to be based on semi-naked women in a music video. Personally I’m more offended by the fact that the idea of a semi-naked women is offensive to the general public. We never have this outrage when we see men with their shirts off.
4. The lyrics are derogatory to women: this is the argument that I can most see. I can understand why some people might be offended by the use of the word animal to describe a woman. However, women frequently use the word animal to describe men without concern for how it might seem derogatory AND sex is often described as animalistic – so when talking about about sex this is not always inappropriate. The lyric is “baby, you’re an animal / it’s in your nature.” Technically, biologically this is true. Now, while I am not arguing that this was necessarily his intention (although i’m not certain it wouldn’t be), this would not be viewed as a bad lyric in reference to a man or (when said in the right way) to any human.
5. Women as objects: how does this make women objects? By talking about them looking good and wanting to sleep with them? This is a statement of how someone feels and what they want. It is in no way necessarily a statement on the persons’ view of the woman as an object. If I dress up to go out and my boyfriend says I look good I’m going to take that as a compliment, not be offended that he’s treating me as an object. Which leads me to my next point: Most of us (women) are hypocrites about this. It is true that we dress up to feel good about ourselves, and most people will say that they dress up for themselves. But who doesn’t like a good compliment every now and again? Being told you look good is not calling you an object; rather, it is a statement that the speaker believes you look attractive at that moment. Whether or not they have the right to say that or should say that is a whole different question.
I am not saying this song is not offensive. I am just interested by the outrage, and am wondering why people find it offensive. I actually find the “Blurred Lines” title to refer more to the blurred lines between what a woman might actually want and how she behaves. He describes a “good girl” in a club dancing provocatively. No, I’m not saying she should want sex if she’s behaving that way, but I am saying that it’s fair that men are sometimes concerned by the mixed signals sent by women in these situations. The fact that men are recognizing the potential for mixed signals does not necessarily make them misogynistic. It is the way they respond to them that ought to inform the way we view them.
Maybe it makes me a bad woman to find this song interesting and somewhat enjoyable, but that’s how I feel. Maybe I’m wrong about my reaction to the song, and that’s why I want to learn why you feel they way you do about it.
So what exactly, if anything, offends you about this song/video?