Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" Gets the Feminist Response It Deserves
Robin Thicke’s recent song "Blurred Lines" has generated controversy due to its rape-y lyrics and demeaning music video. Women all over the country have been up in arms over the objectifying nature of the song. Now, Melinda Hughes, a girl power comedienne from LA, has created a new parody video sharing feminist responses to Thicke’s controversial song.
As a woman sympathetic to all victims of sexual abuse, I felt a tremendous amount of pain watching the "Blurred Lines" music video. Although the models are hot and the goat is cute, the undeniable popularity of this negative message has shot up some serious red flags.
Sexual abuse often leaves the victim feeling powerless. The “I know you want it” lyrics seem to perpetuate these victim-blaming reactions that leave many of us feeling powerless long after the abusive incident.
Unfortunately, there’s a “douchebag” percentage of the population that listens to music like this and takes it at face value. Certain members of our society may listen to this song and watch this video and think, “Hey, I deserve to have the hottest girl in the bar. She’s here for my amusement.” One in six American women have experienced a rape or attempted rape. The vast majority of rape is committed by someone the victim already knew. This assumption that women’s purpose is to serve a man’s fantasies, reinforced by violent male dominance, has been termed “rape culture." This video strives to combat rape culture and set an example. Women are funny, intelligent, and clever, and need to be represented as such!
My big question is... how did the majority of the American audience miss the song's intention, as Thicke himself was quoted, "to degrade women as much as possible.” Are we that hypnotized by three pairs of beautiful breasts? Or is that how commonplace the degradation of women is in our society — so common we don’t even recognize or notice when the artist goes out of his way to offend as much as possible? And even more perplexing, why was the intention of "Blurred Lines" to degrade women? This song does not play as a satire or a parody or a social commentary on a current issue. The song plays as just another R&B song, so why was it funny to the performers to make a joke on the shoulders of rape culture?
In the video, the men are given all the power and control. The models dance around with vacant expressions. The three fully-clothed men touch and gawk at them in whichever way they choose, without any reaction from the women. As a result, the women seem more like sex dolls for the amusement of the men than actual women. The women are not celebrated for their wit, their intelligence, their creativity, their loving nature, their ability to give life, or even their individual beauties. They are celebrated as sexual objects. Not only are the models stripped of their clothing, they are stripped of their voices, stripped of their individualities, stripped of everything. I think many women are tired of being represented in such a limited way.
When the value of women is continuously contingent on whether a woman fits the ideal of sexual beauty and whether she fulfills what we expect from her sexually, we create a society in which the goal of a woman is to be sexually appealing. The feminine contribution to society is reduced to looking sexy or being sexy. This view of women and their opportunities and roles in our society is something that needs to change.
Instead of seeing a rise in plastic surgery, I would like to see a rise in a feeling of self-worth in who we are as people from the inside out.
Instead of seeing a rise in eating disorders, I would like to see a rise in women business owners.
Instead of seeing a rise in music videos like "Blurred Lines," I would like to see more videos like our parody that show women as smart, sassy, sexy, empowered, and equal.
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