"Blurred Lines," by Sarah Lock, Public Representative

It’s been over a week since MTV held it’s 2013 Video Music Awards. Even if you didn’t tune in, you’ve definitely heard about Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s scandalous duo by now. Long story short, it was embarrassing for both parties. Yet in the midst of all this Miley/Robin VMA performance aftermath, I feel inclined to take the time to discuss Thicke’s equally-problematic half of the show, his song “Blurred Lines” all on it’s own. Let’s take a look at the lyrical content of the song’s chorus:

And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl

I know you want it (3x)

You’re a good girl

Can’t let it get past me

You’re far from plastic

Talk about getting blasted

I hate these blurred lines

I know you want it (3x)

But you’re a good girl

The way you grab me

Must wanna get nasty

Go ahead, get at me

I didn’t actually find out what the song was about until just a few days ago. Not being a huge radio music fan, I had little interest in the song or it’s meaning, even after I had heard it a few times. And I’ve been hearing it everywhere: the supermarket, the thrift store, the mall, etc. I will admit the tune is catchy, but doesn’t that make it even more sinister? It’s so easy to ignore the meaning when it’s masked by a well-produced beat. 

For those who are unaware, the title of the song itself, “Blurred Lines”, literally refers to the blurred lines between a “yes” and a “no” regarding sex. Thicke declares that he’s looking for a “good girl”. From what I assume, he’s probably referring to a woman who is virginal (yet flirty), innocent (yet sexy), and will have sex with him whenever he wants it. He insists that the girl in question “wants it” too, regardless of whether or not she has an actual say in the situation. If you’ve watched the video, with it’s smiling, silent women, you can probably assume that she doesn’t. 

But there is more to “Blurred Lines”  than it’s highly problematic lyrics. The song reached such popularity with the help of it’s two different videos, the original R-rated edition and it’s slightly less racy, edited-to-be-PG-13 version. In the original video, female models wearing nothing but skin-tone G-string underwear parade around a fully-clothed Robin Thicke and his featured artists, T.I. and Pharrell. Attractive and accommodating, the women act as ornaments to Thicke’s song as they dance seductively and smile into the camera. If we use society’s logic as of recent, these women must “want it” from Thicke if they’re dressed like that. The only difference that exists between the original and edited video is that the women are slightly more clothed. Only barely though, in order to retain their status as sex objects for Thicke’s creative vision. 

"Blurred Lines", a song basically condoning sexual assault by trivializing sexual consent, made it to #1 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the Billboard R&B Songs chart. It is Thicke’s most successful song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart to date. His success with "Blurred Lines" doesn’t stop at the US, however; the song has become a global hit, climbing the music charts in Canada and in countries across Europe. Rape apologists are a worldwide phenomenon! 

Remember, this is a song about glorifying rape. It is also wildly popular, which should worry all of us. Is this situation upsetting? Yes. Surprising? Absolutely not. Consider the cultural context in which this song was allowed to become such a hit. Think back to the Steubenville rape case and how the rape victim was blamed so harshly for what was done to her. Across the country, ignorant authorities, parents and teenagers claimed that she was asking for it. Turn on the news and surely you’ll hear about the 30 year old teacher who raped his teenage student. His victim later committed suicide, yet a judge had the gall to state that she was “in control” of the situation, in control of her own rape. Recall every single instance of rape and assault where female victims are told again and again how they truly “wanted it”. 

And if all of the above isn’t enough to piss you off, here’s an endearing quote from Robin Thicke himself. When asked about the blatant objectification of women in his music video for “Blurred Lines”, Thicke replied, “We tried to do everything that was taboo, bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women.” He then said, “What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.” Sure you have, Robin. 

"Blurred Lines," by Sarah Lock, Public Representative

It’s been over a week since MTV held it’s 2013 Video Music Awards. Even if you didn’t tune in, you’ve definitely heard about Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke’s scandalous duo by now. Long story short, it was embarrassing for both parties. Yet in the midst of all this Miley/Robin VMA performance aftermath, I feel inclined to take the time to discuss Thicke’s equally-problematic half of the show, his song “Blurred Lines” all on it’s own. Let’s take a look at the lyrical content of the song’s chorus:

And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl

I know you want it (3x)

You’re a good girl

Can’t let it get past me

You’re far from plastic

Talk about getting blasted

I hate these blurred lines

I know you want it (3x)

But you’re a good girl

The way you grab me

Must wanna get nasty

Go ahead, get at me

I didn’t actually find out what the song was about until just a few days ago. Not being a huge radio music fan, I had little interest in the song or it’s meaning, even after I had heard it a few times. And I’ve been hearing it everywhere: the supermarket, the thrift store, the mall, etc. I will admit the tune is catchy, but doesn’t that make it even more sinister? It’s so easy to ignore the meaning when it’s masked by a well-produced beat. 

For those who are unaware, the title of the song itself, “Blurred Lines”, literally refers to the blurred lines between a “yes” and a “no” regarding sex. Thicke declares that he’s looking for a “good girl”. From what I assume, he’s probably referring to a woman who is virginal (yet flirty), innocent (yet sexy), and will have sex with him whenever he wants it. He insists that the girl in question “wants it” too, regardless of whether or not she has an actual say in the situation. If you’ve watched the video, with it’s smiling, silent women, you can probably assume that she doesn’t. 

But there is more to “Blurred Lines”  than it’s highly problematic lyrics. The song reached such popularity with the help of it’s two different videos, the original R-rated edition and it’s slightly less racy, edited-to-be-PG-13 version. In the original video, female models wearing nothing but skin-tone G-string underwear parade around a fully-clothed Robin Thicke and his featured artists, T.I. and Pharrell. Attractive and accommodating, the women act as ornaments to Thicke’s song as they dance seductively and smile into the camera. If we use society’s logic as of recent, these women must “want it” from Thicke if they’re dressed like that. The only difference that exists between the original and edited video is that the women are slightly more clothed. Only barely though, in order to retain their status as sex objects for Thicke’s creative vision. 

"Blurred Lines", a song basically condoning sexual assault by trivializing sexual consent, made it to #1 on the US Billboard Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs chart and the Billboard R&B Songs chart. It is Thicke’s most successful song on the Billboard Hot 100 chart to date. His success with "Blurred Lines" doesn’t stop at the US, however; the song has become a global hit, climbing the music charts in Canada and in countries across Europe. Rape apologists are a worldwide phenomenon! 

Remember, this is a song about glorifying rape. It is also wildly popular, which should worry all of us. Is this situation upsetting? Yes. Surprising? Absolutely not. Consider the cultural context in which this song was allowed to become such a hit. Think back to the Steubenville rape case and how the rape victim was blamed so harshly for what was done to her. Across the country, ignorant authorities, parents and teenagers claimed that she was asking for it. Turn on the news and surely you’ll hear about the 30 year old teacher who raped his teenage student. His victim later committed suicide, yet a judge had the gall to state that she was “in control” of the situation, in control of her own rape. Recall every single instance of rape and assault where female victims are told again and again how they truly “wanted it”. 

And if all of the above isn’t enough to piss you off, here’s an endearing quote from Robin Thicke himself. When asked about the blatant objectification of women in his music video for “Blurred Lines”, Thicke replied, “We tried to do everything that was taboo, bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women.” He then said, “What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.” Sure you have, Robin. 

Posted 1 year ago & Filed under robin thicke, vma, blurred lines, 11 notes

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Rape is Never Justified™ is a movement built to help, both, victims and survivors of sexual abuse and rape to find their voice and speak out. The most unique thing about RNJ is that, as a staff, we don't encourage you to report your act of violence, we don't encourage you to talk with anyone-professionals included, and we don't encourage you to turn to a Higher Power/religion to become a survivor. We only encourage you to fight when you're ready and willing- and we want to be here along the way.

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