Close Listen: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Glorifies Rape Culture, Is also Catchy

Oh, Robin Thicke.

Oh, “Blurred Lines.”

“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke (who, I will admit, is super sexy) is everywhere these days.  The song, upon first and somewhat-distracted listening, is another generic pop song about sex or dancing or something…  It’s really catchy and it’s got some sonic soul.  The aesthetics of the song itself are groovy and cool.  If I hadn’t listened closely, I would probably like this song.

However, taking the time to listen to the lyrics provided me with the sadly not-so-shocking truth: “Blurred Lines” glorifies rape culture, portrays women as objects without agency, knowledge, or power, and suggests a problematic passage of women from one man to another.

Take a listen for yourself.

Wait… Before you do that, we need to talk about the video too.

THE VIDEO

The unrated version is below – very NSFW.  The video features three disaffected models wearing flesh-colored thongs…  As in, ONLY THONGS.  The boobies are out.  The models are sort of dancing.  It’s really rather weird.  Imagine what it was like to film that video.

Oh, so I just walk from side to side not really doing anything while these guys sing?  Okay.  Oh, and I’m naked.  Oh, I get a thong.  Great…

Awkward…

They let her wear clothes (sort of) but turned her into a road, on which they could drive their toys.

These very pretty, young women are strutting around while fully dressed men – all in suits –  perform a smarmy song around them.  It’s uncomfortable and everyone looks uncomfortable.  The women are making an effort to cover themselves some of the time, other times enjoying the bouncing… I guess.

At one point, one of the girls is holding a goat.  They’re wearing 90s shoes, plastic, and other weird stuff.  The men are all being horrible.

Ugh… Here it is.

BLURRED LINES – UNRATED – ROBIN THICKE, PHARRELL WILLIAMS, T.I.

THE LYRICS

The problem continues.

While the song is largely, well, stupid.  It’s a poorly written song about wanting to bang a hot chick.  We’ve all heard a lot of songs about this and many of them are offensive, reinforce stereotypes, and the objectification of women.  Even female artists participate in this a fair amount of the time.  Women often sing about how hot and desirable they are…  Men sing about their dicks.

The thing is, it’s a real problem to talk about women’s behavior meaning they want or need sex.  Consent is what’s sexy.  A girl dancing in a sexy way doesn’t mean she wants or needs to suck some dudes wiener. 

Women are allowed to be sexy, sensual, hot, attractive, pretty, and alluring without sex.  Nothing but consent is consent.  That’s just how it is.  Seeing a woman from across a room and having a feeling that she might “want it” doesn’t mean she really does.

Writing a song that repeats “I know you want it” six times per chorus sends a bad message.  It teaches young men and women that  seeming like they want sex is enough to consent actual sex.  But that’s not okay.  Sex should be something all participants agree to USING WORDS.  Not using eye movements or nods.  Telling men that they can tell when a woman wants sex by the way she dances isn’t helping anyone.  That’s teaching men that they know better.  They know something women don’t know.  Women need men telling them when sex should and will happen.

Except… WRONG.

The Chorus
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
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
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

 

2 thoughts on “Close Listen: Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” Glorifies Rape Culture, Is also Catchy

  1. is this a joke? you clearly have way too much time on your hands if you’re actually convincing yourself that any of that is valid argument. Those girls have consent for the video signed up and wore what they had auditioned and were being payed to wear they weren’t ‘forced’ secondly, at no point does Robyn thicke Say “I know you want it, but you don’t say it, gonna do it anyway, cus I’m a rapist”. You’ve drawn conclusions from lyrics that really have no underlying meaning at all. It’s a song. Just because he says that she knows she wants it, doesn’t mean he is going to ignore her saying no to him does it? No it doesn’t. Why not worry about slightly more important things or infact come up with a solution for a problem you find so important instead of you kicking and screaming and throwing your toys out of the pram.

    • In no way has the writer said the dancers were ‘forced’ to do this dance..
      Dancing is probably their profession actually. And although I understand where you come from when you say the song has no “underlying meaning at all”, you have to understand how certain lyrics and visuals can give people certain impressions. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure people don’t listen to the song and think ‘hey, I think I’ll go out tonight, find a hot girl and fuck her because she dances good and her tits bounce” but the lyrics don’t really suggest otherwise and it’s that suggestion that counts. An analyst could analyse the lyrics and the video and the way the women are portrayed and they would probably come to the same conclusion, that the entire piece doesn’t portray women in a very dignified or self respectful way and that the men are portrayed as ‘I must get what I want’ kind of people, hence the lyrics “I know you want it” and “Can’t let it get past me”. Doesn’t sound friendly does it?
      Also the remark about how the glorification of rape isn’t an important matter to face is really stupid and pretty offensive, whether the song glorifies it or not. Overall, you were rude to the writer who holds far more valid points than you do so YOU should find something better to do other than put people down for expressing their views on a matter they feel is important, okay?

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