Pop-Culture | Posted by Cindy C on 08/7/2013

I Hate These “Blurred Lines”

What do you do if you have a catchy song, a wanna-be-but-never-will-be-Justin Timberlake R&B singer and want to gather as many views on YouTube as possible? If you answered “by showing boobs” and “objectifying women” then you know how show-business works and why Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video became a viral success.

Recently everyone has gone crazy for the unrated version of  “Blurred Lines,” which shows topless girls dancing around like idiots and acting childish. If the clean version of the song was controversial, you might imagine what the unrated version looks like.

My problem with the unrated version is not the overwhelming nudity itself. I have many friends and relatives that professionally draw nude bodies and, although I prefer men, I think we can all agree that women’s bodies are beautiful. Also, I’m a part-time actress and will play Myrrhine from the ancient Greek theatrical play Lysistrata by Aristophanes (one of the greatest feminist works ever, in my opinion), which involves an erotic scene where I, too, will have to face performing in the nude (which I’m fine with). Besides, I live in Greece where male and female nudity is a large part of our history, art and culture.

But I simply can’t accept a 4 minute video that blatantly subjects naked women to the male gaze without a main idea, scenario, concept or connection to the song that shows boobs (even in the tackiest way) as art. It’s not like the song is called “Breasts, Tits and Boobs” and so showing boobs is at the very least relevant.

To make things worse, when GQ asked Robin Thicke about his controversial video he said, “People say, ‘Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?’ I’m like, ‘Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women.’” (WHAT?)

Moreover, some people claim that the lyrics are also misogynistic or “rapey” (but to be fair, it’s worth mentioning that many argue that the woman in the song wants to have sex and is expressing consent, but is concerned about her “good girl” image). Although, I would argue that with lyrics like, “I’ll give you something big enough that will tear your ass in two” and the infuriating fact that they have replaced the word “girl” with the word “bitch,” there’s some overwhelming evidence that this song is far from woman-friendly.

So, in conclusion, yeah the song is fun and has a catchy tune BUT the music video objectifies women and the lyrics are truly concerning. The fact that the director of the video is a woman doesn’t erase these facts, nor does Thicke’s pathetic, weird and ignorant claim that he’s trying to start a “feminist movement” through this song. Also, note to Thicke: if you have to state in your music that you have, ahem, impressive genitalia, you probably don’t (overcompensating much?).

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  • Camille @ at 2:19 pm, August 8th, 2013

    Fabulous analysis. This song makes me cringe.

  • Emma @ at 3:17 pm, August 12th, 2013

    Good analysis! There was a genderbent version of this video circulating on tumblr recently that demonstrated just how objectifying and creepy the video is, I can’t seem to find it again but I found it really interesting to see the roles reversed

  • Naomi @ at 10:00 am, August 13th, 2013

    I totally agree. The video made me squirm with discomfort, as do the lyrics. I cannot believe this song has become such a success. Every time I hear it on the radio, I change the channel.

  • Talia bat Pessi @ at 6:03 pm, August 16th, 2013

    You wonder sometimes what artists and record labels are thinking when they release a song as misogynistic as this.

  • Alright @ at 4:49 pm, September 8th, 2013

    How dare those girls be subjected to the MALE GAZE for FOUR MINUTES!!!!111 DOWN WITH THE PATRIARCHY!!!

  • Teach How Not To Rape, Do Not Teach How Not To Be Raped | thefeministblogproject @ at 3:11 pm, September 20th, 2013

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