1. It’s an annoying song. You’re walking though a store one day – or, say, working a shift in a store perhaps – when you hear this song, with a very heavy and repetitive beat. You don’t even need to hear the lyrics, this song is annoying. So annoying. Thirty seconds in, you’re considering going to the front desk and asking them to save you from this torment. Or request that they never play it again at the risk that you may quit. Or leave the store, whatever.
2. It’s lyrics are linked with rape-culture. A few days later you’re hearing all this controversy about a song called ‘Blurred Lines’ which supposedly about rape. You listen to it, preparing to be disgusted and the first thing that strikes you is it’s that goddamn song. It’s following you, and it turns out to be about rape. The chorus goes a little like ‘You’re a good girl/ I know you want it’ and the title itself, ‘Blurred Lines’, are references to dubious consent, and uncomfortably close to things often reportedly said by rapists to or about their victims.
Well, this has to be the worst song ever you think. But it gets worse.
3. It’s lyrics are generally sexist. You listen a little closer to the song, and are further disgusted by the lyrics. The girl that the song is directed at is repeatedly referred to as ‘bitch’, and also as an animal that needs domesticating. A particularly charming line is:
4. It’s lyrics generally badly written.
‘You wanna hug me / Hey, hey, hey / What rhymes with hug me? / Hey, hey, hey’
A little wiki search tells you that they spent 30 minutes writing the song. Unsurprising.
5. Robin Thicke claims it’s totally about female empowerment!
No, really. “That’s what great art does. It’s supposed to stir conversation […] It’s saying that women and men are equals as animals and in power. ” X
He claims they wrote it to encourage girls to embrace their animal instincts, to not be afraid to be ‘bad girls’.
He claims this message is ‘actually a feminist movement in itself.’
And if that’s not bad enough,
6. He wrote it about his wife.
‘She’s my good girl. And I know she wants it because we’ve been together for 20 years.’ X
Is it just me, or does that make it even creepier?
7. It’s video is awful. You decide to look up the video and instantly regret it.
I’m sorry, but how do they think they can claim this song is about men and women being equal, when the video features women literally being used as objects.
Flitting around, naked, posing, pulling vacant or silly expressions, being grouped and prodded by the guys. Who, fyi, are completely clothed. Yeah, I am now completely buying that this song is about equality.
Supposedly the video’s aim was to be tongue-in-check. The director claimed ‘I wanted to deal with the misogynist, funny lyrics in a way where the girls were going to overpower the men. […] It also forces the men to feel playful and not at all like predators. I directed the girls to look into the camera, this is very intentional and they do it most of the time; they are in the power position.’ X
Excuse me when I say that this wasn’t exactly how I read the message of the video myself. Apart from the fact that the guys are still very predatory and controlling in their actions towards the girls, the only claim the girls could possibly have to power over the men would be with their bodies.
Thankfully, some great people on youtube have responded with feminist versions of the song and it’s video, this one is particularly great and spot on!
Unfortunately, this is currently one of the top comments,
And so the plight continues.