I read this article on Bust tonight, and after reading it, I couldn’t help think – as a feminist, should I be ashamed of my unabashed adoration of “Blurred Lines?”
Yes, to be clear – I am a feminist. And not a wishy-washy feminist who is afraid of the connotations the word has. I mean, it’s a no-brainer for me – do I want equality for my gender? Fuck yes. I’m a feminist and I’m proud of it.
Before I had even heard “Blurred Lines” for the first time, I had heard of the controversial lyrics – the ones that seemingly imply a rape (“I know you want it.”) And I’d read an interview Robin Thicke had done discussing his video, where he essentially said that it was a pleasure to degrade women in the video because he’s always been respectful to them in real life. That comment irked my feminist self, to be sure.
Look, I’m not defending the video at all. It is ridiculous and its sole purpose is to make men like my boyfriend compliment how hot the brunette model is (she is very pretty, to be fair.)
However, after I’d first heard the song, I didn’t understand what the fuss was about (the ridiculous video and sketchy/insulting comments Robin Thicke had made about degrading women put aside). As I listened to the song, I didn’t infer that it was about rape.
To be clear – if this is how you feel about the song, THAT’S OKAY! I’m not telling anyone how they should feel or interpret it. And part of me wonders if I’m justifying the song just because I like it so goddamn much. That would be weak and hypocritical of me, to be sure, but at the same time…maybe we’re just taking it a little too seriously?
But please, follow along as we dissect the deep lyrics of this song. Because in all honesty, personal feelings aside- I do not think it’s about the blurred lines between “consensual sex and abuse,” as Bust is saying.
Instead, I think it’s about being in a relationship but being sexually attracted to someone else, enough to consider having a one-night stand with someone you just meet. “Blurred lines” in this case refer to the questionable morals of hooking up with someone when you’re already in a relationship, or vice versa – trying to hook up with someone who isn’t single. Not the blurred lines between consensual sex and rape.
Considering this scenario, Robin Thicke is trying to convince a woman, who’s already in a relationship but is clearly attracted to him, to hook up. The key here is that the feelings are consensual:
“The way you grab me”
“I feel so lucky, you want to hug me”
And throughout the song, he tries to convince her to disregard her relationship:
“Ok now he was close, tried to domesticate you”
“Let me liberate you”
“You don’t need no papers/that man is not your maker”
And again, just to be crystal clear – I can totally understand why people are interpreting the song the way they are. And if you do, again, THAT’S OKAY. I’m not saying you’re wrong. But I just don’t interpret the song that way. And that’s okay too. It doesn’t make me any less of a feminist to break into an embarrassingly bad white girl dance every time it comes on the radio.
And now I’ve devoted an entire entry to dissecting this song – clearly, it is bedtime for me.