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Is Robin Thicke’s Video “Blurred Lines” Degrading to Women?

Posted on the 30 July 2013 by Real Talk @talkrealdebate2012

Robin Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell Williams“Blurred Lines” is the latest hit from R&B singer Robin Thicke.  The song features vocals from rapper T.I. and singer/producer Pharrell.  Two music videos were released on YouTube: a censored and uncensored version (the uncensored which was for a time banned on the video-sharing site).  In both versions the men are surrounded by models.  Despite being released in March, the music video is still garnering backlash from critics. 

Last month, Tricia Romano of the Daily Beast stated that the song along with the video “trivializes rape culture.”  Romano states that the phrase “Blurred Lines” and the lyrics like “I know you want it” encourage the idea “no does not always mean no” and that some women who are raped are asking for it.

Robin Thicke

Other critics have pointed that the women in the video are being subjected by the men.  Unlike the fully clothed men, the women are dancing around naked or near to it.  The women are made vulnerable with this distinction.

Here is the “censored” version of the video:

So what do you think?  Is this song and/or video misogynistic? 

I will be the first to admit that the beat of the song is kind of catchy.  My problem with it is when you really read the lyrics.  Thicke and company can argue the video was done “tongue-in-cheek” but the rape culture isn’t something that should be ignored or even demeaned.  Saying that it is in a girl’s nature to want to “get nasty” promotes the thought that girls always want to have sex; regardless if they decline.

Thicke performing the song
The video was meant to be provocative.  And I think they’ve achieved their mission.

What do you think?


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Twitter: @adrakontaidis & @talkrealdebate

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