Robin Thicke’s hit song, “Blurred Lines,” has caused quite a commotion among feminists and people against date rape in general. In the song, Thicke sings about a “good girl” who is interested in confining sexual relations to marriage. However, Thicke is certain that her true desire is in having sex with him and he “can’t let it get past him” until he “liberates” her, hence the blurred lines. In response to this chauvinistic message, a group of Auckland law students created a feminist parody of his music video.
Here is what I love about this music video:
1. It flips gender roles, revealing how dehumanizing some representations of women really are.
We have grown up watching music videos, advertisements, etc. that depict half-naked women next to a man dressed for success. This normalizes the idea that a woman’s worth is based on her body, while a man is still valued for what he does and who he is. When the roles are reversed, it seems comical, not because a man can’t be aesthetically pleasing or fulfill sexual desires, but because men are supposed to be valued higher than women. While this ranking is not obvious when each gender fulfills the stereotypical positions, it is hard to ignore when the roles are reversed.
2. It allows women to be sexy while fully dressed.
It seems much of the entertainment industry has forgotten that women can be sexy without standing around in thongs and high heels, as the backup dancers do in Thicke’s music video. However, “Defined Lines” demonstrates how women can be sexy for the same reasons that men are. They can look attractive even while fully dressed and use their clothing to communicate their success.
3. It calls for gender equality.
Although the men are objectified in this music video, the intention is not for this to become a permanent stance. Rather, the role reversal is intended to help men understand what it feels like to be harassed. It demands that we resist gender roles, since “what you see on TV, doesn’t speak equality, it’s straight up misogyny.”
4. It welcomes diversity.
While Thicke claims to know every woman’s desires, the women in this music video acknowledge diversity in how each woman approaches sexuality. Some may want to “get nasty” with you on the first night, while others may not. Regardless, it is inappropriate to play guess and check by just grabbing a woman and seeing how she reacts. Instead, it is important to listen to what she wants. If she wants to be “domesticated” or have “papers” as Thicke’s “good girl” wants, then that needs to be respected. “Defined Lines” pushes acceptance a step further by also demanding that you never tell a woman to drop a size. If you want her, you have to take her the way she is.
5. Finally, it addresses how wrong the notion of “blurred lines” is.
Thicke claims he will keep trying until he gets what he wants, because he is certain it is what she wants as well. However, unless both parties outwardly consent, it is still rape. It is not acceptable to justify sex with someone who is “blasted” just because you feel like they should want it. That is really just ridiculous.