Thanks to our Voices guest poster Lisa Molinelli for this post:
“What A Pleasure it is to Degrade Women” – Robin Thicke
I liked this song when I first listened to it. It was upbeat and funky, new and interesting. And then one day I was listening to the song in my car and I heard a lyric that had me shocked. Did he really say what I thought he did?! When I got home, I Googled the lyrics just to make sure and I was disgusted. That song was “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke.
The message in the song nagged at me; I was so stunned that it was allowed to play on the air. I decided to Google if there was anything else out there about his lyrics. I was happy to find that I wasn’t alone in my opinion that this song was completely degrading towards women!
I found an article from The Huffington Post. As I read it, it got even worse: the director of the song is a woman, who defended the song as fun, and even went as far to say that Robin didn’t know what he was saying when he said:
“We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, “We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this. 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.” So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, “Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.”
First, Robin Thicke admits that the song was meant to degrade women. HOW CAN THAT BE OK?!!! He says that he got approval from his wife before he did the song, saying that they wanted to have more fun in their lives. They could have written a song with the same beat and rhythm but with different lyrics don’t you think?
It doesn’t matter if he says he respects women, the song says differently and that is what the public hears. The lyrics- the message is blatant and clear as day. The lyric “I know you want it” says it all. The lines ARE blurred when No means Yes in the minds of men, young and old.
Furthering my research, I viewed the “clean” version of the video (because the original had the women naked and it was banned from YouTube) and I watched the women in the video perform. I wondered if they had any thoughts about the content and implications of the song beyond being seen in a music video. I wondered if any of them had daughters or nieces who would see that it is OK to be treated like an animal for profit. I wondered if they had any sons or nephews who would learn that it is OK to treat women as objects to own and control.
It isn’t just a song. It is a statement with a huge and impacting message that women are objects to play with, to control, and to disrespect.
And Robin, it’s your actions that speak your loudest truth, not what you say. Your video speaks volumes. To me, you are a misogynist and I pray that your three year old son learns differently.