Link To The Photo Essay: http://www.psmag.com/culture/mouths-rapists-lyrics-robin-thickes-blurred-lines-66569/
There's Nothing Blurry About Why "Blurred Lines" Should Be Banned Oct 08, 2013
One of the most popular songs of 2013 is "Blurred Lines" by Robin Thicke. The song, also featuring Pharrell and T.I., has dominated pop charts in countries all over the world. It has received massive radio play…when it should not be played on the radio at all.
The lyrics of Blurred Lines are blatantly misogynistic and aggressive. All three male artists should be held responsible for presenting sexist and disturbing lyrics. Thicke sings "I know you want it" and "the way you grab me/must wanna get nasty". These words eternalize the notion that coming from women "no" really means "yes" and that just because they are giving you the time of day, they definitely want to have sex with you. He goes on to say "You the hottest bitch in this place", using "b*tch" as a synonym for "woman", following this T.I. raps "Yeah, I had a b*tch/but she ain't bad as you/so hit me up when you passing through/I'll give you something big enough to tear you’re a$$ in two." In T.I.'s verse - arguably the most brutal - he also uses "b*tch" as a word for "woman" or "girlfriend" (not once, but twice.) In the aforementioned lines, T.I proudly says that he left his "b*tch" because she didn't live up to his sexual expectations. The latter part of that phrase, and also in the bridge in which Thicke sings "Do it like it hurt", we hear the men suggesting that women are supposed to enjoy, or at least endure, pain during sex. Pharrell does not contribute much to the song lyrically - really, why is he even there? - but he does yell things like "hey, girl, come here!" in the background several times. Cat-calling is not flattering. It's actually incredibly terrifying.
A photo essay by Sezin Koehler in Pacific Standard magazine portrays victims of sexual assault holding signs with sentences on them that assaulters said to them before, during or after their assault. There are shocking similarities between the phrases on the signs and lyrics in "Blurred Lines". For this song to be played on radios is a forced revocation of horrifying phrases and memories to individuals who never want to live through them again.
Not only are the lyrics incredibly degrading to women, but the video itself features women used as props. Robin Thicke, Pharrell and T.I. are shown aggressively flirting with and touching barely dressed or naked women all throughout the video. All three of these men are married or engaged and have children. However none of them are berated for putting out such a video, but if a married woman with children was to release a similar video she would be labelled a harlot or cheater followed with public deliberation of whether or not she is a good parent. The director of the video and Robin Thicke have defended the video by saying it’s supposed to celebrate the beauty of women. So, apparently, women's bodies are only beautiful when they are used as background fillers male dominated videos.
This song does is perpetuate rape culture and double standards. People argue that "it's just a song", but it is almost entirely composed of lyrics that are vulgar and dehumanizing. It blurs the lines between consensual sex and sexual assault. Congratulations to Robin Thicke and company for creating a song and music video that display double standards like no other.