Robin Thicke's risque video and song Blurred Lines were enough to earn the singer Sexist of the Year via a poll conducted by the End Violence Against Women Coalition. The coalition represents more than 60 different women's groups in the UK whose goal it is to end domestic and sexual violence.
Sarah Green who is a spokesperson for the coalition stated, "Our heartfelt congratulations to a worthy winner Robin Thicke for both his concerted sexist efforts, and in the end the platform he created for rejection of the use of women as objects to promote mediocre pop. Sexism might be de rigeur for some music industry 'creatives' but the times they are a-changin'."
Thicke released two versions of the Blurred Lines video. One was a more x-rated take which featured topless dancers. Although the song and video were both smash hits, many women's groups and feminists around the world felt that they were prime examples of misogyny. Bertie Brandes from vice.com wrote, "That the video would be interpreted as an offence against women should be obvious to anyone who’s ever met a woman, because feminism is about equality, and watching naked girls dance awkwardly around fully-dressed predatory men while they sing “do it like it hurt” is an incredibly obvious visual imbalance."
The lyrics to the song have also been criticized for promoting rape, "OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you, but you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature, just let me liberate you” and “I feel so lucky … You wanna hug me … What rhymes with hug me?”
— Who Needs Vowels (@DNLDWKM) March 25, 2014
And what does Thicke "win" for being voted sexist of the year? The coalition claimed it would send him a voucher to download the song Respect by Aretha Franklin. In case you're wondering, Britain's Prime Minister, David Cameron, was runner up for the second year in a row.
It's certainly been an up and down year for Thicke. Blurred Lines was a top Billboard hit in 2013 and was one of the best-selling digital downloads of all time. Although Thicke has made six albums in his career, before Blurred Lines, he never really crossed over from the R&B audience to the mainstream. However, despite his career success, he and his wife Paula Patton separated after nine years of marriage after allegations of his infidelity surfaced.
Image via Wikimedia Commons