If you turn on the radio, you’re bound to hear that catchy tune that is currently number 1 on the Billboard’s Hot 100 spot. You know, that one song that was performed at the VMA’s this year by Beetle Juice and Rugrats’ Cynthia Doll? In case you’re not already drowned by the noise pollution, here it is again to better familiarize you:
(WARNING: This is the uncensored version, NSFW.)
(If you’ve seen this video already and know the song, scroll down for the parodied version.)
The video you see above was posted on YouTube on August 31st, 2013. It features a few students at the University of Auckland Law Revue making a feminist inspired parody of the song.
Why you ask? It’s because both Thicke’s song and video have garnered a lot of attention; a lot of notorious and negative attention.
Tricia Romano over at The Daily Beast described it as “kind of rapey”; Alexander Smith of NBC News reported that five UK universities banned the song from their bars; VICE described the video as “horrible, misogynistic bullshit.” In fact, Pacific Standard posted an article using pictures from Project Unbreakable, which shows victims of rape holding up signs with various sentences that match both the song lyrics, and what was said to them by their rapists.
In short, like most songs played on the radio, it’s been thought that “Blurred Lines” promotes rape culture and objectifies women.
Thicke may be a bit thick headed, and not the brightest celebrity out there. He’s a self-described “family man”, he preemptively sued the family of Marvin Gaye and Bridgeport Music in terms of any copyright infringements (“Blurred Lines” copies the sound and feel of Gaye’s “Got to Give it Up”), and in a GQ interview, he said: “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.” After the video got banned on YouTube, my wife tweeted, “Violence is ugly. Nudity is beautiful. And the ‘Blurred Lines’ video makes me wanna…” You know. And that’s the truth. Right now, with terrorism and poverty and Wall Street and Social Security having problems, nudity should not be the issue.”
And of course, as soon as Thicke was called out on his comments, he defended them and said he was “just joking”.
The Huffington Post reported that Thicke said “Blurred Lines” was a “feminist movement”.
Is a man only as good as his word?