blurred lines MIA: Before you sing along with this catchy #1 hit, you might want to know this. [NSFW]

 

 

 

 

By MIA FREEDMAN

So I’m driving along in my car with the kids in the backseat, tapping the steering wheel and happily nodding my head while I sing about brutally anally raping a girl.

You’ve probably done the same thing. Sung about rape in the shower, at the bus-stop, on your way to work, in the playground, at the breakfast table with your family without realising that’s what you were actually singing about.

Or maybe you sang about anal rape while you were watching The Voice final. Maybe you hummed along with Robin Thicke as he performed his number one song, Blurred Lines, to a live audience of millions of Australians, most of them families.

Clearly I’m not the only one who wasn’t paying attention to the grotesque lyrics of this catchy tune.

Congratulations Robin Thicke. You have unofficially plunged the music industry’s treatment and depiction of women below the gutter and into the foulests depths of the sewer.

You can watch the “clean” video clip for Blurred Lines below, and the unrated NSFW version here.

Now let’s talk a calm stroll through the lyrics of this song – because you may be surprised when you read what they are.

If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page
Maybe I’m going deaf,
Maybe I’m going blind
Maybe I’m out of my mind

Ok – I can deal with all that. Pretty standard pop nonsense.
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
Hey, hey, hey
You don’t need no papers
Hey, hey, hey

That man is not your maker

Not enamoured with the way he compares a women to a dog who needs ‘papers’ to determine her breed. But this is merely a warm up.
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

This is where it starts to get disturbing. This is where the name of the song becomes disturbingly clear. Blurred Lines refers to when women say no but mean yes. “I know you want it but you’re a good girl”.

What’s a good girl? What does that mean?
What do they make dreams for
When you got them jeans on
What do we need steam for
You the hottest bitch in this place
I feel so lucky
Hey, hey, hey
You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with hug me?
Hey, hey, hey

One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Yo, from Malibu, to Paribu
Yeah, had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So hit me up when you passing through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two
Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it’s almost unbearable
Then, honey you’re not there when I’m
With my foresight bitch you pay me by
Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that
So I just watch and wait for you to salute
But you didn’t pick
Not many women can refuse this pimpin’
I’m a nice guy, but don’t get it if you get with me
Shake the vibe, get down, get up
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
What you don’t like work?

I don’t know what half of that means. But I do know this: “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two” is a sentence about raping the ‘good girl’. The girl who ‘wants it’ even though she says she doesn’t.

BlurredLines21 MIA: Before you sing along with this catchy #1 hit, you might want to know this. [NSFW]

I’m speechless. Except I’m not because I’m disgusted, depressed, shocked, distressed, furious and indignant that these kinds of lyrics are considered appropriate to play on all our commercial radio stations, on music video programs and even on The Voice.

Can rap and pop music demean, degrade and debase women any further than this?

What was Robin Thicke thinking when he decided to record this song and make this video to go with it?

This is how he explains it:

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.”

He also claims that because the director of the video was female and the almost naked models were paid, it can’t be demeaning to women. As if these two things somehow ameliorated the degradation and the rape lyrics.

blurred lines 2 MIA: Before you sing along with this catchy #1 hit, you might want to know this. [NSFW]Sorry Robin, I’m calling bullshit on that. Don’t pretend it’s ironic. Don’t say it’s meta. What this song and video is is pure misogyny rapped in fizzy pop and a catchy hook.

And when I read the video’s director claiming she thought it was ‘playful’, I winced. The last time I read that word was when Charles Saatchi described the public assault of his wife Nigella Lawson as a ‘playful tiff.’

And to those who roll their eyes and say “Oh, it’s a music video. What do you expect?” well let me tell you.

I expect a civilised society that respects women to push back. To say no, we won’t play your song. No we won’t let you perform on our TV show. No we won’t interview you for our newspaper.

Because when we just shrug our shoulders and do nothing, we say it’s OK. And that’s how rape culture is allowed to flourish, through ‘funny’ cartoons and catchy pop songs that casually normalise sexual assault and violence against women.

In this way much of the music industry has already plunged into the sewer, let’s not follow them.

 

 




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