Hey guy. (Or would you rather I called you dude? Or maybe bro? Never mind. It's not important.)
I'm writing you about that song that everyone was talking about, but first a brief preface: I'm super opinionated and quick to call anyone out on their inappropriate shit. I'm also a rape survivor, body advocate, sex positive gal AND a strong, independent, hellfire-and-tits kinda feminist. All this... and I STILL thought your video was fun.
I watched it once when you were everywhere doing interviews about the controversy (while wearing sunglasses. Creep factor, man. Don't do that.) and loved the music video. It's not only catchy as hell, but it reminded me of some downtown house parties that I used to attend in my hipster days. Today I was sent that parody video "Ask First" and so I decided to re-watch yours in case I had missed something. I hadn't. Then I watched it again. And then I read the lyrics. And then I watched it again. And I still liked it.
Is there something wrong with me? Well yeah, but not in relation to this;)
Hear me out: I acknowledge that you're totally smarmy, though I find it to be the adorable kind of smarmy. Like the smooth movin' adorable Justin Timberlake if he drove an Astro Van from the 80's kind of smarmy. (Did I mention that I really wish you wouldn't wear those shades in your interviews? Guh.) Additionally, because of the line "You know you want it" I totally get where all these other advocates are coming from; we're dealing with hoards of intrusive men on a daily basis. The likes of which are covered in this article. If we don't want to be hit on we don't want to be hit on; remember that. (Also, don't call the interviewer sexy; that's really not funny or clever or whatever you're trying to be.) BUT it's my understanding that in your song you're hitting on gal who's already expressed interest through grabbing at you, followed by your expression of the same type of interest. If this line wasn't included, we'd be dealing with a different story. But the lyric is present and I've totally been that girl. Willingly and happily. More on that in a second.
First, a face slap that you deserve: why did you open your mouth? You really dug yourself into a deep hole there buddy. Time to hand someone the shovel and sit and think about what you did. The video itself isn't anything outrageous (except for maybe the nudity, but I love voluntary nudity) but your comments are. God, I'm embarrassed for you.
So if your comments about the video do in fact fall under the umbrella of "Douchebaggery" then why would I still like this when I don't like other "derogatory" media? Well first, I'm simply talking about the song and lyrics and the answer is this: it can be either derogatory or liberating depending on the context in which it's viewed.
This video is a little different than the media producing something that is 1000% negative and reinforces complete perpetuation of a social problem. When we have a demographic (say, tribal communities) who are 1000% negatively affected by portrayal in media (in, say, The Lone Ranger) this has no positive outcome. This does not require critical thinking because in the end, it's all bad. (I just had dinner with an international spokesperson that is affiliated with the tribes who worked with Disney, so this has been confirmed.) But back to the "Blurred Lines" video: this isn't the same situation. Wanna know why? Because for some, being hit on by a deviant, handsome guy who says "I have no intention of seeing you after tonight" is a positive situation. Some women want and enjoy men like you.
And this is where we get into the interesting conversation about women and hook-ups.
As a society we shame the sluts, and applaud those who carefully limit their sexual interactions. Ever seen What's Your Number? It's insulting, and by encouraging women to follow this expectation we continue to create a world where men are allowed to want casual sex and women are expected to only desire significant relationships. This is notably highlighted in the dating world. Ever looked at "casual encounter" ads on Craigslist? Ever notice how there are a million ads for NSA men seeking women, and rarely more than a handful the other way around? Wanna know why? Slut shaming, that's why. We indoctrinate the public with the belief that if you're a woman wanting casual encounters, you are inherently dirty and desperate and it's because of this that nearly every post by a woman in this category is flagged and taken down. Slut shaming in its truest form, reinforced by that notion that women should only want meaningful monogamy. Conversely, if you look at the ads for LTR's there are usually more women looking for men (compared to men looking for women) though this is not necessarily representative of what all women want.
Full disclosure: I am a woman who likes sex. And all different levels of sex at that. Long-term-relationship-you're-a-soul-mate sex, we've-been-dating-for-a-few-weeks-and-I-think-you're-cool sex, AND painfully-attractive-smarmy-guy-at-the-party-I'll-probably-never-see-again sex. Can this last one be totally consensual? Yes. Could I actually love it? Totes. Does it make me a bad person to enjoy it? Nope. And I am really good at playing a "good girl" *wink wink*. Are you catching on yet?
I think it's natural that we jump to the conclusion in the video that you (Robin Thicke) are a predator and that the girl you're pursuing is a future victim. THIS CAN BE THE CASE. If the girl is too drunk to verbalize consent, this is the case. If she doesn't explicitly say "yes", this is the case. If you say "wanna go upstairs" and she says no, this is definitely the case. But we also have to keep in mind that maybe... just maybe, this girl is super into the guy shamelessly calling her "the hottest bitch in the room" and there isn't something wrong with her. And the cool part about being a pro-sex feminist is that I believe that this is her right. Women have just as much right to want meaningless and divergent sex as any man. Fact.
I also like your song Robin because it started this conversation. I know that you didn't think this entire subject through before you made the video; you were just having juvenile "fun". But it's an interesting discussion to have. Glad we're having it now.
I thought this parody was pretty cute, albiet campy. It was interesting to watch a friend though (who is a member of the gay community) grimace and mention that it reinforces a lot of negative lesbian stereotypes. Which I never thought of, but could be true.
Regardless, I also love this rendition as well as your original video though it's for an entirely different reason. Mostly because its opening up a conversation that we don't have often: YES MEANS YES. We get to talk about "no means no" because of the disgustingly high rape rates we have internationally. Its critical that we do this in order to create change. But how awesome is it to sing about happy consent? It makes my heart all warm and fuzzy.
Summary of a long winded article about your video that isn't really that important: it's okay for women to want smarmy attractive men like you. It's okay to role play being a good girl. It's also okay to role play the bad girl. It's also okay to not role play at all and have nice "Yes? yes!" sex. Whatever floats your boat man, as long as everyone is safe and consensual.
Are you picking up what I'm putting down?
"Maybe I'm out of my mind",
P.S. I fucking hate your sunglasses.
Alright readers. Lay your opinion on me. Love it, hate it, or don't' care? Sexually active ladies with labels? Whatcha think about that? Am I givin' this song too much credit? Do you think I'm a total slut and so now you're not going to read my blog anymore? If it's the last one, I applaud you for sticking around this long; I tried to scare you off months ago. You're tougher than I thought! Talk to me about whats going through your brain.