Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines: an anti-feminist defense

For those unfamiliar with the controversy, Robin Thicke’s new music video, “Blurred Lines”, has received a great deal of flak for being misogynistic and sexist. Those who are offended by it certainly take issues with a few things: the nudity, the suggestive lyrics, the “rapey” undercurrents to the song. And the list goes on.

“What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman,” Thicke jokes, not helping his case at all. The lyrics of the song are undeniably sexist:

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

The song should be titled “I know you want it”, instead of “blurred lines”, if you take into account the number of times each phrase has been repeated in the song. The repeated phrase “I know you want it”, has been criticised to resemble the mentality of rapists. But hey, how many times have women said things they don’t actually mean? Plus, telling a man you ‘want it’ can get you labelled as a ‘slut’, or a ‘whore’.

Despite the repetition, the title of the song is still blurred lines – and Thicke says, “I hate these blurred lines”. Rather than enjoying the ambiguity and the space to read between the lines, the males request for clarity and communication to prevent misinterpretations.

While rapists take advantage of their victims, the males in the videos draw their own (blurred) lines. None of them are seen groping the naked models. I mean, combing her hair even though she’s perfectly naked shows an appreciation for finer aspects of the woman’s physicality – her long hair (and that model, by the way, has hair I’d kill for). And while they feast their eyes on her body and catcall, they hardly make advances; hands in pocket, leaning against the wall – clear passivity. It doesn’t hurt to look.


The following lyrics also jump out at you:

Tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal
Baby, it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
You don’t need no papers
That man is not your maker

You the hottest bitch in this place
I feel so lucky, you wanna hug me
What rhymes with hug me

So, hit me up when you pass through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two

The first two sets above demonstrate the respect that women get; ultimately they are always in control of the situation and any interaction is consensual because they’re empowered. The last set is a bit more debatable, but it’s the girl ‘hitting him up’ to have a fuck, not him tearing her ass up for his own pleasure – she gets to enjoy a huge dick.

Lucky bitch!

Lucky bitch!

So the lyrics certainly aren’t “rapey” or misogynistic – it resembles the way males and females flirt.  The song is certainly laden with sexism, but in a humorous, light-hearted way – there’s no need to be an over-sensitive, PMSing girl about it.

There have been two different videos to the song, and there are notable differences about the two. The one linked to the beginning of the post is the “clean” version.

Most of the time, the men are admiring the women, and it is the women who look into the camera. The girls are enjoying themselves, and the fact that they hardly look at the men show that they’re pretty indifferent to what the men are saying – and indeed, when men flirt, we keep on rolling our own way, taking it as an occasional compliment. The girls have their own fun – dancing, riding the bike, riding the stuffed dog, throwing dice around – without paying much attention to the males whose words and dance revolve around the girls. And, who can forget the image of feet around Robin Thicke’s face?

The feet at his face, and his perfect indifference about it is a unique image. What immediately came to my mind, was – Robin Thicke has a foot fetish. And lo and behold, that’s appreciation for another part of a woman besides her tits and her hips. (Not to forget that a woman’s feet at a man’s face often happens when he’s worshiping a dominatrix’s feet).

Thicke about to get slapped by her foot

Thicke about to get slapped by her foot

The women in the clean version prance about their own way, unaffected by the men, while they admire their physical beauty.

On the other hand, the explicit version speaks a different story. The girls have quirkier dances and seem less reserved in front of the camera. It also features Emily Ratajkowski more heavily, and the men simply fade into the background unlike in the clean version. Emily knows she’s beautiful, and she isn’t shy about it. She’s a real “good girl” in the sense that she doesn’t sell her body to the males, but neither does she hide her beautiful body. And the men simply appreciate.


quirky dance 1: the mouse

quirky dance 2

quirky dance 2

quirky dance 3: the "what up, bro"

quirky dance 3: the “what up, bro”

So, what were we saying about sexism and misogyny? It certainly is sexist, but does it really objectify the women? When something is objectified, it’s insignificant and its opinion is ignorable. But it’s the men’s opinion that are being ignored by the women here, and their opinion is an expression of beauty. If you ask me, the music videos certainly aren’t feminist in nature, but presents a more nuanced and more faithful picture of the ‘fun’ interactions between both genders. The nude women certainly are beautiful and it’s normal for males to flirt and want to get these good girls in bed – duh, tell us something new. But such interactions aren’t always sexist and discriminatory against females – they’re nothing to get indignant over, either. “It’s a pleasure to degrade women” WHO KNOW THEY’RE BEAUTIFUL, and who don’t feel one bit degraded by sexism. Take it easy, girls. It’s not that Thicke, T.I and and Pharrell are the best men to make fun of this, but Emily and co. that blow the sexist undertones and feminist objections out of the water.


2 thoughts on “Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines: an anti-feminist defense

  1. Nice post. I find it funny that you call this an “anti feminist defense” when the nature of it seems to be very much rooted in feminism, in that you’re calling for viewers to see the video as an empowerment of women rather than a degradation. I think people are so accustomed to being offended at certain things (certain “rapey phrases” and viewing nude women) that it doesn’t occur to them to see beyond that and look into the context, because clearly the song and the video isn’t really condoning rape or non-consensual activities at all.

    Also according to this article (, the entire quote Robin Thicke says is: “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.” That’s basically him saying that he did mean to be degrading because it’s fun, and he somehow gets a free pass because he’s never done it before? That’s where I think he slips up. Really shouldn’t have said that to the public. I’m sure he’s a nice guy in person, but he really should filter what he says to the media once in a while, heh.

    • Haha hi vee. is that an anagram for “am vee”? And yeah I found it funny too, to begin with… but I’m forced to take that stand, because I don’t agree with feminists getting all pissed off at the video. I’m not denying the existence of sexism in the video, but I don’t agree with the reactions that general feminists have towards it; a lot of them get really carried away with the whole notion of female empowerment that their disgust becomes an unwarranted “gag reflex”… And yeah, I think his joke was meant to emphasise the fact that the whole music video is a light-hearted joke, but he definitely shouldn’t have.

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