I’m back on the Erma Bombeck Writers’ Workshop site, where I was named Humor Writer of the Month in January 2014, with a personal essay about “My Hot and Cold Marriage.”Read All Entries
miley wasn’t alone on that stage
[This is where I would normally post a photo but I refuse to sensationalize anything else about this subject.]
I was driving home from Jazzercise this morning, feeling all pumped up and happy, and singing along with the radio when Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke came on.
Up until now, I’ve only heard it playing in the background of stores and restaurants, and I’ve probably even hummed along to it because it’s definitely a catchy tune. I know it’s been the subject of some controversy, though, so I decided to really pay attention to the lyrics.
AND NOW I AM OUTRAGED. BLOOD BOILING OUTRAGED.
Here’s the chorus:
And that’s why I’m gonna 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
He repeats “I know you want it” endlessly, and goes on to say “You’re the hottest bitch in this place.”
ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME?
When I got home, I – against my better judgment – watched the video and saw the inspiration for Miley Cyrus’ appalling performance on MTV the other night. I get it.
Unfortunately, so will millions of young girls who will internalize the loud-and-clear message that baring their bodies and publicly flaunting their sexuality is empowering and representative of strength and confidence. Especially when the men are fully dressed and blowing cigarette smoke in their face.
Smart move, guys.
Thicke himself has defended the song as “a feminist movement in itself.” Uh-huh. He went on the Today show to explain how the lyrics have been “misconstrued” and how he was just trying to make a “funny” song. Ha ha ha. And then he apologized for a joke he had made about “What a pleasure it is to degrade women.” Hilarious.
So if you’re going to criticize Miley, you should also be criticizing the man who empowered her to get up there and prove she “must wanna get nasty.” The man who was right up there on stage with her. The man who is almost twice her age. The man who was wearing a suit while she writhed around in her underwear, just like in his video.
Why are we so riled up about Miley when she was only following the rules set by Thicke? And why isn’t he experiencing the same public flogging?
Blurred Lines has been called “rapey,” which is a horrifyingly cutesy term to use for a criminal act. It’s as despicable as “legitimate rape.”
Somehow, rape seems to have become accepted as a form of sex. Not a good one, mind you, but, well, you know, sometimes the lines get blurred.
And that’s why this is a dangerous song. It makes it very easy to rationalize “blurred lines.” You know, “Well, she was rubbing up against me and I know she wanted it.”
Boys and girls, listen up. There are no blurred lines. Yes means yes, no means no. If a good girl says yes, it’s consensual sex. If a bad girl says no, it’s rape.
Boys, contrary to what the song would like you to believe, girls can prance around naked and still not want to have sex with you. If you have sex with them anyway, you are guilty of rape and will go to jail.
Girls, contrary to what the song would like you to believe, you don’t have to walk around naked to prove you’re strong and independent. And, if you do want to walk around naked, you still don’t have to have sex with anyone. You are not a bad girl for wanting to have sex or a good girl for not wanting to. Period.
A judge in Montana just sentenced a rapist to a mere 30 days in jail, concluding that the 14-year-old victim was “as much in control of the situation” as the rapist, who also happened to be her teacher. “It wasn’t this forcible, beat-up rape,” explained Judge Baugh. You know those blurry lines.
The child committed suicide.
Am I blaming Robin Thicke for this? Of course not. But his song has been number one on the Billboard chart for 12 consecutive weeks, which means it’s becoming part of our country’s collective conscious. What it should be doing is sparking a reaction in our collective conscience. But, you know, sometimes the lines get blurry.