Blurred Lines vs Defined Lines: Another feminism battle.

Posted: September 17, 2013 in Uncategorized

Let me preface this by saying – I really, really can’t stand the song Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke. It has an annoying tune, he has an annoying voice and I hate the whole ‘hey, hey, hey’ refrain that pervades the song. It grates on me, it’s not the style of music I listen to and it’s not a song I’ve listened to more than 3 times, and even then not all the way through.

So why this blog post on it? Well, I find it hilarious that it went from being number 1 in the UK to being absolutely reviled as an unashamed, misogynistic, rape-apologist, woman-hating piece of shit song in a matter of weeks. In my attempts to find out the cause of this sudden about-face of opinion I did the unthinkable, went on Youtube and watched the video. It was only then I realised there were 2 versions.

You see, in my attempt to avoid the shit that corrupts the charts in this country, I tend not to listen to the radio. In fact, scrap that, I don’t listen to the radio. At all. Ever. So, generally I have no idea what is happening in the world of ‘popular music’. I hear snippets every now and then on TV when a new CD compilation is advertised, or on montages during the coverage of Premiership Rugby at the weekend, but overall I couldn’t name song titles or artists for the top 10, let alone the top 40.

So, apparently, there are 2 videos for Blurred Lines – one that has women in skimpy underwear, and one that has wimpy in skimpy pants, but no bras. From my research I ascertained two things:
1) The lyrics are all about how men want to do nothing buy rape girls on nights out.
2) The video is misogynistic because it contains topless women being ‘objectified’

I’ll get to the lyrics in a minute. First off, I would like to comment on the video. Topless women in a music video is not something new. Remember Smack My Bitch Up by The Prodigy? Yeah, that was a 1st person video where some random dude went out on a bender and got up to all sorts of mischief. Only, it wasn’t a dude, the final shot revealed it was a woman, and the world went insane. Because women can’t possibly go out and have a hedonistic night, they’re far too precious for that.

A cursory glance at Wikipedia shows that, in fact, nudity in music videos stretches way back to the 1970s. Admittedly, it would appear that in the list there are more instances of female nudity than male. However, I know for a fact that a few videos are missing from that list (What’s my Age Again by Blink 182 and a Queens of the Stone Age song I can’t remember the name of), so it remains to be seen just how comprehensive the list is. Point is, Robin Thicke is not doing anything outrageously new or original. So why the backlash? Three consenting, attractive models, walking, dancing, flicking their hair – one of them even rides a goat – in a music video with three handsome, well built men dressed in posh suits. None of the women are used as sex toys, they don’t ever look like they’re afraid and I watched the eyes of the 3 men pretty much for the entire video and there are very few instances when they ‘rape stare’ the women. It’s actually pretty tastefully done, and there’s very little which I would say smacks of objectification, degradation or reducing women to sex toys.
As for the lyrics! I said in my first blog about Dr. Phil’s tweet that we seem to now live in a society where people are all too ready to get offended. If something’s ambiguous, and one of the ambiguities happens to be negative, people will always jump to that conclusion. What happens is, instead of looking at something objectively and with a fair amount of debate, we get the “it’s misogyny and only misogyny. If you think otherwise you’re a misogynist cunt who hates women” argument. It leaves no room for discussion because, if you don’t agree with the mass feminist idea, you’re automatically a misogynist rape-apologising, victim-blaming, privileged white male cis-shit prick.

To me, Blurred Lines is ambiguous, there’s no denying it. But, to label it as nothing but a rape song is not only incredibly ignorant, it just shows how little you’ve actually paid attention to the song. I’ll look at some of the most offending lyrics and explain why I think it’s not a rape song. Let’s be straight, if you want to interpret it as a rape song, then feel free, and I can admit it is ambiguous (repeating myself, much!), but it is so much more complicated than that.

Interpreting songs is one of life’s great joys, but apparently the refrain “I know you want it” automatically assumes rape. Ignore the following lines “The way you grab me, Must wanna get nasty” which suggest the woman herself is doing the leading on, ignore the lines “Can’t let it get past me, You’re far from plastic” which, to me, and I might just be being crazy here, actually sound kind of complimentary, ignore the lines “OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you, But you’re an animal, baby, it’s in your nature” which, again, I think anyway, show that she’s not one who should be ‘domesticated’

No, ignore all the lines that make the sexual nature of the song clear, and focus on the ambiguous line that might possible allude to rape. Another offending lyric is “He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that” which, far from being a sexually liberated woman in the act of some rather kinky, possibly even sado-masochistic, sex, is evidence that he is forcing her to have sex.

Maybe it’s just me, but I’m sure women have, for years been trying to tell people that they shouldn’t be judged for being sexually active and forward in going after a partner (or multiple partners in some cases), and yet, now there’s a song that implies a woman might actually ‘be on the prowl’ for a man in a club and is willing to engage in some rather hardcore sex, the feminists are up in arms saying that she doesn’t, in fact, want it and the whole thing is one patriarchal, misogynistic piece of shit. I disagree. I don’t like the song, I have no opinion of Robin Thicke, or the other two contributing artists, but in no way do I believe their song is all about rape.

And that leads me to the Defined Lines parody, which is all the buzz on YouTube and other social networking sites. Once again, in their attempts to role reverse situations and show ‘the other side’ of sexism they have completely missed the point and gone too far.

Let’s compare videos. The women in Blurred Lines – yes, topless. Subservient? No. Afraid? No. Dominated? No. Ogled? No. Degraded? No. Consenting? Yes. Ah, the key word that feminists love so much – consent. Yes, consenting models, who just happen to be topless, dancing around three men. So, so sexist, isn’t it. Well, not really. Do the men ever actually appear to be successful with the ladies? No. Do they appear to be trying to get their attentions? Sure. Are they successful? No. They never appear to be uncomfortable, they never appear to be scared or are forced to be subservient. They appear to be having fun in tantalising the three men with their bodies. Sexist? No, I don’t think so. Empowering? Not a word I would consider using, but I would say that, of the 6 people in the video, it would appear all 6 of them have a pretty good time.

Now onto Defined Lines – a video that claims to be a ‘feminist’ version of the song. Parts of the lyrics are hypocritical, parts are sexually violent and parts show a complete ignorance of the original lyrics. Thicke’s lyrics are ambiguous at best, Defined Line’s lyrics are misandrist all over, with references to castration, emasculation and a video that, rather than showing topless, underpants wearing, men having fun and strutting around, shows them being dominated, stepped on and dragged around wearing dogs leashes. I fail to see how that’s a ‘gender swapped’ version of Blurred Lines, and not just a feminist’s wet dream of male subservience and female superiority.

The video was taken down by Youtube, much like the unrated version of Blurred Lines, due to it being inappropriate, but was shortly re-instated after the feminist army threw a shit-fit. Turns out, if you’re a feminist and you scream DOUBLE STANDARD or MISOGYNY loud enough, people bend over backwards to accommodate you. Defined Lines is ‘just a bit of fun’ and ‘hilarious’ (actual words I’ve heard people use.) Now, I might be a bit slow sometimes, but I’m pretty sure if I was to create a song that bragged about ripping a woman’s pussy out, I wouldn’t have my own shrill army backing me up when it was taken down due to inappropriate content.

Show me where, in Thicke’s lyrics, he unequivocally advocates mutilating a woman. That’s right, you can’t because there is no mention. An ambiguous song that the feminists have taken offence over and caused a shit storm about because it might possibly be about something bad, and has a video that contains breasts, is vilified in the press, yet a song that advocates the castration and emasculation of males is somehow considered heroic.

Defined Lines is not a gender swap video or song, it is a thinly veiled attack at what feminists perceive to be a male dominated rape-culture that pervades music and wider society. Feminism ‘is about men’s rights too’. Well, I’m a man, and I don’t want to be castrated. In fact, I’m rather fond of my penis, thank you very much.

Hey, now there’s an idea for a blog entry…

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