Canadian singer Robin Thicke was riding high when he first conquered the UK charts before hitting number one last week on Billboard‘s Hot 100, but an inevitable backlash has ensued over what some say are “rapey” lyrics.
At first, you might rock out to the undeniably catchy groove of Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines,” but a deeper listen has some consent advocates crying … well, musical advancement of an obfuscated consent dynamic.
Thicke’s allegedly “rapey” lyrics come at a time politically when rape has been an intermittent issue for politicians and in pop culture, and, in the last election, the issue of rape, consent, and what constitutes “legitimate rape” blew up at various points.
If you’re looking to Robin Thicke to dispel the idea that “Blurred Lines” isn’t meant to subvert conversations about consent or unsettle those ideas, you might want to look further.
In the song, Thicke sings:
You’re a good girl!
Can’t let it get past me
Me fall from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
Before he adds:
I hate these blurred lines!
I know you want it
Somebody fetch me my rape whistle!
The original comments first in media prominently seem to stem from a critique of Robin Thicke and “Blurred Lines” from The Daily Beast (“that age-old problem where men think no means yes into a catchy, hummable song”), and MSN quotes the Canadian as saying of the ensuing controversy:
“We pretty much wanted to take all the taboos of what you’re not supposed to do … bestiality, you know, injecting a girl in her bum with a five-foot syringe — I just wanted to break every rule of things you’re not supposed to do and make people realize how silly some of these rules are.”
Indeed, there’s a time and a place for discussion about rape and consent, but we’re not sure “Blurred Lines” or Robin Thicke’s joking about the issue of grey rape is an issue ready for the big time yet.
Above is a video of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” how do you feel about the content of the song?