Trigger warnings: Rape, rape culture.
Dear Mr. Thicke,
Your song Blurred Lines has topped the charts this summer and has been touted by some as the Song of the Summer 2013. To be fair, it is catchy and does undoubtedly get ingrained in one’s head, wrapping its slimy tentacles and repeated choruses so firmly around one’s synapses, that even as a feminist, I find myself humming along before I realize it , causing me to throw my hands over my ears, while trying to punch the radio scan button with my elbows, and vowing to quickly find some Alanis or at least Adele to get the skeezy, rape culture promoting song out of my head.
Not only does the title and the lyrics promote blurring the lines (you see what I did there) between enthusiastic consent and rape, but the music video is three men, fully dressed with three women completely nude except beige thongs, wandering around with barn animals on an otherwhise empty set (oh, pardon me, I just realized sometimes the women also wear shoes).
With all the open letters, criticism, shock and horror that was directed at Ms. Cyrus’ performance at the VMAs this Sunday, you may think you have gotten off scot-free. After all, no matter how ridiculous that striped suit looked on you, you were fully clothed, while Ms. Cyrus was dressed in a light beige, plastic bikini. People weren’t questioning how your parents raised you, calling you a slut, and questioning you as a role model for their children.
Even though Ms. Cyrus was singing your song with you, while grinding her bottom against your crotch, and dressed simulating the nudity in your music video, all the blame has landed squarely on her (and her parent’s) shoulders while you come out untouched getting even more publicity for your song by using a twenty-year old woman’s actions as shock value. Meanwhile you can remain fully clothed in your silly suit and maintain your reputation as a 36-year-old, married, responsible father. How nice for you.
In our culture, it’s easy to point fingers at young women who “act like sluts” but not nearly as easy to call out men who promote rape and use women’s bodies to promote their music. Mr. Thicke, I believe more people should be shocked about your damaging lyrics, music videos, and performances with your song Blurred Lines.
Do us all a favor and write your next song on enthusiastic consent and “no means no”.
P.S. I do know some things that rhyme with “hug me”, and no matter how cute you think you are when you slyly wink at the camera, “fuck me” is not one of them, unless you are rhyming “me” with “me” and don’t you think that is just poor lyric writing.
P.S.S. May I suggest some intense therapy exploring why you need to tout the size of your penis on the walls of your music video? I think you may have some deep insecurity issues that may need to be resolved.