It’s old news that Robin Thicke’s music video for “Blurred Lines” is straight-up gross. In the video, near-naked, sometimes-unresponsive women drape themselves around a group of fully dressed male artists who spend four and a half minutes trying to make a “good girl” go bad. But now, he’s not just deflecting criticism of his music’s flagrant objectification—as we might expect—he’s announced that the “Blurred Lines” video is actually the forefront of a new feminist movement!
In an interview with The Today Show on July 30, Thicke addressed the controversy of his song “Blurred Lines” and the concern that it’s sending out messages that are a little more uncomfortable than a just a fun-and-feel-good party song. Thicke begins the interview by saying that in making the song he had “nothing but the most respect for women.” This is shown, he explains, by the fact that he’s married. Because marriage negates sexism?
When the interviewers press further, asking if he could understand people’s criticisms if he looked at his own video, Thicke quickly claims that all this sexism talk is really just a misinterpretation; the song is “actually a feminist movement in itself.”
I think Robin Thicke must be trolling us. No one is that ridiculous. Right? Please tell me he’s trolling. No one would go this over the top in all sincerity.
It’s true that it isn’t exactly unusual for a high-profile celebrity to publicly misconstrue what is and isn’t feminist. But typically the situation plays out more along the lines of a Katy Perry or Lady Gaga actively dissociating themselves from the word and the movement altogether rather than awkwardly grabbing at the label as a way to weasle out of being called sexist.
The way Thicke explains it, “Blurred Lines” is actually a complex social commentary on the way women are portrayed in music videos—you know, as sexy and infantilized decoration—and Thicke expertly decided to stir the pot on this sensitive and heavy issue by giving us some provocative, multifaceted imagery. People angry about the extremely nuanced images in his video clearly just weren’t thinking hard enough about the deep meaning of the video.
This is clearly the new face of feminism:
My theory is that Thicke is so upset at all the criticism his video has received that he’s decided to poke at his critics in the way he knows will most piss them off: by saying he’s one of us.
That, or he’s just asinine. It’s a toss-up.