Monday, August 5, 2013

Blurred Lines? No. Not at all.

I like Jimmy Fallon.  I love the Roots.  Robin Thicke... well, he's funny (in a self parodying sort of way) on RHOH.

So I'm not at all happy about the cutesy version of Thicke's Blurred Lines version done by Fallon and the Roots.  It takes the song, with its pretty clear message that women don't know what they want sexually, and that consent is oh so confusing (the blurred lines referred to by the title) and pairs it with kid instruments and a catchy tune.  Which makes the tune that much more appealing to parents and their young, pop music listening children.

In case you think I'm over reacting, there's chorus (sung every so sexily by Thicke):
And that's why I'm gon' 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
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you're a good girl
The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

I really don't even want to bother with the rest of the lyrics, many are even worse, especially for kids.  So read em yourself here.

And if you want to see what Thicke was really all about with the song and video, watch the NSFW unrated version.

You might be thinking something like "Brian is just a prude" or "Brian has a young daughter and is freaked out about her growing up."  But you'd be wrong.  It's not that I am in any way against sex.  Or that I am all that worried about either of my kids becoming sexual beings.  I think that good sex is damn near a birth right for human beings.  I am horrified and terrified about rape culture.  About the idea that there is anything at all blurry about consent.  About women being animals in need of domestication.  That objectifying women or threatening them or turning sex into violence is OK.

I'm not freaked out by sex.  It's rape that scares me.

My son is not really into pop music at all.  He listens to mostly Red Hot Chili Peppers and similar sounding rock (he's a bassist, so if it has a solid bass groove, he likes it).  But the idea of him mindlessly humming "I know you want it" scares the shit out of me.  It would mean that he had uncritically allowed this fundamental message of rape culture into his head.  I owe him better than to allow him to uncritically accept these messages.  I owe every female that his will ever come into contact better than to unleash him on the world, full of testosterone, with the belief that consent it blurry.  It isn't.

I'm not freaked out by sex.  It's rape that scares me.

I was mildly amused when my daughter walked around the house absent-mindedly singing Macy Gray's "Kissed It."  She had no idea what the song was about.  She doesn't know what the "it" that gets kissed is.  She doesn't yet understand how good sex can make you forget how badly a person has treated you, and that kissing "it" can fix almost anything.  But someday, she'll know what that means.  And when she does, I'll remind her that she used to sing this song when she was 10.  And she'll be embarrassed, and we'll (hopefully) enjoy a good laugh.  I hope that she never ever discovers how some men think that the lines that define consent are blurry.  That's too horrible for me to contemplate.