All those who had Robin Thicke filed under ‘misogynist pig’, rejoice. He’s been quoted saying “What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman”. Yikes. If he was hoping to dim the controversy still raging about his arguably sexist hit Blurred Lines, that’s about the worst sound-bite he could wish to have come out with.
To give his comment some context, Thicke was explaining his opinion that he is the best person to sing a song like Blurred Lines since he is happily married. While this does slightly bring to mind a frenzied Nigel Farage screaming “Everything I say is okay, I’ve got a black friend!”, maybe Thicke has a point. Maybe the song can be taken ironically, as a wholesome family man wittily poking holes in objectifying R’n’B tropes. Maybe, if it weren’t for the fact that those tropes are so ingrained that most viewers will take four minutes of suited men and naked ladies as given.
Thicke then declares his enjoyment of degrading women, stating “I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women”. By that logic, I’ve never been mean to Jews. Perhaps it’s time to experience the novelty of a Mel Gibson-style anti-Semitic rant?
Seriously Robin, you’re digging yourself a hole here.
Of course, stances on the whole Blurred Lines controversy vary wildly depending on interpretation. Many believe it condones non-consensual sex, with some demanding a Blurred Lines ban in Union buildings.
Personally speaking though, I struggle to hear anything that offensive. The lyrics are undoubtedly sexualised, but 30 years after ACDC rocked us all night long and Olivia Newton John urged us to get physical, is that really so scandalous? After all, for all the alleged blurred lines, there’s clearly a strong line between “I know you want it” and “I’m gonna force ‘it’ on you”. Realistically, being indistinct and improvident is the worst charge that the song should face.
Admittedly, Thicke isn’t doing himself any favours with recent comments, but five months after the song’s release it seems that attempts to attack or defend Blurred Lines cause more confusion and aren’t solving anything.
Perhaps it’s time for us all – Mr Thicke included – to move on from the simple pop song and the accompanying debate – both are equally overplayed. And anyway, look! Here comes Miley Cyrus on her wrecking ball, reminding us all how the empowered 21st century woman really behaves.