The recent VMA performance of Blurred Lines with Robin Thicke and Miley Cyrus has stirred a lot of emotion in people all over North America and beyond. This song has stirred emotion in my house long before the VMA performance. I have an empowered wife and three daughters. I also have 2 sons. Each one is affected by the idea of the video, the song, and the performance whether they know it or not.
I read the lyrics over and over again and I am trying to make sense of what is really going on. There seems to be a message in them of showing respect to women (briefly) then quickly negated by language such as many bitch references and the title itself – Blurred Lines. The real issue for me is the video. Fully dressed males and partially dressed women. Further enforcing the fact that if a female is dressed “provocatively” then she wants it. It is then her fault if something happens. Yes!..No! does not matter any more – It’s a blurred line. Hey…men can’t help themselves. That’s how we are. Or are we?
Freedom of Expression?
People will argue that artists have freedom of expression. Robin Thicke came out to say that this song is about empowering women…or something close to that. He is in the hot seat now as this song is current. He is far from the only one crossing the boundaries and testing the waters as an artist. Blurred Lines has a great beat (in my opinion), it is played over and over on the radio. It brings in listenership. It is a powerhouse song. It makes MONEY.
If I was an artist and I was able to paint, and I graphically painted the line from the song Blurred Lines “So hit me up when you passing through, I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two” would it be published in the news, shown on TV, hung in high school hallways and kids rooms? Would people look at it and say I had artistic freedom? Or…would it cause outrage and get censored. Could I post it on a billboard around town? Hey…it’s my artistic freedom. No..it is not on the airwaves…but it would be in the eyewaves.
Where is this going?
Here is where I am going with this. Songs like this do not clear up things for people that don’t understand. It is not Robin Thicke’s job to teach people right from wrong. It is his chosen career that makes him money and supports his family. Everyone has a choice and they make it. Miley made a choice on the VMA’s. Each choice we make has consequences – sometimes good and sometimes bad. Being raped is NOT a choice. Raping someone – that is a choice.
Are you a parent? Do you have kids? What message are you giving your kids around this song and songs like it? Take out a female character of the song and replace it with your daughter. How is the song now? Now replace a male character with your son. Now what? My daughter may want it…but says NO. Then what? Because she wants it there is now a blurred line?
In the news recently there have been many many cases of girls being raped at high school parties by groups of guys. The rape is recorded on a phone camera and posted on social media sites. Then the attention is directed to the girl. “She was drunk”, She was wearing a short skirt”, She was flirting with the guys”, “she liked one of the guys”…on and on. What the reports never said was she said YES. The guys took it upon themselves to show her what she wants. Wow…what big strong powerful boys these are. Basic hand slaps as punishment. The girl – her life is ruined. She has to move, years of therapy, and in a lot of cases she will commit suicide as the pain is way too much to handle. Do not pass judgment and assume that you would not commit suicide unless you are a female that has been raped. You cannot speak to this.
I know females that have been raped. I see the pain in their eyes when they talk about it. It never goes away. Hey strong boy…how does that feel to cause someone a life of trauma, pain, suffering and zero self worth all because she did not say YES or she said NO and you did not listen.
Schools and communities have spent many years teaching kids to just say NO, or NO means NO. Now…NO means maybe. A drunk girl means she is asking for it – it’s a blurred line. An undecided girl is fair game. What is going on here?
This is a call to action…
This is a call to all MALES, regardless of age, to man up. Older males teach the younger ones. Younger ones listen to the older ones. Teach your sons, grandsons, cousins, brothers, friends, any male you know. Females are not weak so stop treating them that way. Stop treating them less than you. Stop treating them like they are not a living breathing human being – like an object. You do not have the right, EVER, to force yourself on a woman, or a man, at any time EVER.
THERE ARE NO BLURRED LINES. THEY ARE VERY DEFINED. YES OR NO.