Not So Blurry

There’s been a flurry of commentary around Robin Thicke’s music video “Blurred Lines” that has many saying it perpetuates date rape and the objectifying of women. I hadn’t paid much attention to the guy until the controversy erupted – all I knew was that his dad was an actor in some 80s sitcom. I finally decided to check out his video on Youtube after reading an article with his response to all of the hoopla. In the article Thicke says, "For me it's about blurring the lines between men and women and how much we're the same.", alluding that somehow his song and video support the sexual liberation of women. Basically, to call out the contradiction that women often feel between a society’s demand that they be a “good girl” and their own need of fulfilling their sexual desires, that women have the right to be as sexual as men. But then he admits to degrading women in the video as a way of making light of it, "People say, 'Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?' I'm like, 'Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women.' So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, 'Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around.'" Yikes! 

While I’m all for sexual equality and am not offended by nudity, after watching the video I wondered how this guy thought that it in any way was helping the female population. Throughout the video he parades topless women clad only in flesh-colored G-strings with vacant looks on their faces while he, fully dressed, and a couple other dudes, also fully dressed, sing and leer. To add to the insult he shows a woman provocatively playing with a large stuffed dog, another one holding a live lamb (what the???), and then another scene where he pretends to inject a huge hypodermic needle into a woman’s backside (Rohypnol®, anyone?). 

I could go on and on about how wrong (in my opinion) this video is, but that actually isn’t the point of this week’s message so I’ll get off the soapbox now. The point is all of the attention that this guy is getting and the fact that he’s so unaware of what it is that he says he’s trying to support. He’s either stupidly chauvinistic or simply a great marketer…or maybe both. Which finally leads me to this week’s message about finding balance between those things that deserve our attention (creating a more accepting and loving society), and those things that don’t (Robin Thicke and his video). And yes, I know that through this post I'm bringing him more attention, but I think some exposure (pun intended) of his lack of awareness might actually shift a few perspectives on how women deserve to be treated in the media. So let’s call out the misogyny that permeates our culture and have conversations about that so we can begin to create change, and not give Mr. Thicke anymore of our attention…maybe he’ll learn something…

With Love.

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From Over There:
“Focus primarily on that which uplifts society, while bringing awareness to that which degrades as it allows an opening for change to occur. By viewing the issues that degrade members of a society it uncovers behaviors that one may have exhibited without understanding the impact on another. Understanding the impact of a given behavior – those that uplift as well as those that degrade – allows for a shift in perception that creates greater awareness and acceptance. Through this awareness and acceptance one can forge a deeper connection with those actions and thought processes that uplift society. This, in turn, lessens the focus on the offending actions, thus removing power the offender has over the target of the offense. With less power come fewer followers and fewer to imitate the action. With increased focus on that which uplifts come a greater number of those who would follow and imitate the action.”

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Featured Guest: Aretha Franklin
This week’s featured guest is none other than beautiful vocal force, Aretha Franklin. This woman’s musical talent has spanned decades, and she’s gained and maintained respect while in an often male dominated industry without objectifying herself or selling herself short. In honor of this, here is a song of hers that is one of my personal favorites, “Think”.