#AskThicke crossed all Blurred Lines

Published: July 11, 2014
SHARES
Email

Robin Thicke's song 'Blurred Lines' has been branded as a ‘rape anthem’ and has been banned by several UK student unions. PHOTO: FILE

 “I hate these blurred lines. I know you want it. I know you want it.”

The song that took social media by storm is undoubtedly catchy. As I hummed it, I was oblivious to the fact that the lyrics would create such a social media uproar and spark controversy all over the world, making it one of the most frequently played songs of the decade and promoting Robin Thicke to surpass all boundaries of fame or notoriety.

For a long time, I wasn’t aware of what all the fuss was about. To me, Blurred Lines was just another song. The song introduced the ‘twerking’ phenomenon to the world with our once innocent ‘Hannah Montana’ showing the world how this ‘move’ is carried out at the MTV Video Music Awards (VMA) and it was then that I did a little bit of research to find out just how appalling and degrading the song was.

The song that has been branded as a ‘rape anthem’ on several media platforms has been banned by the University College London (UCL) student union alongside 20 other UK student unions. And after carefully listening to the lyrics, I would rightly agree to the branding myself.

The lyrics promote violence against women and reinforce rape myths, which several countries are working hard to dissipate. I failed to come across a single lyric that promoted respecting women, discouraging men from objectifying women or encouraged boys to make girls feel comfortable in their presence. Instead it does the complete opposite of it all and conceptualises untaken consent as something interesting and fascinating.

In light of the controversy, one of the singer’s social media advisers’ thought it was a good idea for Thicke to participate in a live debate session on Twitter using the hash tag #AskThicke. It started out as an innocent marketing strategy to promote his then-upcoming album, Paula, dedicated to his wife – a wife who has already filed for separation.

My thoughts exactly.

In hindsight, it truly is a wonder what his PR team was thinking when they decided to run this campaign. I didn’t follow the debacle myself, but as of now, I wish I had seen the events unfold. Those of you who did, I have to say, I’m jealous.

You would think it started out fine before it got hijacked. You would be wrong. The first question put forward to him was a personal one.

I am curious, though. Has she? Or did the gazillion apologies at concerts not work yet?

There were some genuinely curious questions as well.

It wasn’t long before the puns started coming in. What do you expect when you write a song with the lyrics “I know you want it”, really?

The message is clear. We do not want young girls to look at a video of scantily clad women and get the idea that their bodies are to be used as mere sexual objects. We do not want young boys looking at the video and thinking that a girl’s consent is not really necessary and all you have to do is read between the lines.

Treat women like human beings who have a right to be respected and have a mind of their own to make decisions. And more importantly, learn to respect those decisions. Stop objectifying women!

Unlike his new album, the experiment proved to be excellent entertainment.

The Twitter campaign had all the ingredients of a regular “ask me anything” publicity event:

The pop culture reference:

The life lesson for future generations (and we all know we can learn a lot from Robin Thicke, he’s practically a cautionary tale):

The occasional death threat:

A shout-out to his famous father:

The hilariously appropriate tongue twister:

And a piece of advice:

Needless to say, Robin Thicke was literally “asking for it” (no pun intended).

We are all aware of the fact that sexist attitudes exist in every corner of the world and will not cease to exist. But such songs strengthen and encourage such insolences instead of discouraging them. The reaction on Twitter (and his album sales) prove that the people are not willing to let go of such degradation of women easily.

Javeria Khalid Petiwala

Javeria Khalid Petiwala

A student based in Karachi, an ardent debater, and a Master Chef fan, she loves writing and travelling.

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • نائلہ

    You are a very talented writer, presented your points really well :)Recommend

  • Manahil

    This was one of the greatest things on Twitter.Recommend

  • Dtrix

    Why did you churn out last years news now? Your love for writing is evident!Recommend

  • H.M.T.

    The song is simply bad (I won’t use a stronger term because of the ET moderators). The fact that the lyrical content is as bad as the music isn’t exactly surprising.Recommend

  • Tina

    This was a great write and your knowledge and awareness takes us again to the century where there Will be respect and pride for women all over the globe.keep writing and sharingRecommend

  • sagar

    Javeria you did it again girl.there is a great writer within you,which needs polishing like a gem and ET is doing a great job by providing you this platform.I always keep waiting for your articles .Good luck!Recommend

  • M J Baig

    Very well written Javeria! Cracked me up a few times.Recommend

  • Moiz Omar

    Hahahaha! This is hilarious. Robin Thicke got trolled so hard.Recommend

  • Working woman

    “The message is clear. We do not want young girls to look at a video of scantily clad women and get the idea that their bodies are to be used as mere sexual objects. We do not want young boys looking at the video and thinking that a girl’s consent is not really necessary and all you have to do is read between the lines.”
    What about having PG rating? Mark it ‘Good Adults Only’? Remember, PORN is out there across the globe too? It shows Young girls, boys and everything that aims objectifying WOMEN.Recommend

  • mario

    PG rating? So you’re in favor of these videos circulating around if only PG rated? Really? Shame.Recommend