In the Thicke of it

Robin Thicke at the DNC convention on August 2...
Robin Thicke at the DNC convention on August 29, 2008. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

OK so by now you would have to have been living in a cave to have not heard the new(ish) song by Robin Thicke; Blurred Lines.

This is quite probably the catchiest song of the year and has stormed to number one in the charts in countless countries. Every time I hear it I find myself humming along for ages with the tune refusing to leave the dusty attic which is my brain. The rest of his album in fact is pretty good – disco and funk inspired soul music really and it’s very listenable.

So, what’s the problem?

Well to be honest, the biggest issue I have is the video for Blurred Lines.

Now, I have three boys all under 11 (till next month) and the censored video is bad enough. Fully dressed men being danced around by half naked women seemingly submissive to whatever their “masters” need. However, the uncensored version is nothing short of unbridled  misogynistic sexism in video format.

The girls are not just prancing about in their underwear… they’re not wearing underwear.

I wouldn’t want my boys to see this video because it basically tells the watcher that men are superior to women, and that women are simply things to be looked at, ogled over and used as men see fit. I honestly don’t know why it’s necessary. I don’t have daughters, but I do have nieces and I also wouldn’t want them to watch it as it would tell them “Hey, this is how you should look and act… oh and while you’re at it, where’s my beer bitch!?”.

If the music is good, why do you need a video like that to try and sell it as surely that has to be the driving force behind such a video, either that or Robin’s overly-inflated ego, who knows?

What I do know is that it’s yet another in a long line (if somewhat less overtly) sexist videos I have seen over the last few years such as “Hands up for Detriot”. Surely there isn’t just a male audience for this music and why aren’t the women of the world making more noise about it? Maybe I’m just over-reacting?

Sexism aside for a moment, I am also worried for the future of our children by the amount of sex they are exposed to in the mainstream media. We’re always shocked when another 14 year old is pregnant but rarely stop to consider that it’s us as parent who are allowing our children to grow up too fast. My eldest son is 11 next month and yet reading through the leavers book he got yesterday his friends are playing games like COD, GTA and watching films like Silent Hill!! What the fuck? These are children being de-sensitised to the extremes of our world be it horror, sex or violence.

I should point out now that I am in no way a prude. Lord knows I’m not. If there’s sex scenes in a film or whatever then fine, I can check the rating and decide if the kids should be seeing it or not.  To push music onto kids with a video like those I’ve seen more and more of lately for me is just unnecessary. Kids grow up to fast as it is why do people want to make the situation worse??

While I’m thinking about it; I realise that sex sells, but the world also seems to be ever decreasingly circling the drain of utter ridiculousness in terms of what it will sell with sex.

The most ludicrous example I think I’ve seen of late, is a particular sofa manufacturer who has copied the Dior advert. You know the one where the famous super model, who’s name I have forgotten or never really knew, strips off as she walking towards the camera back-lit to reveal no details (obviously). Only their version ends with a naked women perched on the end of the sofa. I realise some of you may appreciate such a thing when popping into your local branch of “Yet Another Sofa Company”, but I have to say: I just wonder where it will stop?

I am reminded of a line from Lee Evans about sex selling, where he thrusts away on stage like a mad man to then turn and face the audience in an attempt to mock advertising, holding his hand up in the air and saying the immortal word: “Pegs”!!

The selling of stuff via sex is very one sided which for me is also an issue. I’m not saying I would love to see more naked men on TV or anything, but come on lets have something for the ladies shall we? If we’re going to sell with sex it should be even-stevens surely?

Check out the articles below for a little re-balancing of the gender issue, and people, lets try to sort this shit out before it’s too late for our children to understand that 12 really isn’t the age of consent, and women should be valued for who they are and what they are capable of, not how they look and how few clothes they have on.


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