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Robin Thicke is known as a crooner of love songs -- but rape songs? That's what critics are saying about his latest hit "Blurred Lines." The song, as The Daily Beast puts it, "is about how a girl really wants crazy wild sex but doesn’t say it -- positing that age-old problem where men think no means yes into a catchy, hummable song." Some sample lyrics:
I know you want it / You're a good girl / Can't let it get past me / You're far from plastic / Talk about getting blasted / I hate these blurred lines / I know you want it.
Hmm. No wonder some people are nicknaming the song "rapey."
The video doesn't help matters, as Robin murmurs, "You know you want it" over and over into the ears of various much younger, half-naked, bored-looking women.
Hey, no one ever said rock-'n'-roll (or R&B or whatever Robin is) was politically correct. In fact, music seems to be able to still get away with the kind of thing that no one can say in print, on Twitter, or in interviews. Maybe that's because lyrics are usually just a byproduct of the melody -- as long as you can dance to it, you can say pretty much anything. Besides, who can understand lyrics anyway?
But is Robin's song promoting "rape culture"? Insinuating that the lines between "yes" and "no" are blurred would certainly lend itself to that conclusion. But let's face it: Men and women do like to tease each other. I've said no to guys I had every intention of saying yes to later. That's part of the game. Part of the chase. The line is crossed when a guy says "I'm not listening to your no" as I'm saying it. Anyway, this would hardly be the first or last song about rape, if indeed that is even what it's about. Others have been much more straightforward.
I remember listening to lots of music as a kid -- and not taking the lyrics seriously. "Papa Don't Preach" didn't make me want to run out and become a teen mom. I'm not sure I even knew what Madonna was talking about.
The day that music is toned down to the point where it could be played at any political correctness rally would be a sad day.
There are probably kids who go straight to the lyric sheet and memorize the words of songs and perhaps try to act according to what their favorite singer is singing about. But that's what parents are for, right? To keep kids away from certain songs? Or to explain to them that that isn't real life?
As for us adults, if listening to a Robin Thicke song turns you into a rapist, then anything would have.
Do you think song is really about rape?
Image via VEVO