The first time I really listened to the lyrics of “Blurred Lines,” I was like, “This is my JAM!” It only took a few minutes of Googling and reading my favorite feminist blogs, though, before I started becoming horrified and dismayed at the feminist community’s reaction to the song. The Daily Beast kicked off a knee-jerk party by calling it a “rape song,” and from there it was over. Feminist blog after feminist blog started jumping on the bandwagon, then the fervor spread to major news outlets, and all summer I was mired in language that made me feel excluded from a community into which I’ve invested not only my time and energy, but also my identity.
Let me be clear, Robin Thicke as a person seems like a giant douchenozzle and his latest album is pathetic. But I looooove “Blurred Lines.” The accusation that it’s “rapey” is unfounded if you look at the entire song in context: It’s about two sexually expressive people flirting. That’s it. At no point in the song does the male narrator imply that he’s willing or going to bypass consent. The idea that it’s about the “blurred lines of consent” was projected onto it by people who came to the song with prior hangups. The “blurred line” he’s referring to is the line of knowing or not knowing if the person you’re flirting with is into you. Like, “I’m pretty sure I know you want it, but you haven’t expressly said so, so we’re still in this hazy flirting territory.” He doesn’t say — at all, ever — “I know you want it, and whether or not that’s actually true, I’m going to take it.” But nonetheless, that’s what it was made out to be. Keep reading »