Why there should be no such thing as “Blurred Lines”

Lindsay Kriz

The song “Blurred Lines” is old news. It peaked when Miley Cyrus took the stage with Robin Thicke a few weeks ago, and ever since then, it’s finally begun to disappear from the radio and the mouths of the general public.

But there’s a group of people out there that hasn’t forgotten and is still talking about the rape culture lyrics of the song: rape victims, who are part of this rape culture.

Rape culture, according to Marshall University, is an “environment in which rape is prevalent and in which sexual violence against women is normalized and excused in the media and pop culture.”

Recently a friend of mine on Facebook posted a link to her wall called “From the Mouths of Rapists: The Lyrics of Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines.”

The article features both men (who too can be rape victims, of course) and women, either openly showing their faces or anonymous, holding signs that say what their rapist said to them during the time of forced intercourse.

The very first picture features a girl holding a sign that says “I know you want it,” which, incidentally, is a lyric that Thicke repeats in “Blurred Lines.”

In the song, Thicke also refers to the unnamed woman he’s pursuing as a “good girl,” which implies that the only way for her to be a good girl is to let him have it because she “can’t let it get past him.”

Sure, the song itself may be catchy. Before I sat down and truly read the song lyrics, I thought it was catchy and was reminiscent of early Michael Jackson, “whoos!” and all.

But the minute I read the lyrics and saw the backlash that it was receiving from Tumblr users who had been raped, I knew there was something deeply wrong with an artist who decides to make money because “What a pleasure it is to degrade women” (Thicke’s own words in an interview with GQ in May).

This is 2013 and we are still living in a society that still excuses rape with victim-blaming and romanticism of sexual assault. Thicke talks about hating the blurred lines between him and the girl he’s with, because even if she ended up rejecting him he knows “she wants it.”

The message Thicke’s song sends is that consent is a blurred line, and that if someone flirts with you it’s okay to assume they want sex, whether they eventually say no or not. And the answer is that there should be no blurred lines with consent, and that the only line of consent is a defined one: no means no.

Am I in any way saying that you should stop listening to the song if you enjoy it? No. As much as I would like that, you are entitled to listen to whatever you, reader, wish to listen to.

But if you choose to listen to “Blurred Lines,” you should that what you’re listening to is problematic, and maybe you’ll understand why I believe the lyrics of the song itself should be more shocking than Miley Cyrus dancing provocatively onstage with Robin Thicke while both sing these problematic lyrics.

Robin Thicke may hate those blurred lines, but I’m sure rape victims out there who have heard the song’s lyrics and are reminded of the trauma they once experienced hate those blurred lines even more.