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How to Talk With Your Sons About Robin Thicke

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Eric Clapp

Creativity, Ministry, and How to Change the World

How to Talk With Your Sons About Robin Thicke

If you have ears, you’ve heard Robin Thicke’s hit “Blurred Lines.” If you’ve had any amount of spare time in the past few days and have access to the internets, you’ve heard about Thicke’s performance at the VMA’s with Miley Cyrus. If you have no idea what I’m talking about, congratulations! You must have looked past the headlines on CNN’s main page in order to read about “secondary” news like Egypt or Syria. You can find a video of the performance here.

If you’ve been on Facebook or Twitter with any kind of regularity over the past few days, you’ve probably heard countless friends or followers sounding off on any number of objectionable things about the performance. Undoubtedly, 99% of things written about it throw around words like “obscene”, “offensive”, and the like.

There have been a number of different parenting websites or blog posts who have come up with good ways to talk to your daughter about Miley. And, don’t get me wrong, I’m all about parents talking to their daughters about sexuality.

But is no one going to hold anyone else on stage or behind the scenes accountable for that performance? Are we really going to have another one-sided conversation where we only talk to the girls about their sexuality while we completely ignore the boys in the room about their standards of behavior too?

There are next to no commentaries, articles, or blog posts that talk about how Robin Thicke was on stage with a woman young enough to be his daughter while thrusting his pelvis and repeating the line “I know you want it” while T.I. non-chalantly raps about much more graphic stuff. As Shelli Latham astutely points out:

Girls’ sexuality is so much the focus of our ire. Women who have sex are dirty. Men who have sex are men. Girls who dress to be ogled are hoes. Men who ogle are just doing what comes naturally. This is the kind of reinforced behavior that makes it perfectly acceptable to legislate a woman’s access to birth control and reproductive health care without engaging in balanced conversations about covering Viagra and vasectomies. Our girls cannot win in this environment, not when they are tots in tiaras, not in their teens or when they are coming into adulthood.

Issues of misogynistic attitudes and acts of violence toward women aren’t going anywhere until us men make some very intentional decisions about our behavior and about the way we act toward women. There are certain things that Robin Thicke and “Blurred Lines” re-inforce in our culture.

For instance… Studies have shown that viewing images of objectified women gives men “greater tolerance for sexual harassment and greater rape myth acceptance,” and helps them view women as “less competent” and “less human“. Certainly singing about “blurred lines” will at the very least reinforce a culture that already trivializes the importance of consent.*

There’s nothing blurry about Robin Thicke’s role in the VMA debacle. Even though he’s come out and defended his song, going so far as to call it a “feminist movement,” it’s pretty plain to see that’s far from the case.

Here’s where it starts

So what can we do? In order to change the way we view women culturally, we need to change the way we view women individually. We need to call bullshit on attempts to end domestic violence and misogyny towards women by only talking to our daughters. We need to talk to our sons and our brothers about respecting women and respecting themselves.

It starts in homes. It starts in small conversations that treat all people as worthy and equal. It starts with having the courage to speak out against the wide variety of forces in our society that objectify women.

It starts with understanding that as men, our value does not come from how much power we hold over women. Our value comes from being respected and being loved as we respect and love the people who matter to us.

Be brave enough to tell a different story. Be courageous enough to rise above the lies that our culture tells you about how to treat women. In doing so, you’ll help create a better world for your sons. And for your sons’ sons. And that’s something to which we should all aspire.

Cheers,
Eric

Not Without Panties

by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:27 PM
Replies (11-20):
NananRaysmom
by Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 9:59 PM
Exactly...men are wrong no matter how they handle the situation..


Quoting Mommabearbergh:

He's a performer he probably thought umm okay the show must go on. Had he shoved her people would have said its violence against women. The man can't win.



Quoting canadianmom1974:

In that performance, she was the aggressor. I guess he could have shoved her away when she started twerking on him, but then there'd be a whole different discussion about him.





I don't believe women should be held to a higher standard - but who was half naked making a fool of themselves? In any discussion I would have with my sons I would counsel them on the company they keep - male and female.






Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Why?

Quoting NananRaysmom:

Oh God..

Me..my dd and ds watched that performance..

Miley was the one acting like a slut...and trashy...not Robin...

Theres no discussion to have with my son..but I will admit..I am a little misogynistic...



Like it or not..women have to hold themselves to a higher standard than men. They can do things we can't because we would be looked down on. That doesn't bother me at all.
NananRaysmom
by Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Why what


Quoting Stephanie329:

Why?



Quoting NananRaysmom:

Oh God..


Me..my dd and ds watched that performance..


Miley was the one acting like a slut...and trashy...not Robin...


Theres no discussion to have with my son..but I will admit..I am a little misogynistic...





Like it or not..women have to hold themselves to a higher standard than men. They can do things we can't because we would be looked down on. That doesn't bother me at all.

AtiFreeFalls
by Silver Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:01 PM
1 mom liked this

 Really?  You're a good girl, I know you want it.  Get high, more about sex, something about "big enough to tear that ass it two" and "make it hurt"... The "blurred lines of consent" are her acting like she wants to have sex, saying no because she's a "good girl" and him getting her high and convincing her to give it up.  Plus a bunch of nonsense.  

Good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
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
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you're a good girl

Quoting sweet-a-kins:

Blurred lines of consent?

No

She is of age


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 You're right.  Letting a young woman grope your junk with a foam finger with a look on your face like "Yep, you just saw that" and standing with your hips thrust forward while she twerks into your genitals and sing a song about the blurred lines of consent is TOTALLY not slutty.  At all. [/sarcasm] 

And it bothers ME that women are held to a higher standard.  Why?  Because there's no reason for it other than sexism.  Women are worth more than their sexuality.

I didn't like Miley's performance.  I found it distasteful and uncomfortable.  I REALLY don't like Robin's song about "blurred lines".  A woman gyrating around and humping stuff is weird.  A dude singing about rape is fucking disgusting. 


Quoting NananRaysmom:

Oh God..
Me..my dd and ds watched that performance..
Miley was the one acting like a slut...and trashy...not Robin...
Theres no discussion to have with my son..but I will admit..I am a little misogynistic...

Like it or not..women have to hold themselves to a higher standard than men. They can do things we can't because we would be looked down on. That doesn't bother me at all.

 

 

Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:02 PM
1 mom liked this
Pretty much this.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 You're right.  Letting a young woman grope your junk with a foam finger with a look on your face like "Yep, you just saw that" and standing with your hips thrust forward while she twerks into your genitals and sing a song about the blurred lines of consent is TOTALLY not slutty.  At all. [/sarcasm] 

And it bothers ME that women are held to a higher standard.  Why?  Because there's no reason for it other than sexism.  Women are worth more than their sexuality.

I didn't like Miley's performance.  I found it distasteful and uncomfortable.  I REALLY don't like Robin's song about "blurred lines".  A woman gyrating around and humping stuff is weird.  A dude singing about rape is fucking disgusting. 


Quoting NananRaysmom:

Oh God..
Me..my dd and ds watched that performance..
Miley was the one acting like a slut...and trashy...not Robin...
Theres no discussion to have with my son..but I will admit..I am a little misogynistic...

Like it or not..women have to hold themselves to a higher standard than men. They can do things we can't because we would be looked down on. That doesn't bother me at all.

 

PestPatti
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:04 PM
3 moms liked this


  I don't watch the VMAS, I am really not an award show kind of person.  And really MTV was awesome back in the day when they played VIDEOS.. Ahh the 80's.

 I didn't need a TV event to have talk to my sons about how to treat women.   I just told them what was acceptable and what wasn't.   

 

canadianmom1974
by Gold Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:04 PM
Exactly!

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

He's a performer he probably thought umm okay the show must go on. Had he shoved her people would have said its violence against women. The man can't win.



Quoting canadianmom1974:

In that performance, she was the aggressor. I guess he could have shoved her away when she started twerking on him, but then there'd be a whole different discussion about him.





I don't believe women should be held to a higher standard - but who was half naked making a fool of themselves? In any discussion I would have with my sons I would counsel them on the company they keep - male and female.





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Stephanie329
by Platinum Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM
"Like it or not..women have to hold themselves to a higher standard than men. They can do things we can't because we would be looked down on. That doesn't bother me at all."

Quoting NananRaysmom:

Why what




Quoting Stephanie329:

Why?





Quoting NananRaysmom:

Oh God..



Me..my dd and ds watched that performance..



Miley was the one acting like a slut...and trashy...not Robin...



Theres no discussion to have with my son..but I will admit..I am a little misogynistic...







Like it or not..women have to hold themselves to a higher standard than men. They can do things we can't because we would be looked down on. That doesn't bother me at all.

AtiFreeFalls
by Silver Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:05 PM
I don't listen to it. Doesn't mean I haven't heard it. I was just responding to what you said.
Quoting NananRaysmom:

Saying the song is about rape is such a far stretch...
And if you feel it is...ehhh...don't listen to it.


Quoting AtiFreeFalls: You're right.  Letting a young woman grope your junk with a foam finger with a look on your face like "Yep, you just saw that" and standing with your hips thrust forward while she twerks into your genitals and sing a song about the blurred lines of consent is TOTALLY not slutty.  At all. [/sarcasm]  And it bothers ME that women are held to a higher standard.  Why?  Because there's no reason for it other than sexism.  Women are worth more than their sexuality.I didn't like Miley's performance.  I found it distasteful and uncomfortable.  I REALLY don't like Robin's song about "blurred lines".  A woman gyrating around and humping stuff is weird.  A dude singing about rape is fucking disgusting. 
Quoting NananRaysmom:Oh God..Me..my dd and ds watched that performance..Miley was the one acting like a slut...and trashy...not Robin...Theres no discussion to have with my son..but I will admit..I am a little misogynistic...Like it or not..women have to hold themselves to a higher standard than men. They can do things we can't because we would be looked down on. That doesn't bother me at all.
 
NananRaysmom
by Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:06 PM
1 mom liked this
So...he "gets" her high to have sex with her...I assume she has no mind if her own and can't make her own decision to get high and have sex??

That's not his fault if she chooses to get high..and has sex...it's not rape...


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 Really?  You're a good girl, I know you want it.  Get high, more about sex, something about "big enough to tear that ass it two" and "make it hurt"... The "blurred lines of consent" are her acting like she wants to have sex, saying no because she's a "good girl" and him getting her high and convincing her to give it up.  Plus a bunch of nonsense.  

Good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
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
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you're a good girl


Quoting sweet-a-kins:

Blurred lines of consent?

No

She is of age



Quoting AtiFreeFalls:


 You're right.  Letting a young woman grope your junk with a foam finger with a look on your face like "Yep, you just saw that" and standing with your hips thrust forward while she twerks into your genitals and sing a song about the blurred lines of consent is TOTALLY not slutty.  At all. [/sarcasm] 

And it bothers ME that women are held to a higher standard.  Why?  Because there's no reason for it other than sexism.  Women are worth more than their sexuality.

I didn't like Miley's performance.  I found it distasteful and uncomfortable.  I REALLY don't like Robin's song about "blurred lines".  A woman gyrating around and humping stuff is weird.  A dude singing about rape is fucking disgusting. 



Quoting NananRaysmom:

Oh God..
Me..my dd and ds watched that performance..
Miley was the one acting like a slut...and trashy...not Robin...
Theres no discussion to have with my son..but I will admit..I am a little misogynistic...

Like it or not..women have to hold themselves to a higher standard than men. They can do things we can't because we would be looked down on. That doesn't bother me at all.


 


 


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