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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 (31-40):
NananRaysmom
by Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:13 PM
She can act how she wants..
But she shouldn't be surprised when she's looked down on and called names. She was beyond nasty..and the only one on stage acting like a slut.


Quoting stringtheory:Why is it not ok to act like Miley did?

Quoting NananRaysmom:Pretty self explanatory...

Women are not the same as men...we have two different roles in society.. we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. It's not ok for us to act the way Miley did.. it's degrading and trashy...she needs to act like a lady...not slut around.


Quoting Stephanie329:"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.


famiglia_bella
by on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:14 PM

Right on!


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 I have a 3 year old son :)  And I also have an awesome, empowered 5 year old daughter.  And a husband who is 100% supportive and awesome about this stuff. 

This shit doesn't fly at my house lol. 


AtiFreeFalls
by Silver Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:15 PM
5 moms liked this

 1.  Men are raped in this fashion as well.  They just don't report it because it is not socially acceptable.

2.  How about instead of having sex with drunk women men are held to the same standard as women... have sex with someone you know and care about with some thought put into the action?  Why is that too much for men to handle, but we all agree women should be doing that?

3.  If she's too drunk to consent it is OBVIOUS.  And yes, if you proceed without having obtained prior consent you are a RAPIST.

Quoting NananRaysmom:

Poor men again!!!!
You have drinks with a woman...our just meet one who is already drunk..she comes on to you..initiates sex..and the man could be called a rapist??
Jesus.. women are responsible for themselves..and if they drink beyond their limit...that's their fault. Are women to stupid to know when to stop?? How are men to know what a specific woman's limit is?+


NananRaysmom
by Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:16 PM
It's really sad that a man can be charged with rape for that.


Quoting famiglia_bella:

THIS is the problem, folks!  Too many don't know what consent is... by law!  Thank goodness for centers like CCS San Diego that go on tours to local schools, businesses, and even juvenile halls to teach what consent actually is.  Healthy society starts with educating the public.



Quoting NananRaysmom:

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...


AtiFreeFalls
by Silver Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:17 PM

 Alright, Semantics Queen... under the influence, then.  That is an umbrella term.  And under the law if you are drunk, high, emotionally compromised or incapacitated for any reason and someone has sex with you it is rape.

Quoting kidlover2:

Intoxication and being "high" are actually not the same thing..... When they pull you over in a car, you will be charged differently. My ex-husband was an alcoholic and persistently high. He acted 1000 times differently depending on whether he was high or drunk.

stringtheory
by Gold Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:17 PM
2 moms liked this
Do you have a problem when a man is beyond nasty and behaves like a slut? Or is that what you're saying: women should avoid it, but men can't be held to that standard because...(I beg you to fill in that blank here as that is what I believe is confusing about your responses).

Quoting NananRaysmom:

She can act how she wants..

But she shouldn't be surprised when she's looked down on and called names. She was beyond nasty..and the only one on stage acting like a slut.





Quoting stringtheory:Why is it not ok to act like Miley did?



Quoting NananRaysmom:Pretty self explanatory...



Women are not the same as men...we have two different roles in society.. we need to hold ourselves to a higher standard. It's not ok for us to act the way Miley did.. it's degrading and trashy...she needs to act like a lady...not slut around.





Quoting Stephanie329:"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.





NananRaysmom
by Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:19 PM
1 mom liked this
I didn't say passed out drunk..
Drunk..like you may not remember the next day. Or do stuff you might not usually do...that's not the man's fault... and it's not always obvious.

Women don't have to only have sex with men they care about!! Just be prepared that some people may think differently of you...


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 1.  Men are raped in this fashion as well.  They just don't report it because it is not socially acceptable.

2.  How about instead of having sex with drunk women men are held to the same standard as women... have sex with someone you know and care about with some thought put into the action?  Why is that too much for men to handle, but we all agree women should be doing that?

3.  If she's too drunk to consent it is OBVIOUS.  And yes, if you proceed without having obtained prior consent you are a RAPIST.


Quoting NananRaysmom:

Poor men again!!!!
You have drinks with a woman...our just meet one who is already drunk..she comes on to you..initiates sex..and the man could be called a rapist??
Jesus.. women are responsible for themselves..and if they drink beyond their limit...that's their fault. Are women to stupid to know when to stop?? How are men to know what a specific woman's limit is?+



kidlover2
by Bronze Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:20 PM
Not really. High people can consent to having sex because they are coherent and aware of it. Drunk people rarely can and passed out intoxicated ones certainly can't. There is a difference.

Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 Alright, Semantics Queen... under the influence, then.  That is an umbrella term.  And under the law if you are drunk, high, emotionally compromised or incapacitated for any reason and someone has sex with you it is rape.


Quoting kidlover2:

Intoxication and being "high" are actually not the same thing..... When they pull you over in a car, you will be charged differently. My ex-husband was an alcoholic and persistently high. He acted 1000 times differently depending on whether he was high or drunk.

AtiFreeFalls
by Silver Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:21 PM

 

Quoting NananRaysmom:

I didn't say passed out drunk..
Drunk..like you may not remember the next day. Or do stuff you might not usually do...that's not the man's fault... and it's not always obvious.

Women don't have to only have sex with men they care about!! Just be prepared that some people may think differently of you...


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 1.  Men are raped in this fashion as well.  They just don't report it because it is not socially acceptable.

2.  How about instead of having sex with drunk women men are held to the same standard as women... have sex with someone you know and care about with some thought put into the action?  Why is that too much for men to handle, but we all agree women should be doing that?

3.  If she's too drunk to consent it is OBVIOUS.  And yes, if you proceed without having obtained prior consent you are a RAPIST.


Quoting NananRaysmom:

Poor men again!!!!
You have drinks with a woman...our just meet one who is already drunk..she comes on to you..initiates sex..and the man could be called a rapist??
Jesus.. women are responsible for themselves..and if they drink beyond their limit...that's their fault. Are women to stupid to know when to stop?? How are men to know what a specific woman's limit is?+



 

AtiFreeFalls
by Silver Member on Aug. 29, 2013 at 10:24 PM

 I've been drunk a few times in my life.  I have never been so drunk I don't remember stuff the next day.  And inhibitions are lowered with alcohol consumption, WHICH IS WHY IT IS RAPE TO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THAT.  You can't consent if you are not in your right mind. 

And your second paragraph is full of sexism.  You don't expect the same things from men.  Men exhibiting the same behavior should not be held to the same standards as women is what you're saying. 

Quoting NananRaysmom:

I didn't say passed out drunk..
Drunk..like you may not remember the next day. Or do stuff you might not usually do...that's not the man's fault... and it's not always obvious.

Women don't have to only have sex with men they care about!! Just be prepared that some people may think differently of you...


Quoting AtiFreeFalls:

 1.  Men are raped in this fashion as well.  They just don't report it because it is not socially acceptable.

2.  How about instead of having sex with drunk women men are held to the same standard as women... have sex with someone you know and care about with some thought put into the action?  Why is that too much for men to handle, but we all agree women should be doing that?

3.  If she's too drunk to consent it is OBVIOUS.  And yes, if you proceed without having obtained prior consent you are a RAPIST.


Quoting NananRaysmom:

Poor men again!!!!
You have drinks with a woman...our just meet one who is already drunk..she comes on to you..initiates sex..and the man could be called a rapist??
Jesus.. women are responsible for themselves..and if they drink beyond their limit...that's their fault. Are women to stupid to know when to stop?? How are men to know what a specific woman's limit is?+



 

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