Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)

Current Events & Hot Topics Current Events & Hot Topics

Blurred Lines, Not So Much: Double Standards at Play for Women in Music Videos

Posted by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM
  • 61 Replies


Tsion Abera is a freshman at Dartmouth College and one of RH Reality Check‘s youth voices.

Date rape, nudity, sexual objectification, and the hottest song of the summer: In March, Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” music video, featuring Pharrell and T.I., was released on YouTube. The song is said to perpetuate rape culture by rejecting the concept of clear sexual consent.

The song’s lyrics include “You’re an animal,” and “I hate these ‘Blurred Lines’ / I know you want it.” Rather than viewing women as actual human beings, Thicke portrays women as animals starved for sexual gratification; the “blurred lines” between consent and rape prevent intercourse.

The video has received even more negative attention from feminists and others, because in it three topless women are seen dancing and posing, while the three men—Thicke, Pharrell, and T.I.—are seen well-dressed, in suits. The video demonstrates a clear power dynamic, in which the men are dominant and the women are treated simply as sex objects.

In response, law students Adelaide Dunn, Olivia Lubbock, and Zoe Ellwood created a parody of “Blurred Lines.” â€œDefined Lines” is a feminist twist on the tune that calls for social change and respect for women. “Defined Lines” reverses the roles of sexual exploitation and promotes women’s empowerment rather than submissive objectification of the kind seen in the original video. The “Defined Lines” video features three shirtless men in boxers who are dancing and serving three dressed women while they deconstruct the notion of male dominance.

In early September, “Defined Lines” was removed from YouTube after being flagged as “inappropriate.” Though the parody was later returned to YouTube, the damage was already done. The removal of “Defined Lines” sent a message that the idea of women dominating submissive men is unsuitable because of societal gender roles that portray women as submissive to men. Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” video sexually objectifies women and includes topless women dancing. The “Defined Lines” parody mirrors Thicke’s video with male dancers. So why was “Defined Lines” taken off YouTube, but “Blurred Lines” wasn’t?

While objectifying women in music videos is socially acceptable, the same standard held toward men is “inappropriate.” The objectification of women in the music industry has become a widespread trend in society. Hip-hop and pop videos include racy clothing and actions. These music videos often demonstrate a misogynistic gender dynamic. Oftentimes, women are seen dancing on men as the men sing about wealth, sex, and power. Too many male artists—many of them at the top of their genres—join Robin Thicke in being notorious for the objectification of women in their music videos.

In addition to male artists sexually objectifying women, female artists use their own sex appeal to increase viewers and profit. A study by the University of Missouri College of Arts and Science concluded, “It has been known that music videos featuring male artists often sexually objectify women, but our study shows that many female artists are objectifying themselves in their music videos.”

To this I say, a woman’s body is her own. Women have every right to do with their bodies as they please. Women have every right to wear—or not wear—whatever they want. Even so, the double standard of power dynamics in music videos is troubling.

In particular, the double standard is blatantly obvious with the temporary removal of the “Defined Lines” parody video. Male domination in music videos has become a social norm in which men are seen as powerful and women are seen as submissive sex objects. This social norm is reflected in music lyrics such as those sung by Robin Thicke, who, in his song,blatantly promotes date rape. In temporarily removing the “Defined Lines” parody, YouTube reaffirmed the dangerous idea that women are submissive objects while men are rightfully dominant.

The fact that the “Defined Lines” video was removed even for a brief time is a clear indication of how welcoming music videos are to the idea of women in charge.


http://rhrealitycheck.org/article/2013/10/24/blurred-lines-not-so-much-double-standards-at-play-for-women-in-music-videos/

by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 10:53 PM
Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Replies (1-10):
AtiFreeFalls
by Silver Member on Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:02 PM
1 mom liked this

 Well, I can't say that I'm surprised, but I am sad that this happened, and that people continue to think of gender roles in this way.  I just can't wrap my head around it.  Why is this stuff still happening now?  How?  Women in Saudi can't drive, women here are out of line when they behave in the same manner as men... I just can't figure out how this is STILL happening, and why EVERY woman isn't outraged and why EVERY man doesn't see it as in his best interest to correct this BS. 

Mommabearbergh
by Gold Member on Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:26 PM
5 moms liked this
Seriously we are gonna do this again. To me it says nothing about rape culture. It seems people wanted to jump on a bandwagon because it's the it thing. If people read the actual words they would see what the song means instead of taking snippets out of context. Their have been worse things said in music but this is the one thing people cling to my goodness. Btw for that that don't like my opinion it's just that MY Opinion
Arroree
by Ruby Member on Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:35 PM
1 mom liked this

The double standard is sickening.

lga1965
by on Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:46 PM
2 moms liked this

 

Quoting Mommabearbergh:

Seriously we are gonna do this again. To me it says nothing about rape culture. It seems people wanted to jump on a bandwagon because it's the it thing. If people read the actual words they would see what the song means instead of taking snippets out of context. Their have been worse things said in music but this is the one thing people cling to my goodness. Btw for that that don't like my opinion it's just that MY Opinion

 Yes, I agree. "You know you want it" has nothing to do with rape. There seems to be a huge overreaction to this and so many other forms of entertainment.

Robin Thicke promotes "date rape" ? Give me a break. Incredibly dishonest.

But then ( and I find this hypocritcal or just plain stupid ) when women read "50 Shades of Grey" and love it, what does that say? The woman in that book is happy to be the victim of a controlling man who makes her obey him and treats her like an inferior being. Her sexual experiences are a lot closer to rape than the "Blurred Lines" video, in my opinion. Yes, I read the book and it was poorly written and creepy. Actually,I stopped reading about 2/3 through it. Waste of time.

I am a little suspicious of this .

squeekers
by Bronze Member on Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:48 PM
Mommabearbergh
by Gold Member on Oct. 26, 2013 at 11:52 PM
2 moms liked this
I could never get into that book. I just read it like ummm wtf. Lol. I guess the difference there is a women wrote the book vs robin thicke a man writing the song. Then that would also point out a double standard. A women writes a book and they are making a movie about a bdsm sub dom relationship the women flock to buy her books but we should be appalled and boycotting a song that actually talks about sexual freedom.

Quoting lga1965:

 


Quoting Mommabearbergh:

Seriously we are gonna do this again. To me it says nothing about rape culture. It seems people wanted to jump on a bandwagon because it's the it thing. If people read the actual words they would see what the song means instead of taking snippets out of context. Their have been worse things said in music but this is the one thing people cling to my goodness. Btw for that that don't like my opinion it's just that MY Opinion

 Yes, I agree. "You know you want it" has nothing to do with rape. There seems to be a huge overreaction to this and so many other forms of entertainment.


Robin Thicke promotes "date rape" ? Give me a break. Incredibly dishonest.


But then ( and I find this hypocritcal or just plain stupid ) when women read "50 Shades of Grey" and love it, what does that say? The woman in that book is happy to be the victim of a controlling man who makes her obey him and treats her like an inferior being. Her sexual experiences are a lot closer to rape than the "Blurred Lines" video, in my opinion. Yes, I read the book and it was poorly written and creepy. Actually,I stopped reading about 2/3 through it. Waste of time.


I am a little suspicious of this .

stormcris
by Christy on Oct. 27, 2013 at 1:09 AM
1 mom liked this

I am not sure that this person understood the lyrics.

The girl is clearly in charge the way I read the lyrics. The blurred lines are about cheating.

DusterMommy
by Bronze Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 1:14 AM
1 mom liked this

I keep reading this crap over and over, in a million different forums, and I still don't take the lyrics that way.  I've listened to the song, I've read the lyrics, and I have never understood the lyrics to be about blurring lines between rape/consent.

I think it's about blurring the lines between good/bad, or blurring the lines when it comes to cheating.  Where the hell do people get rape?

Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 1:20 AM
1 mom liked this
Ignoring what Blurred Lines is about, is there a problem with Defined Lines having been removed from YouTube even for a short period? I've seen it & it doesn't appear inappropriate compared to many other YouTube videos. I think the removal was a problem. I think focussing on the original song is diverting the thread topic.
Bookwormy
by Platinum Member on Oct. 27, 2013 at 1:21 AM
That's not what the article is really about.

Quoting stormcris:

I am not sure that this person understood the lyrics.

The girl is clearly in charge the way I read the lyrics. The blurred lines are about cheating.

Add your quick reply below:
You must be a member to reply to this post.
Join the Meeting Place for Moms!
Talk to other moms, share advice, and have fun!

(minimum 6 characters)