I recall a friend of mine, female may I add, said to me how feminism is dead because ‘women have jobs now, and that feminism is just angry women. This is clearly flawed when sexism exists so blatantly under our eyes. Take a look at the new music video by Robin Thicke called Blurred lines, and tell that feminism is for lesbians or whatever and that feminism is not needed.
The video starts off with scantily clad dressed models (no surprises there) each paired with one ‘artist’ ‘musician’ whatever they call themselves, and in some shots two models on each side of Thicke. The video shows TI’s (that is an American rapper for those who don’t know) unintentionally granddad dancing which is ironic because it lessens his ‘pulling power’. Thicke sings in falsetto or I think it’s something close to it, ‘If you can’t hear, what I’m tryna say’ and Pharrell Williams adds a school boy line ‘Girl come over her’. Then comes the most offensive line ‘ok now he was close, tried to domesticate you/ But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature/ Just let me liberate you’. While we can all agree none of these ‘artists’ are going to win a literature prize for the genius of their lyrics, it highlights the very unjust nature of sex discrimination that goes unnoticed and therefore institutionalised. Why is this acceptable talk to women as if they are prey? Feminism is not about women in isolation, but is also about men. Feminism is essentially about healthy female-male relations. This kind of behaviour is therefore in no way helpful for young boys and men than it is to young girls and women, because men are also pressured into playing the LAD, unemotional partner. Thicke, Williams and TI look like seedy old men in nice suits eyeing up these young models. In one shot Williams looks on while a scantily clad model shakes her ‘booty’ in front of him. In a different shot, another model is seductively biting her thumb while Thicke sings in her ear ‘I know you want it’. The model’s character (if you can call it that), I guess ‘role’ is a better term, only goes onto portray women as sex symbols, although some feminists may find this inspiring, for most, it is just another way to disempower women by reducing them to mere body parts. This is clearly shown when she is topless and stood next to a fully clothed man.
In many different shots Thicke is pulling at one of the model’s long ponytail, and Williams in fact pulls her along. ‘You the hottest bitch in this place’, I think my blood has boiled over, apart from the horrendous grammer, why why why do songwriters find it acceptable to use the term ‘bitches’ to describe females. It is simply unfair that these young women are being exploited this way, sure they ‘sell their bodies’ as models, but seedy men prancing around them is not sexy, especially when, and again no surprises there, when the men are fully clothed (in suits). Why are there not more positive images of women, independent and intelligent to inspire young people, and I don’t mean the Beyoncé or Rihanna types either. The problem with video (and there are many bustling in the music industry) present that scenario as ‘sexy’ and ‘attractive’, when in real life no woman or man look like that. Musicians must be made more accountable with the material they put out in order to stop giving out false messages to young people.