I live in kind of an entertainment vacuum. I listen to WBRU, my Hole station on I Heart Radio, and whatever kids’ show happens to be on. I don’t watch anything more than the local weather. I started doing it right after Calico was born because of my anxiety. I never started watching it again, mostly because I am a happier person when I don’t. However, I love celebrity gossip. None of this really matters, other than the fact that I watch a lot of awards shows and half the time I have no idea who’s on or what’s happening.
So, Sunday night, we’re watching the debacle that was the VMAs–I lured my husband in by showing him a clip of Macklemore playing a shofar–which meant we saw the Miley Cyrus/Robin Thicke trainwreck as it was happening. As I had exactly no idea who Robin Thicke was, I mostly contented myself by being horrified by how incredibly bad the whole performance was. Which it was. It was weird, incoherent, and overdone. Miley Cyrus reminded me of Madonna during her Erotica/SEX book era.
Monday, when I ventured onto the internets, I found that everyone had pretty much lost their collective shits over aforementioned performance. Since I wasn’t quite sure why it was so offensive, I googled it. I need to learn not to google anything because I probably don’t want to know. In this case, I definitely didn’t.
Blurred Lines is a horrible song. I have no idea why it is getting airplay or why no one is outraged about it. That song is a perfect example of rape culture and it should, in no way, be a hit song. While everyone is slut-shaming the hell out of Miley C, they’re missing the point kind of missing the whole point. You know, can’t see the forest for the trees?
This is a song written by a 36 year old, married father and he is singing about rape. He is glorifying rape and reinforcing the idea that it’s okay if you know she wants it. But all we are collectively concerned with is that some girl was shaking her bum over his junk and being all puritan and offended about it.
Who should know better? Miley is a 20 year old girl. 20 year old girls make poor choices. I know this because I was once a 20 year old girl myself and I made some bad choices. At 20, you’re still immortal. There’s no concept of how a bad decision can affect the rest of your life. Why? Because you are barely an adult and until recently, adults were there to fix or erase your mistakes. If you’re lucky, you still have people around to help shepherd you into adulthood.
The person I think is the more distasteful in the whole situation is Captain Blurred Lines. The rest of this post is an open letter to you.
You, sir, are sixteen years older than this girl. You are married. You or someone you paid wrote this horrid little song and, unless you are far more stupid than I am assuming, you know exactly what your song is about.
I am 32, so we are in the same age cohort. I am not going to look up and quote statistics, but a hell of a lot of women are sexually violated every day. I know survivors and I am betting you do too. Think about your wife? What about your mother? How would you feel if she was violated in a way such as described in your lyrical masterpiece. I bet you would be really damn angry. You’d probably want to beat the ever-loving shit out of whomever violated your loved one. I am the mother of a young daughter and I promise you that I would make the Hulk look like a timid Boy Scout if anyone touched her.
Bah, Samantha, you say. It’s just a light, poppy song. Just a bit of fun. I’m a good guy. No one thinks we’re serious.
The problem is people do. Your song is being lived out in rooms and parties all over the country. The actions you describe are shattering people’s lives right this very minute. Someone is currently debauching some poor “good girl” because they are under the assumption that they know what she wants, regardless of if she’s too drunk to consent or too afraid of you to say no. Maybe she’s too starstruck. I don’t know.
Your song is the sound of a rapist assuaging his guilty conscience for something he knows, deep inside, was wrong. It is a way to blame-share with other guys or to throw everything on the girl. If you have raped someone, you are a bad person. Can you eventually become a not so shitty person? Sure, but first you will need to admit and accept that you have irretrievably broken some part of someone’s life. It’s their call if they want to forgive you.
What it really boils down to is that you, as an adult, a married man, and a father, were taking advantage of someone who could be your daughter. Oh sure, you didn’t rape her onstage in your Beetlejuice gone latex suit. Hell, maybe she even started the grinding, but it is your job as an adult, as a role model, to step back and think “This is out of line.” at some point–rehearsals, during the show, hell, after the show; you could issue an apology for this distasteful hullabaloo. But you have not and I am betting you won’t. After all, you’re the one who thought it would super cool to write a song about rape.
That makes you a giant fucking douchebag, just so you know. You are like the venus flytrap of rape, all neat and presentable on the surface before dragging someone down. I hope you never have a daughter and will never have to look at her and know the fear that some charming fuckbag is going to weasel his way in and harm her. It keeps me up at night sometimes, the worry of raising her in a culture that is so blasé about violating someone’s body.
It is a goddamned privilege to be invited into someone’s vagina/anus/mouth, not a fucking right. No one owes you a fuck. I don’t care if you spent a fuckload on dinner, bought a 16 carat ring, have been dating for years, or it’s the third date. The only person who gets to decide is the owner of the orifice. Not you.
By the way, it’s super easy not to rape someone. Are they super drunk? Say no. Have you had to pressure them into saying yes? Do they seem uncomfortable? You should lay off and wait. Have they said no more than once? Let’s play it safe and pass on it.
You know what would be a good gesture, since you can’t unsing your crap-ass song? Donate a bunch of money to RAINN or another rape crisis centre. Lend your face to help raise awareness. Apologise to your mother and your wife for being such a creep. Apologise to Miley for putting her in that kind of situation since you should have known better. Issue a statement saying rape is never okay.
Just do something beside revel in your douchebaggery.