Women's Coalition Gives Robin Thicke an Award He Most Certainly Deserves
This seems like the kind of thing that was a long time in coming. At the very least, it's the kind of news that seems like it should have a "well, duh" attached to the end of it. Robin Thicke's been on something of a downward spiral ever since the release of his massively popular single "Blurred Lines", depending on what your idea of a downward spiral is. His performance of the song with Miley Cyrus at the VMAs might have contributed to his divorce. He had to deal with a lawsuit brought against him and the song by Marvin Gaye's family. Oh, and Thicke has been voted Sexist of the Year by the End Violence Against Women Coalition.
Since we're talking about the same man who put the blame on Miley Cyrus for their VMA performance, the only real surprise is why it took so long for him to receive such an honor. The coalition cites the song, the music video, and Thicke's questionable comments in interviews as the reasoning behind their selection. His prize, aside from the title, will be a voucher that allows him to download "Respect" by Aretha Franklin, a song which might just be the most appropriate reaction to "Blurred Lines" that I've ever heard of.
"Our heartfelt congratulations to a worthy winner Robin Thicke for both his concerted sexist efforts," said Sarah Green, a member of the End Violence Against Women Coalition. "And... the platform he created for rejection of the use of women as objects to promote mediocre pop... Sexism might be de rigeur for some music industry 'creatives' but the times they are a-changin'."
Let's look at the facts. "Blurred Lines" might be one of the most popular songs of all time, having been number one on the Billboard Hot 100 chart for over 12 weeks straight, but it's also so offensive that it was banned from YouTube. It's (probably) not the most sexist song that has ever been written, but it is definitely the most popular and widely played sexist song that has ever been written, which is what contributed to a lot of the backlash. "Blurred Lines" could have just faded into obscurity like every hit that devotes at least some of its lyrics to degrading women, but having to hear it a thousand times on the radio before watching a music video that massively confused everyone just made it worse. At least until the parodies started rolling out.
Does Robin Thicke deserve to be voted sexist of the year? Yeah, he kind of does. He hasn't really come a long way from his 2013 GQ interview:
We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, "We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this." People say, "Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?" I’m like, "Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I’ve never gotten to do that before. I’ve always respected women."
If Thicke intended for "Blurred Lines" to be harmlessly edgy or some kind of joke about the kind of people who really think of women in that way, then he missed his mark by about a mile and nothing he's said or done since has really supported that interpretation. If nothing else, we hope that he keeps the voucher and does decide to download the Aretha Franklin song. Now there's a hit song.