Despite the blatant sexism, degradation of women and promotion of rape culture in Robin Thicke’s song and music video “Blurred Lines”, Thicke is nominated for three awards - Artist of the Year, Pop Album of the Year, and the JUNO Fan Choice Award - at the upcoming Canadian JUNO Broadcast Awards in Winnipeg, Manitoba on March 30, 2014. This is not a song, nor a message, that should be rewarded.
“Blurred Lines” contributes to rape culture in a number of ways, including:
- By suggesting that there is a “blurred line” with regard to consent;
- By insinuating that the “good girl” in the song actually wants “liberating” through “crazy wild sex”;
- By trivializing the very real and prevalent issue of violence against women and girls through lyrics such as “you know you want it” (repeated 18 times) and "I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two". Approximately 1 in 3 Canadian women will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
Robin Thicke has also demonstrated contempt for women in his interviews. In an interview in GQ, Thicke agreed that his music video – in which women parade around clad only in nude thongs and posing in compromising positions – is degrading to women. He states, “we tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women." He later says, “What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before." In Elizabeth Plank’s analysis of Thicke’s song, video and comments, she points out that his comments signal that degrading women is fun, funny and totally acceptable.
His comments, the song and the video (which has almost 300,000,000 YouTube views between the rated and unrated versions) contribute to a growing rape culture that disregards the importance of consent and blames victims for their abuse rather than their rapists. This is reflected in the bullying of rape victims such as Rehtaeh Parsons and the frosh week chants glorifying rape at St. Mary’s University and the University of British Columbia in 2013. It needs to change.
The Canadian JUNO Music Awards are a celebration of Canada’s best and brightest musicians and Thicke is not one of them. Thicke’s music is in direct contradiction to Canadian values of equality and human rights. Tell the JUNO Awards not to reward rape culture, but instead to take action against it by removing Robin Thicke from all nominations and cancelling his scheduled performance at the award show. Let the JUNOs and Robin Thicke know that there is a clear line when it comes to respect for women, and they’re on the wrong side of it.