“Blurred Lines” remix feat. actual rapists’ words

*Trigger warning*

Well, sorta.

Like Ann, I’ll admit that Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” was a staple in my summer jamz rotation (at least until the new Katy Perry roared onto the scene). It’s not that I didn’t notice the super rapey lyrics, but I regularly enjoy pop culture that I could–and would–tear apart if I were writing a blog post instead of turning the volume up and the windows down. I don’t even feel guilty about it in the least. And I don’t actually agree that banning a song like “Blurred Lines” is the answer.

What I do believe in is deconstructing pop culture and being real about the ways it reflects, reinforces, and promotes dangerous cultural assumptions and message. And here’s an excellent–and very disturbing–post at Sociological Images that does just that.

Lyrics from the song are followed by images, culled from Project Unbreakable, of women and men holding signs with sentences that their rapist said to them before, during, or after the assault. It’s impossible to hear lines like, “I know you want it” as just context-free fun after seeing them echoed, again and again, by people who were likely fully aware of the line, crossed it anyway, and benefit greatly from a culture that insists it’s oh-so-blurry.

woman holding sign saying "I know you want it."

 person holding sign saying, "You know you want it. Come on __ give in to pleasure."

Head over to Sociological Images to see the breakdown of the rest of the song.

St. Paul, MN

Maya Dusenbery is executive director in charge of editorial at Feministing. She is the author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm: The Truth About How Bad Medicine and Lazy Science Leave Women Dismissed, Misdiagnosed, and Sick (HarperOne, March 2018). She has been a fellow at Mother Jones magazine and a columnist at Pacific Standard magazine. Her work has appeared in publications like Cosmopolitan.com, TheAtlantic.com, Bitch Magazine, as well as the anthology The Feminist Utopia Project. Before become a full-time journalist, she worked at the National Institute for Reproductive Health. A Minnesota native, she received her B.A. from Carleton College in 2008. After living in Brooklyn, Oakland, and Atlanta, she is currently based in the Twin Cities.

Maya Dusenbery is an executive director of Feministing and author of the forthcoming book Doing Harm on sexism in medicine.

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