Robin Thicke blurs more than one line at the VMAs

Kaitlin Sansenbach

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If you didn’t know what “twerking” was before the 2013 Video Music Awards, you do now, thanks to previous Disney child star, Miley Cyrus.

With jaws dropping and minds racing, moral character was judged as Cyrus twerked herself all over the teddy bear infested stage during her performance of “We Can’t Stop.”

We all have seen crazy outfits, out-of-control performances and questionable jokes during this popular MTV music award show.

What made this performance stand out though, was the pop star waving her tongue around like she was a puppy in need of water, slapping women’s butts on stage and “shaking it like she were at a strip club” – lyrics courtesy of her song.

Some people believe Disney to be the catalyst for Cyrus’ odd performance.

Speech pathology senior Krista Solway, 23, believes it was probably the contract Disney placed on the former Hannah Montana and the pressure of being a teen role model that led to her interesting performance.

“Disney probably contributed to the rebellious stage Miley is currently going through,” Solway said. “There’s so much pressure on Disney kids to be these cookie-cutter children, but the question always stands when is it okay for a child star to become an empowered woman?”

Cyrus’ moral compass wasn’t the only questionable thing during the performance. After Cyrus was done singing her summer anthem, Robin Thicke came on stage while Cyrus sang backup vocals for his chart-topper called, “Blurred Lines.”

Yes, you heard it correctly, “blurred lines” of consent in a sexual encounter.

Throughout this song, Thicke refers to a woman as a potential sex partner stating he’s “gon’ take” her, because he knows she wants it. Then, continuously refers to women in a demeaning way and refers to himself as “pimping.”

“Ok now he was close, tried to domesticate you. But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature…Not many women can refuse this pimpin’ I’m a nice guy, but don’t get it if you get with me,” are just a few examples of the lyrics themselves.

Obviously, this is not the first time women have been degraded in a song. But let us put this into perspective. Thicke is singing about taking advantage of a woman because he knows she wants it, regardless of whether he has full consent. Meanwhile, 20-year-old Cyrus is giving him the mother of all twerks on stage. Very appropriate.

While the media went on a frenzy regarding Cyrus’ performance, Thicke’s part in the show should have received more press and attention. Yet it didn’t because our society is more accepting of the idea of men having sex with women who are 15 years younger, despite consent being given or not.

Senior mechanical engineering major Jake Hall, 21, thinks Thicke’s performance was disgusting and foul.

“For some reason, our culture thinks that it is acceptable to talk about and promote having sex with younger women. Slowly, our society is okay with older men having sex with young girls,” Hall said. “I think that as long as there are major icons like Thicke the problem will only get worse and it is completely unacceptable.”

To further cement the point of Thicke’s disgusting performance and song, I want to bring up more lyrics that make my feminist ears burn.

“Yeah, I had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you. So hit me up when you passing through. I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two.”

These lyrics are like nails on a chalkboard. If this doesn’t have any effect on the perception of Thicke and his character I’d have to judge yours.   

There has been overwhelming approval of degrading women and making them sexual objects in today’s society. It is a sense of rape culture. It is becoming more and more socially acceptable to treat women like yesterday’s trash.

Granted, sometimes it’s the women who don’t make themselves look classy, reference back to Cyrus’ performance. That does not make it okay for people like Thicke to make a joke about having sex with women even if they don’t want it, or to abuse his popularity because he knows women “want it” with him.

When GQ magazine interviewed Thicke about the popular song, he defended his song by referring to it as taboo and that is exactly why he sang it.

“Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women,” Thicke said. “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.’”

Well, this is even more troubling than his lyrics and VMA performance combined. 

There have been multiple media scandals to raise attention for publicity of a celebrity. A few names come to mind – Britney Spears, Madonna, Lady Gaga.

However, Thicke was in a personal interview and openly admitted that all his lyrics are jokes; it was all in good fun.

To recap, it’s all fine and dandy to make women out to be sexual objects whenever a man wants and men don’t necessarily need consent because women are sexual beings that want to be taken advantage of. 

Oh okay, that makes sense.

With idols like Thicke, rape culture will continually surround Americans. Turn on the radio, turn the pages of magazines or even turn on a movie in the afternoon and you will see examples of rape culture.

Take the popular movie “American Pie” for example. Its primary goal was for a group of guys to throw the biggest party their high school had ever seen, get hammered and to…drum roll please…have sex with random women by the end of the night.

There was talk throughout the entire movie about how drunk they were going to have to get the girls in order to lower their inhibitions and morals. There was even talk about using narcotics to get some naive girls to have sex with them.  Well, at least they were trying to hookup with women their own age.

How about, instead of placing all attention on Cyrus shaking her butt, focus on the rape culture Thicke and like-minded celebrities are advocating for and making fun of.