The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

“Blurred Lines” clearly reflects skewed social norms

“Blurred Lines,” Robin Thicke’s chart-topping hit of the summer, is not just making people want to dance.

Thicke’s questionable video and even more questionable lyrics have many calling the song chauvinistic, misogynistic and objectifying. Some have even described his lyrics as “rapey.”

“There is no question that the video is objectifying to women, but does that really surprise people, coming from a pop song?” said Kami Rowan, director of guitar studies.

Rowan believes that this issue is not something new and that it is not a music issue at all.

“Hip-hop and pop music has been objectifying women for years,” Rowan said. “It’s strange people want to only focus on this one song.”

A lot of people have brought up the fact that a woman directed the “Blurred Lines” video, and director Diane Martel has stood behind her product.

“I think the girls were overpowering the men in the video,” Martel said in an interview with The Huffington Post.

Martel feels there is nothing wrong with the video because she is a product of the pop culture environment, just as Robin Thicke is. They believe what they are doing is okay because they have been told it is. And this has been going on for years.

“Pop culture and pop music is solely entertainment,” said Rowan. “There is no art involved. They are looking to sell, and sex sells.”

One of my biggest hang-ups on this issue is freedom of expression and speech. I’m not saying the song is right or okay, but do we really want to prevent people from expressing themselves? And shouldn’t individuals decide for themselves how to perceive culture?

There are people who can listen and watch Thicke’s song and clearly see that there is something wrong there. But they understand that it’s not a work of art; it’s just some catchy pop song that has no true meaning.

However, some people cannot distinguish the difference. Here is where we run into problems. We should not be pointing fingers at women or men; we should be educating men and women so they can better understand the negative effects these lyrics and images can have on people.

This is not a feminist issue or a masculine issue. It’s a societal issue.

Pop culture has given people the illusion that there is a certain way that you should dress, talk and act if you are a man or woman. The masses believe it because it has become widely accepted by both men and women.

“Pop culture is made for the masses,” said Music Department Chair Tim Lindeman. “It’s an industry, (and) that’s how it’s always been.”

People who recognize these differences need to show people that just because something is on TV does not mean it’s okay. We have to come together has a society and teach people that there is not a normal, and you can dress, act and talk however you want, even if pop culture disagrees.

So next time you’re listening to the radio and “Blurred Lines” comes on, just remember: the fact that it’s on the radio does not mean it is relevant. It should have no effect on how you live your life.

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