Some have condemned Robin Thicke’s new song “Blurred Lines” as sexist and even “rapey,” but the singer said on Tuesday that the track was actually a feminist manifesto.
In her piece last week, PolicyMic’s Elizabeth Plank called out the song’s lyrics and a video filled with naked women to make the point that Thicke had “misogynistic intentions.”
One line says, “I’ll give you something big enough to tear your *ss in two,” while Thicke continually repeats “I know you want it” in the chorus.
“So, let’s recap. The lyrics are rapey, the video overtly objectifies women and the only people worthy of clothes are men,” Plank wrote. “I’m sorry, why are we arguing about whether a video that pretty much defines sexism is sexist or not?”
And even Thicke admitted to GQ that the video was intended to be controversial.
“We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women,” he said. “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.'”
After Thicke performed “Blurred Lines” on Tuesday, NBC Today Show host Matt Lauer noted that “some people think that this is a song that sends a message that men objectify women.”
“I made a bad joke early on,” Thicke laughed. “But the idea was when we made this song, we had nothing but the most respect for women and my wife — I mean, I’ve been with the same women since I was a teenager. So for us, we were just trying to make a funny song. And sometimes the lyrics can get misconstrued when you’re just trying to put people on the dance floor and have a good time, but we had no idea that it would stir this much controversy and that kind of stuff.”
“When you looked at it later did you did you kind of get what people were saying?” co-host Savannah Guthrie wondered.
“Yeah, but I think that’s what great art does,” Thicke replied. “It’s supposed to stir conversations. It’s supposed to make us talk about what’s important, and what the relationships between men and women are. But if you listen to the lyrics it says, ‘That man is not your maker.'”
“It’s actually a feminist movement in itself,” he continued. “It’s saying that women and men are equals as animals and as power — you know, in power, and that we’re all supposed to just — it doesn’t matter whether you’re a good girl or a bad girl. You can still have a good time.”
As the hour concluded, Lauer asked Thicke which song he would be performing next.
“I think we’re going to do ‘Take It Easy On me,’ which what I would like to say to everyone out there,” Thicke quipped.
Watch this video from NBC’s Today Show, broadcast July 30, 2013.