“Defined Lines”

Here’s a feminist parody of the popular “Blurred Lines” music video created by a group of law school students of Auckland, New Zealand. These students took opposition to the lyrics and to the topless girls skipping around in Robin Thicke’s original video, which, quite frankly, offended me. The parody has been gaining momentum over the last few days and is sparking criticism and debate, seemingly more than the original. Why is that? Isn’t this a good way of prompting viewers, particularly males, to acknowledge sexism? I think this parody does a great job of conveying to a man what it’s like for a woman to be objectified. Do you agree?

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6 thoughts on ““Defined Lines”

  1. Cheryl

    I wanted to wait until our first class before leaving a post however after watching the original video from Robin Thicke and then this parody I found it very difficult to wait. The parody, while witty, will not convey to men what it is like to be objectified. In my opinion, most men will laugh this off and joke that they would love to be a “sex object” for a woman. I don’t believe the feeling of being objectified will hit home until they are personally hurt by it. I believe the parody video is a great way of getting the public to acknowledge sexism because it is so entertaining and witty (well done Ladies!). The original video offended me, not because of the topless ladies(although I wasn’t thrilled with that either) but because of the lyrics. I believe it sends a message that “No may not always mean no”. I was glad that the parody pointed this out and in no uncertain terms stated “it’s a sex crime”. It is and no always means no!

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  2. Deniz Ertan

    Unlike Cheryl, I find it very effective to reverse the genders in situations that the society perceive as normal, such as objectifying women in music videos. Not for the purpose of hurting men, but to make everyone including women, who seem to have been used to being objectified, see the situation from a different perspective and realize that it is actually not acceptable. Similar to this parody, a French singer/rapper Fatal Bazooka is known for his edgy songs and videos that mock the society; and he has a song called “J’aime trop ton boule” to objectify men instead of women. In his lyrics and video clip, he implicitly criticizes the mainstream music industry and you can see many references of american singers such as Sean Paul in the video. When I first watched it, I found the video clip very disturbing. Then I realized that I have seen many videoclips with women doing the same things and have not found them disturbing. Watching this video made me realized that the abundance of objectification of women in media has made the society impassive towards these kinds of situations. Here is the link of the videoclip: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZqWGbMUsLug

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  3. browneri04

    Society Has Spoken

    Once upon a time, I was really big fan of Robin Thicke. Towards the beginning of his career, when he would sing about love, treating his spouse (or lover) with respect. During this time, Thicke did not receive much consideration as an artist. While people may have known who he was, he was definitely not recognized in mainstream. True to form, society has spoken and this is now what he produces. I did find “Blurred Lines” to be offensive, but what I find even more appalling is that this track is Robin’s first track to ever make number one on the billboard charts. This song seems to be plaguing the world right now! Every I turn on the radio, it’s on various televisions commercials, and lets not forget the Miley Cyrus debacle at the MTV awards. This parody was fantastic. I loved every minute of it. Sometimes humor can raise more awareness and have more effectiveness than a harsh delivery of the truth. I am happy to encourage all vehicles of public awareness!! Great video. I’m going to share it now 🙂

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  4. kellykenn

    Stuck in the Middle

    Much like browneri04 (I’m sorry I don’t know your name!), I used to be a fan of Robin Thicke–I actually own his first CD. “Blurred Lines” is no “Lost Without U”; it’s sad to see a good artist hit the spectrum of sexists. With this being said, I liked the parody a lot. Parodies are always a good way to lash back out at the media, and the women in this parody definitely had fun with that power. It mirrors Thicke’s original sexism very well. However, like Cheryl, I don’t think it really gets to men like it gets to women. Men definitely acknowledge these kinds of parodies when they hit the media. It falls on the same grounds of objectification and sexism, yes, but not to the same degree. With women, it hits hard and is offensive to many. With men, it tends to be funny. I can see why the video shared by Deniz could be satisfying for the female population–the song is very funny–, but as a girl, I honestly think it’s too funny to be taken offensively in a serious way. Sexism is no joke. If an artist like Katy Perry was to make a music video of herself surrounded by a bunch of naked men with lyrics of male sexism backed to a catchy tune, I’m not too sure that the vast majority of men would really be offended. Granted, they might not share it on websites and post comments about it–they probably won’t watch it at all once they get wind of it–, but I also don’t think they would be personally offended. If asked, they might share their disapproval, but I highly doubt there would be any kind of subsequent revolution; I just don’t think they’d care enough. My point is, sexism in music videos and in other social media surely rubs salt in the wounds of the female population, all who can agree to feeling objectified in one way or another, indirectly or directly, throughout the course of history. Men don’t have these same wounds; it’s just not as easy.

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  5. cjweiss12

    I love this video! I saw “Define Lines” earlier in the week on a feminist blog site, as it had been removed from YouTube. This seemed interesting to me because “Blurred Lines” remained on the site with millions of views. So glad to see this back up on YouTube!
    Frankly, I think criticism surrounds this video because the power swap makes people uncomfortable. The lyrics in this song are extreme, but the purpose is not to advocate objectifying males (which is apparently how some YouTube commenters are interpreting it) but to question the current culture of mainstream music and media, where women are seen as sexual objects for men’s pleasure and this blatant sexism, which is evident in Thicke’s original video, is accepted and even popularized. The questions raised by these women are important and necessary to discuss if we want to move towards equality between genders.

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  6. noahfeit

    While I enjoyed the video, I tend to disagree with you. The principal advantage of women expressing their disenchantment with being objectified in pop culture via parody is that they can reach a wide audience. The song is catchy, the actors are attractive and social networking facilitates its dissemination. With that said, I’m not sure that parody is the appropriate way to confront gender stereotypes and the treatment of women more generally in pop culture. Apparently, when Robin Thicke was approached about the negative response to the music video, he claimed that it was a parody in and of itself. His logic goes that, because all three artists in the video are happily married with children, the sexually explicit content is merely intended to poke fun. And so, expressing disenchantment through a frivolous video only begets more laughing; what should be a serious discussion because a frivolous one. I believe that those opposed to the objectification of women in pop culture should pursue other more effective fora. They should send open letters, write op-eds, and become politically active if they hope to tackle gender issues in a serious way.

    (To read Thicke’s response about the degrading nature of the video, see: http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-feed/2013/05/robin-thicke-interview-blurred-lines-music-video-collaborating-with-2-chainz-and-kendrick-lamar-mercy.html)

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