Eleanor Doward

Pussy Politics

If you haven’t heard it, seen it, or at least heard some mention of it, you’ve probably been living in a cave. Robin Thicke’s smash hit Blurred Lines has sparked a lot of controversy, and if the rated video wasn’t bad enough, the unrated video makes me want to scream into something. There’s no doubt about it; it’s utterly misogynistic, degrading and claims that it promotes rape culture are not overreactions. While Thicke has openly acknowledged that the song degrades women, claiming that it was a ‘pleasure’ to do so for someone who has spent their life respecting women, others have argued that the song really ‘isn’t that bad, it’s just a bit of fun’. Yeah, I suppose us girls should all get on board with that harmless, degrading fun. Who doesn’t like to ride backwards on an exercise bike in just their knickers with three pervy men gawping at them as they do?!

In a recent interview, the director of the music video for the single, Diane Martel, claimed that the video was not intended to be sexist – it was meant to be funny, silly, and even (not sure what she was thinking here) empowering. The very naked ladies in the unrated version were meant to be shown to have all the power because, obviously, it’s the men that are ‘subtly ridiculed’ by the women. For me, and for a whole lot of people I know, Martel’s aim to make the video ‘meta and playful’ and to make the men look ‘not at all like predators’ has failed miserably.

Robin-thicke-rape-song

I could rant on for a good few pages about the harmful effects of this song, and the many ways in which is degrades and debases not just the models in the video but women in general. Instead, I want to talk about the song as it paves its place in our sexist society. Since the song came out, it has been played in almost every club I have been to, sometimes even two or three times in the course of the night. In a couple of clubs, the unrated video has played on screens in the background. It’s constantly on the radio, it plays in restaurants, bars and cafés. But when I request Pu$$y by Iggy Azalea at nearby nightclub, I was not met with willingness from the DJ or even a ‘sorry, haven’t got that one’. Instead? I was met with ‘Christ no, I’m not playing that. It’s vile’.

For me, this speaks volumes. Blurred Lines, a song about the ‘blurred lines’ between sex and rape, that refers to women as animals that cannot be ‘domesticated’, is played twice that night. Heaven only forbid a song about a woman talking about female head is even requested. We all know that when Iggy Azalea refers to her ‘pussy’ and gives out order to taste her ‘skittles’, she’s not referring to a cat, or some sweeties. Yet the song is not called ‘Lick my vagina’. It’s no more ‘vile’ than Flo Rida’s Whistle, a song about male head, in which Flo Rida likens his manhood to a whistle (…yep.). Yet Whistle also gets a couple of plays that night, while Iggy’s song is considered too rude.

We live in a society that is utterly desensitized to a negative portrayal female nudity and female sexuality. It seems that the Robin Thicke’s of the world will continue to release songs that essentially condone rape and openly degrade women while the Justin Timberlake’s of the world will jump on the bandwagon, releasing songs like Tunnel Vision, the video for which is just endless naked ladies with no identity essentially dancing for Justin. So for just once, I ask, can’t we have a bit of Pu$$y? Can’t we, as we swim in a sea of tasteless shots of boobs but no faces and ‘I know you want it’ refrains, celebrate the fact that maybe women can celebrate their own sexuality, on their own terms?

Read Dianne Martel’s full interview here.

2 thoughts on “Pussy Politics

  1. Well, I kind of do live in a cave because I’m not of the age group that goes to clubs. That not withstanding, your post highlights the continuing acceptance of songs that are incredibly disrespectful, dis-empowering and flagrantly anti-woman.
    We continue to live in a society that is so incredibly uncomfortable with a woman’s sexuality that equal play of essentially the same subject matter from the opposite side of the fence is not tolerated.
    I have not heard any of the music mentioned in this post, however I appreciate the fact that you are highlighting this continuing trend.
    I won’t be a part of the changing force in this area, but I am able to be a voice that says keep on with shining the light.
    Critical thinking is in short supply and the more we can provide and nurture it the healthier are society will be.

  2. thanks for this post. i caught some male friends gawping at this clip and it made me angry. they then watched a miley cyrus clip where she rolls around on a bed half naked, and because my hairstyle is similar to hers, they suggested that i do the same for them. infuriating!

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