Females constantly attempt to apply Feminist thinking to their unguarded musings. Why do they bother when it’s evidently too complex for them?
Being white, middle-class and male, I understand discrimination better than anyone. Only the other week, whilst on the hunt for Exo Terra Soft Pellets in a will-remain-anonymous Southampton Reptile Centre, I inquired as to why there was lady serving me behind the till, rather than a more knowledgeable, trust-worthy male. I inquired this precisely four inches away from her face. She slapped me, hard. Would this have happened if I was, say, a black Jew, or, more relevantly, a domestic pet? I highly doubt it. We all know who the persecuted minority is in this post-PC, rights-for-badgers age.
As such, one observes the current furore over Robin Thicke’s Blurred Lines with a just-masturbated, tedious indifference. Uptight women crying their oestrogen tears all over everyone else’s fun. It’s Pankhurst all over again. But somehow less arousing. Anyhow, my current lover – the erstwhile ones are easy to forget – directed me towards an article defending the merits of the aforementioned ditty. She’s all for women and it’s all very cute. More importantly, I need to impress her. So I delve into this murky business with trepidation. I know nothing of popular music. Why would I? Have none of you cunts heard of Vivaldi?
What strikes me first is that Robin Thicke is thirty-six. Thirty-six. And he wants to liberate a young girl, as well as “talk about getting blasted”. He’s either Martin Luther King or a syphilitic old man. I can recommend him to a mental health clinic I used to frequent. So blah-blah let’s rush through the hand-wringing analysis: musically, it’s appallingly derivative (Marvin can thank his Dad that he doesn’t have to witness this), and lyrically it replicates what a Bonobo chimp can achieve on a lexigram. Thicke now claims it’s all about his long-term wife; his Dad defends him with the “it’s actually about female empowerment” line – a form of robust defence not seen since the Nuremburg Trials. They’re all obviously evil and mad. Nothing new to report.
But I’m making a broader point here (I think). I’m trying to remind myself. Yes, appropriating a benign-feminist, faux-libertarian perspective to justify this song’s existence: it’s not on. If one were to argue that a song affronts taste and that one doesn’t want to hear it that, sadly, isn’t commensurate with state repression in the former Soviet Union. Highfalutin metaphysical concepts of liberty and the individual are all well and good when applied necessarily, but in menial debate they seem to arise all too often. Frankly, sometimes, people need to be told what’s good for them.
Firstly, the song wasn’t written for his alleged wife. Was it now? No. His record company helped write it? Yes. Secondly, plenty of misogynistic pigs have wives. That’s one of the ways in which the porcine sub-species continues to reproduce. If you’re currently held in a stasis of disbelief, check the marital domestic violence figures. Misogyny, it is difficult to claim otherwise, is at the root of violence towards women. Thirdly, and this is enough now, a tepid appreciation of formal equality – equal pay and equal rights – is remarkably insufficient. One doffs their cap to Wollstonecraft, but things have moved on, one of those things being that amorphous nuisance known as patriarchy. A modern countenance is necessary, not a superficial understanding of the Suffragettes and a passing reference to something JS Mill once wrote. Fucking Mill.
Sexism, and to be distinguished, misogyny, is endemic in our society. Hurrah. You’ll find it in a microcosm at this very university. Women – we hate them. To not appreciate that the facets of our popular culture contribute to this – from a record, to a music video, to a public statement, to a speech in Parliament – is to be wilfully blind. Legislation does only so much, it is the subtleties in public attitudes and discourse that propagate subjugation. Only when you silly women realise it, will you begin to rectify the situation. And as a male, that suits me just fine.