Every once in awhile, the internet literally reads my mind. Earlier this week, I wrote about the Mod Carousel parody of “Blurred Lines,” which switches the genders of the video to the Robin Thicke “rape anthem,” but unintentionally keeps the misogyny intact. The gender swap is intended to make us think about the predation of women and question the sexualization by putting the gaze onto the male body. However, the video falls short in execution because the problem isn’t just that we need a new video. As I said previously, we need a new message, a world where no one is told, “I know you want it.” Screw you, male gaze.
And like genie magic, Melinda Hughes released her own response to both Thicke’s original song and the Mod Carousel reinterpretation, one that gets it totally right. Godard said that to respond to a movie, we must make a better one, and that’s what Hughes has done here. Whereas Mod Carousel’s version of the song feminized men as objects and gave women the masculinized power in the situation, Hughes totally rewrites the discourse. Instead of repositioning the male role, Hughes throws out the screwed-up paradigm altogether.
For once, we get to see strong women taking control of their sexuality as femme ladies. In Hughes’ video, the gals reject the lewd overtures of scantily clad male suitors, whose rapey advances are shown to be undesirable. The message is clear: “You think I want it/I really don’t want it/Please get off it.” Consent is what’s sexy, not blurred lines.
Like the similarly themed “Ask First,” Hughes and her team are smartly using this as a moment for discussion and a way to promote awareness about an important issue. For many, “Blurred Lines” and the mentality it promotes may seem like just a song, a catchy dance for optimal booty shaking, but for too many women (and men), the issues surrounding consent are a grave reality. Whether or not you agree that the original song is problematic, we all should take a moment to talk about sex and make sure we’re having the right kind.
Next time, guys, make sure you know she wants it. No one wants to be the #douchebag.