I hate to reward Miley Cyrus with more attention for her VMA performance the other night knowing that that’s exactly all she wants, but I just have to point out that her outfit (shoes included) and foam finger were not her idea. They both came from Robin Thicke’s videos, “Blurred Lines” and “Give It 2 U.” I won’t share either of them here because they’re just as bad as the VMA performance, and I feel dirty now for having watched them.
I also just watched Miley’s “We Can’t Stop” video, and while there’s way too much of her writhing around in it for my taste, it just looks to me like a bunch of college kids making a stupid video. She looks like she’s 20. Which she is. I’m not excusing her behavior because of her age. I’m just saying I understand it. I know a few 20-year-olds who aren’t idiots, but not many. And who among us can’t look back at ourselves at that age and say there were some things we could have done better? (And that’s putting it gently.) We just didn’t happen to do it on MTV. If I had, my mama would have jerked me off that stage so fast, it would have spun the heads of people in remote villages who don’t have TVs and have never even heard of the VMAs.
I could say a lot of things about parenting and fame and respecting our bodies as women, all of which need to be said to our daughters completely unrelated to this conversation, but I won’t because all of those things have already been said about Miley’s performance. What I’m wondering now is why no one is saying much of anything about Robin Thicke.
If you watch either of the two videos I mentioned before (which I wouldn’t recommend), you’ll see a lot of women’s exposed breasts and butts, and the women who are covered are wearing skin-tight outfits that leave little to the imagination. Meanwhile, the men are aloof, fully clothed at all times in tailored suits or baggy clothes, singing or rapping about how they know the women “want it,” and how they are willing to give it to them.
I won’t say I’m speaking on behalf of all women everywhere because I know there are some out there who do want it and want Robin Thicke to give it to them, so maybe this is just from me:
Dear Robin Thicke,
Let me assure you that I don’t want it. Not from you anyway. Please don’t try to give it to me as it will get kneed up into your intestines immediately.
Also, while I think Miley Cyrus is an idiot, she’s 20 and trying to figure out who she is and how to be herself authentically. Bless her heart, she’s doing it in front of the whole world and floundering, but that’s just where she is. You, on the other hand, are on the downslide to 40 and really ought to know better.
Plus you’re married. Do you treat your wife the same way you treat the women in your videos? Is it naive of me to think that a woman would not marry a man who stood by looking uninterested while she pranced around topless, hoping he would “give it to her”? Something about that just doesn’t say romance to me. No, I imagine you chased her. And I imagine your marriage, like most marriages that have lasted for 8 years, is one of give and take, where you each participate equally in all aspects to make it work. I imagine that this chauvinistic persona you use in your performance life is not who you are at home, and if I’m right, that makes me sad, and if I’m wrong, that makes me sad too.
Robin Thicke, I believe you have something valuable to offer the world, and now that you are in a position of influence and power, it’s time to figure out what that is because right now, what you’re offering us is more of the idea that women’s bodies belong to anyone who wants to take them, that breasts are for the entertainment of men everywhere, that a woman’s sexuality is powerless, that we should bow down in gratitude to a man who is willing to condescend to touch us, and that love and respect are not part of the deal because you literally could not care less.
I want my friends to know that what you’re selling is a lie. I want my friends’ kids to know that you are wrong. I want Miley Cyrus to know that there is more to her than her body. I want your wife to know that you are the luckiest guy in the world if she lets you anywhere near her. If you ever have a daughter, I want her to know that she is worthy of love and respect. And if I ever have a daughter, I want her to be ready at all times to knee guys in the nuts if they ever say to her, “I know you want it.”