Trigger warning for sexist lyrics, some of which include rape and non-consensual sex.
Pharrell made headlines at the end of May for defending “Blurred Lines” in an interview with Britain’s Channel 4 news anchor Krishnan Guru-Murthy. Once again, the purported rape culture anthem made a blip in the misogyny radar as Pharrell told Guru-Murthy that the song, in context, wasn’t about blurring the lines of consent. Once again, feminists decried the sexism and rape culture in pop music in between helpings of secondary trauma from the Isla Vista shootings and Justin Bieber being a total racist.
The problem I have with revisiting the “Blurred Lines” debacle isn’t that I don’t believe the song is sexist–I do, unequivocally, even if I can’t stop myself from bobbing my head absently when it comes on the radio before changing the station. The problem is that when people on the internet talk about “sexism in pop music”, they’re not really referring to pop music–they’re referring to rap and hip hop, fields unarguably dominated by Black men.