The controversial “Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke is the hit of the summer, leading the charts in 14 countries from Australia to Iceland. The song, which features vocals by T.I. and Pharrell, has been widely criticized for trivializing sexual consent. The lyric “I know you want it,” the parade of half-naked women in the music video and the name of the song itself have led critics to decry the summer’s anthem as a blatant promotion of rape culture.
In March, the video was removed from YouTube for violating the site’s terms of service with regard to nudity. The video remained on Thicke’s VEVO channel on YouTube, though eventually that also was removed. The video was eventually allowed to exist on the service — with a content warning. You can watch it here, if you haven’t. Or you can just watch the best parodies we’ve seen making the rounds online.
The sex-positive gender flip
T.I. has had women parody his work before (remember Anya Marina’s “Whatever You Like”? It took the original to different heights.) In this parody, Seattle’s Mod Carousel, a “boylesque” troupe, takes on the objectification in “Blurred Lines” not by ridiculing the male body but by showing a spectrum of sexuality. Performing the song are Caela Bailey, Sydni Deveraux and Dalisha Phillips.
Here’s another version of the gender flip — with stunt penises!
The exasperated response
In this version, Melinda Hughes tackles not just the objectification in the song, but sexual harassment and rape culture. She doesn’t hold back: “I’m very sexual. Baby, it’s in my nature. Just let me liberate you, won’t intimidate you but then you try to rape me and that’s why I’m gon’ call ya douchebag. You think I want it? I really don’t want it. Please get off it. You’re a douchebag.”
The derail that’s funny as hell
Anyone who has tried to have a conversation on the internet about feminism knows what it’s like to have it get derailed with something meant to dismiss concerns are petty little obsessions (you got hit on in an elevator and you’re freaking out? Muslim women suffer physically from misogyny!). This parody, which completely changes the subject, takes a hit at the NSA. And it’s totally fine — because it’s funny as hell.
The derail that brings it back on track, sorta
Anthony Weiner sent women pictures of his junk. It’s possible he did that without solicitation or any indication that they wanted to see it. This is a definite tie in — “baby, I know you want it!” — even if no one’s really talking about that part of the scandal du jour.
And then there’s this: Bill Clinton “singing” the song.
And of course, Star Wars. Because Star Wars All The Things:
What, you want more? Fine. Cute animals. The internet runs on them, right?
We won’t rest until Nyan Cat and Honey Badger team up to do one.