By: Brian Mangan
The other day, a friend posted a link to a Huffington Post article highlighting a gender-swapped version of the music video to Robin Thicke’s smash-hit song, “Blurred Lines.” In the original, semi-naked (or totally naked, in the NSFW version) female models prance around as a fully-clothed Thicke (along with T.I. and Pharrell) perform the song.
Of course, someone decided that they would make a gender-reversed version of the video.
This video is NSFW, people:
And here is the original sentiment from the creators as posted on the YouTube page:
It’s our opinion that most attempts to show female objectification in the media by swapping the genders serve more to ridicule the male body than to highlight the extent to which women get objectified and do everyone a disservice. We made this video specifically to show a spectrum of sexuality as well as present both women and men in a positive light, one where objectifying men is more than alright and where women can be strong and sexy without negative repercussions.
Awesome sentiment by the creators (a group named ModCarousel). But since then, the video has swept the internet by storm and been misappropriated by faux-feminist tools.
The video has been called “awesome,” “clever,” “thought-provoking,” “sexy,” and even “spectacular” among other things. It’s been covered by Jezebel, PolicyMic, CNN, and hundreds of others. But I don’t think the video is, or was intended to be, anything other than what the creators stated above.
I think the video was intended to be a sex-positive, friendly, funny parody. I don’t think it’s supposed to be a much deeper statement that that. You may want to ascribe a broader meaning to it (one of many sites says it addresses the issue of “imbalance of power” between men and women) but I haven’t seen anyone do so yet.
Should people take offense to the lyrics and imagery of the original song? Is the effectiveness of the gender-reversal lessened by the fact that the men are wearing makeup? What’s the point if switching roles if the men are going to act “like women”? Can or should we ascribe meaning to the video beyond that which the creators intended? I don’t know, and neither do the faux-feminists who claim that this is revolutionary.
Indeed, I think the best part of the ModCarousel version is what they themselves state, namely, that parodies which show men as goofy and funny rather than sexy simply reinforce existing gender stereotypes. This is a parody of parodies, just as much as it is a parody of the original video.
Women all over the internet are saying how hot they think the dudes in the video are. That’s awesome. Just enjoy the video, if you’re into it. Happy Friday.