Gender is a characteristic of society. Although we’ve come a very long way from the gender inequalities of the pre-feminist movement, there are still gender socialization norms and differences. From a very young age girls and boys are taught how to behave in gender appropriate ways. Charlotte Perkins Gilman’s theory of gender socialization furthers and maintains gender inequality. The media has helped expose the gender norms in society.
Women are portrayed as “oversexed.” There are obvious physical differences between men and women; however men and women have long been assigned roles which determine the ways in which they should sit, stand, carry themselves and do just about everything in society. Robin Thicke’s video was very controversial when it came out. It expresses how sexuality is displayed differently between men and women. The women are literally parading around the men, half naked and carrying random objects around with them. The video takes on the role of the male gaze, focusing on the women’s movements. In comparison, the men are fully clothed and remain in control throughout the video. The video implies that a women should be sexy and provocative, in order to allure the men.
The meaning of the hit song had to be clarified by Robin Thicke, he said it was not a song about rape, but about blurring the lines between men and women and how they’re the same, and about the blurred lines between a good girl and bad girl. His own interpretation of the lyrics is ignorant. The video does the complete opposite; it completely exposes the differences between women and men. After watching the parody, I couldn’t help but laugh. The men are doing the exact same thing the women did in the video; however it looks silly and unnatural when the men do it. The comical response people have from the video is because of the assigned gender socialization roles. Gender norms are so heavily reinforced and institutionalized, that seeing the roles of men and women switched is amusing. I highly recommend everyone to watch the female version of Blurred Lines first, and then the parody. The gender differences and portrayals will be crystal clear!
Blurred Lines Parody