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Before I even get started, watch the video below if you haven’t seen it already:

(Note: the original, unrated version was banned on YouTube, but you can watch it here)

I’ve lived in a bubble for the past two years. Sitting in a philosophy class means that people are open to your ideas, though they may not agree with you, and logical argument is king. We don’t get to yell and scream. In a philosophy class, you have to defend yourself in a precise and deliberate manner. Even if you’re certain that your views are correct, you still need to explain why. While I’m all for intelligent argument and expressing your opinion, no matter how controversial, I have realized that logical argument often doesn’t win out against emotions and tradition outside of the classroom. So here. Here are a few things that I have learned from the Robin Thicke “Blurred Lines” controversy.

Patriarchy is alive and well.

For a few months, I actually believed that women were making waves on a global scale and that society as a whole was beginning to listen to women. Like, at all. I mean, I’m always encouraged to build my own opinion and defend it. This goes for everything – from evil to death to whether or not humans should be vegetarian. After listening to a few radio shows with girls yelling about how they hate society and men yelling about how women need to calm the eff down, I am suddenly more hesitant to speak my mind. Unfortunately, I think that’s what is expected of me.

Feminism is alive and well.

In the midst of all the anger and hate, there are some valid points being made about the images in the video, the artists’ defense of their video, and the models’ feelings about the video. So logical argument is encouraged, but I guess you just need to know where to look for it.

Equal rights are different from equality.

I think it’s safe to say that fighting for the equality of men and women is absurd. Men and women are not equal – it’s a biological fact. (When was the last time a man needed to use a tampon? When was the last time a woman needed to deal with a public hard on?) Equal rights though, that’s a whole different story. We can go on and on forever about what defines a right, what counts as a right, and which rights are legitimate (as philosophers have), but certain things like the right to food and water and the right to education seem to be generally accepted, so I’ll just go from there. The idea is quite simple:

Human beings should have their humans rights respected.
Women are human beings.
Therefore, women should have their human rights respected.

What do you think about the Robin Thicke controversy?


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