Blurred Lines Controversy – Amy Britton was once raped and has her own powerful take on her situation and how the song affects her..The Robin Thicke controversy just won’t go away … and we don’t want it to….

Is it time for pop to get its house in order? Should songs like this be banned or be out in the open to be talked about? Should they be clearer in what they are trying to say?

Amy Britton was once gang raped and has her own powerful, moving and inspiring take on the situation and how the song affects her.

My take on the “Blurred Lines” debate.

Now, I don’t think any of would be massively surprised to know that I don’t really pay a lot of attention to chart music. Up until the recent articles on LTW commenting on Edinburgh University’s decision to ban Robin Thicke’s controversial “Blurred Lines,” it could have quite easily passed me by – but it hadn’t. Anything this nasty is going to stick in my head the moment I come across it. I first came across this song on a music TV station, fully subtitled, on one of the television screens in the gym, whilst I was weightlifting and fully fired up – a good time to get angry…

There seems to be a bit of a trend at the moment for sexual violence to be treated as less of a crime and more of a fulfilment of women’s desires (Thicke’s chorus runs “You know you want it…”). The “sexual” side is dwelled on more than the “assault” side. This is hugely offensive. In my recent article on pornography I confessed to have been “sexually assaulted,” but this is probably a bit euphemistic; I was gang raped by three strangers and therefore I’m always going to find any debate on the issue somewhat emotive.

First things first; regardless of how Thicke portrays it, rape isn’t sexy. God forbid impressionable young listeners could think so. In fact, the far-reaching impact on the victim is as sexless as it gets. I (temporarily) took to dressing in an unfeminine, dull way which wasn’t me. I needed a minor operation on my cervix to repair the damage in order to enable a normal sex life, plus dental surgery to repair the effects caused by the physical attack – pretty sexy stuff, eh, Thicke? I’d like to hear this dealt with in the follow-up song.

So no, I didn’t “want it.”

As for claiming to explore a grey area between consensual sex and rape – is it really THAT much of a grey area? Surely it all boils down to the word “no”…

You probably all think then that I fully support the decision of Edinburgh University to ban this song. But I can’t help but think that just banning things can create more problems than it solves. Yes, of course I don’t ever want to hear this song again (especially that vile line about “tearing your ass in two”, which really does express some bizarre ideas about what women want). But banning things fulfils ideas about old fashioned censorship being the way forward – and once we start, where do we stop? If you ban one thing, it could then lead onto more and more until we get a bit over the top. Also, banning things simply serves to make them stronger, and brings them more attention, especially if the ban is well publicised like this one has been. The last thing we want is to see Thicke and his collaborator and co-writer Pharrell Williams (who seems to be getting off scot-free in the midst of all this controversy) strengthened, because when it boils down to it, I actually think “Blurred Lines” is a really weak and forgettable song. The fact that Thicke is categorised as “Soul” in music stores really is an insult to soul singers! So it may well be the controversial subject matter which has elevated him into public consciousness (or, granted, it could be the presence of a superstar like Williams.)

89% of rapes are never reported, 38% of victims never tell anyone, and there is a growing culture in which the victim is blamed or disbelieved. If ideas are being reinforced that we “want it”, that can’t be helping.

This isn’t about politically correct feminism, it’s about acknowledging something as a serious, life-ruining crime, which for me is less about sex and more about exertion of power.

Not that I let my life be ruined in the long run. In fact, I could sound almost smug when I talk about how absolutely perfect everything is for me right now. But it was hard work reaching this point. If women wanted to be raped, then there would be no such phrase as “rape victim.” But let’s not just throw the blanket of censorship over Thicke.

Let’s get talking instead. Let’s turn this on its head; it’s time to open the door to more debate about not only rape, but the responsibilities that pop culture, a powerful thing, can hold….

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Notts born and bred contributor to Louder than War since 2011. Loves critical theory and Situationism and specialises in cultural "thought pieces" and features, on music, film and wider pop culture.


  1. A very brave article. I feel rape is used as a dramatic tool in too much mainstream television too. Eastenders, Corrie and now Downton have all used this crime to boost figures. This song should be challenged; it is on the radio so often my six year old sings along.

  2. “The Robin Thicke controvery just won’t go away…and we don’t want it to”? and why not? wouldnt it be better if people stopped wasting time talking about this talentless twat, all he’s done is ripped off a marvin gaye song and put a rap on it, big fucking woop. the more attention people like this are given, the less attention will be given to the great artists that people like us listen to.

  3. Ben, this isn’t about music anymore. Sexual violence and pornography encourage silence. Silence is a big part of the power dynamic and this song, the video and the rap (with the horrific line stated above) are about male power over and violence towards women. That’s the line that most certainly isn’t blurred. There is no debating whether this song is about sexual violence or not. It clearly is. The best thing we can do is talk about it and keep it on the agenda. The song isn’t going away and nor should the discussion.

  4. I was once attacked by someone I thought I could trust – and the Robin Thicke song is derivative of Marvin Gaye’s Got To Give It Up as well as mysognystic crap.

  5. Hey, has anyone here ever heard a hip-hop song before? Blurred lines is HARDLY the most offensive song about women. Why does Robin Thicke happens to catch flack when there is much more “anti-women” songs out there?

  6. Hatred of women is so much part of the popular culture, that I just don’t feel comfortable having a TV anymore. Not since James Corden on “Big Brother’s Little Brother” put on a blonde wig and did a revolting imitation of a female big brother contestant, drinking a pint of sperm. Too much of what the BBC decides is “Comedy” is about women being beaten up, raped, ridiculed for being ugly and fat, and female sensuality is reduced by media vulgarians at all levels.
    But why are we surprised?
    These are the same people who “looked the other way” while Savile and his ilk, attacked women and children, and “nobody wanted to say anything because it could damage their careers.”
    Are we all getting the massive waves of integrity coming from these people?
    Ah..but they can fake-integrity pretty well… look at how they shouted “racist racist” at UKIP…
    And, (as Julie Burchill has pointed out so many times,) this is the strange thing about media hatred of women.
    The media have told us that it is wrong to target gays, the disabled, ethnic minorities, etc, and I support that view.
    But they also tell us that it is FINE to target women.
    In fact, they tell us that it is “ground breaking” and “pushing the boundaries” to target women with hatred.
    You know what would be really interesting?
    If the people behind the “Lets make it cool to despise women ” magazines of the 90’s, took a little “boys school trip” to the rape crisis centres, the women’s aid centres, the refuge centres and just SAW what this hatred was like in action. Women and children and family pets, are all victims of domestic violence, and these centres need money, desperately. Why don’t those evil fuckwits behind the “Lad Mags” stop pretending to be Marxists, and actually give their money to the problem that they helped to cause by their message to the world that “hating women is great, its cool, it is what men are all about.”
    Real men are not all about that.
    I’d love to know what real men think … now… about those evil men who started the Lad Mags movement… and who make the lives of victims of domestic violence, so very terrible, so very frightening and full of poverty and who damaged an entire generation of children too.
    Sure Robin Thicke and Pharrell Williams are a couple of idiots… puppets of the music industry.
    But the really evil men out there are the ones who make cash out of selling the idea, via magazines, that violence and hatred and objectification of women is “cool”. There is a special place in hell for these slave-trade-men and I hope they sizzle longtime in it.

    • The people who looked the other way when Savile was around were not just the BBC but his chums in the establishment like Thatcher, the Royal Family and the charities and others. Oh and who are these ‘marxists’ behind the lads mags? I’ve never heard of them before.


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