Having already clinched the number 1 spot on Billboard's Hot 100, Robin Thicke's catchy single "Blurred Lines" is on the path to being the party anthem of the summer.
However, despite its popularity, the hit song -- which also features Pharrell and T.I. -- and its accompanying music video haven't been sitting too well with some critics who say the tune is not just disparaging to women, but could be seen as "rape-y."
"Has anyone heard Robin Thicke’s new rape song?” blogger Lisa Huyne wrote in a post in April. “Basically, the majority of the song…has the R&B singer murmuring ‘I know you want it’ over and over into a girl’s ear. Call me a cynic, but that phrase does not exactly encompass the notion of consent in sexual activity … Seriously, this song is disgusting -- though admittedly very catchy.”
Huyne is not alone in her sentiments. Tricia Romano of the Daily Beast pointed out this week that several female fans have been left "unnerved by [Thicke's] creepy lyrics and NSFW video."
The music video in question, which was banned from YouTube in March (though is still available in its full, original, very NSFW form on VEVO), features fully-clothed Thicke, T.I. and Pharrell singing and dancing with three models wearing nothing but nude thongs.
"The nudity might be fine if the song was called, 'Let’s All Have Some Fun,' but it’s called 'Blurred Lines,' and the subject itself is enough to make some female music fans uncomfortable," Romano, who called the song "kind of rapey," wrote. "The song is about how a girl really wants crazy wild sex but doesn’t say it -- positing that age-old problem where men think no means yes into a catchy, hummable song."
Last month, Thicke, in an interview with GQ, responded to criticism about the NSFW video, saying:
We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, "We're the perfect guys to make fun of this."
People say, "Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?" I'm like, "Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women." So we just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go, "Women and their bodies are beautiful. Men are always gonna want to follow them around."
Thicke's response has received some backlash of its own.
"[T]he fact that they are all married with kids does not make it OK for him to say these things or depict them in a song. Because songs like this are dangerous," wrote blogger Liz Terry earlier this month.