Pharrell Williams on “Blurred Lines”
“Blurred Lines” by Robin Thicke was one of the most popular, yet also controversial, songs of 2013. The chart-topper gives the perspective of a man attempting to pick up women, but some felt that it was misogynistic, if not outright advocating sexual assault, as it featured the man saying lines like “I know you want it.” The title itself has been interpreted to refer to issues of “questionable consent,” though Thicke himself maintains that it’s about the stage of flirting where a woman may or may not be interested enough to come home with you.
The song was co-written, co-performed, and produced by rapped Pharrell Williams, who recently talked with The Wire about the various reactions it received. In particular, he noted that the man in the song doesn’t actually have any success with the women he pursues, and that lines like “I know you want it” would not come off as inappropriate if spoken by a woman to a man.
Pharrell was also asked if he considered himself a feminist. “If I’m allowed to be,” he responded (perhaps in reference to some feminists who feel that that title can only truly belong to women). “If feminism is a synonym for equality, then, yeah, sure.”
He also stood up and showed the audience the back of his jacket, which had the words “Girls Are Every Thing” (sic) sewn onto it. Pharrell has been showing off the jacket previously on some of his Instagram photos from his Terry Richardson photo shoot.