The Silencing of the Oppressed in SGM, Part 2

chains broken

In my experience, any time someone tells a personal story, there is something to be learned. This holds true for my post yesterday (Part 1), both for reading Hännah Ettinger’s story, and for the story that unfolded in the response from pastor Stephen Altrogge.

Hännah’s story enlightened me to the circumstances of her life as she attempted to find her place in a church that doesn’t allow women to teach. The situation of her church life and family life led her to a need for self discovery, to decide what her personal boundaries were. She notes that she hasn’t reached any conclusions about the “reformed” theology behind the SGM church she attended because she was so confused by the legalism that proceeded from the members. She ended with a positive message to the people around her and in the world who may have been hurt by churches and spiritual abuse.
In contrast, she is very critical of C.J. Mahaney’s oversimplification of life into pert responses and her congregation’s adoption of his terms into prescribed cultural touchstones. She points out how his comments were used to homogenize interactions within the community, but without offering support for people who needed the comfort of freedom of expression.
She condemns in strong words the strictures of the church culture, which dictated everything from how she expressed herself in conversation to how she dressed and what hobbies she pursued. She doesn’t make a distinction here, but I think its worth it to point out that in many of these churches, families are given freedom to choose whatever they want for thier kids, which may harm their interactions with peers. For instance, one family may allow their kids to watch Disney movies, while another may prevent their kids from even watching cartoons at all. My point is, some of the situations that stifled Hännah may have originated from her parents’ preferences. Conversely, she also might have found peer pressure stifling to her enjoyment of hobbies and interests if THEIR parents were more strict. I say this to point out the variance of individual experiences in churches like these.

She is critical of her home life, of parents who put more emphasis on her example to her siblings than the need of the individual child to find herself and make mistakes and learn from them.

Hännah links directly to a site that many members of SGM have been told not to go to, SGM Survivors. She says she stands with the hundreds of people who post there every week. She speaks out against techniques that SGM people have publically adhered to in the past, like “first time obedience” with children, and “assuming the best about those in authority” which is still being publically promoted in their literature today.

Then we see the second story. Here are the other comments of Stephen Altrogge in the blog post:

“…I would be the first to point out many problems in SGM. But the problem with this article is that it is not a fair representation of the big picture. Rachel, as a blogger you have a responsibility to look at the whole picture.”

This is the second time that Stephen has ignored the person who wrote the story, Hännah, and directly appealed to authority, Rachel, to “fix” the post. In my previous post, I listed where he admitted that there were problems in SGM. But I have read his blog, I have heard his messages and I have not heard him ever being the first person to point out problems that need to be addressed in SGM. If this is something he does regularly, I would love to read about it. I don’t know what he wants to accomplish by appealing to Rachel to fix this, because he offers no opinions on how this could be done. Its not Rachel who wrote the post, but it was Rachel who edited the post and chose what to display. She stands behind this person’s personal story. I don’t see why that is so offensive.

“first of all simply being male does not put me in any sort of hierarchy within a SGM church”

Simple question…How would he know? How would the son of an integral, longtime member of the organization have any idea whether he was being favored or not, or whether it had anything to do with being male?

“And I never once heard it taught that women were taught to be completely passive, and I basically attended every conference SGM every hosted, and I attended the very church Hannah attended for 10 months.”

COMPLETELY passive? So they were taught to be passive? Also, she said

Though it was never said in so many words, being a biblical woman in SGM was the emotional equivalent of lying back, closing one’s eyes, and taking one for Jesus.” (emphasis mine)

So she said this comment was about subtext, not actual text. Anyway, he continues:

“Additionally, I have many, many friends in the church Hannah attended, both men and women, who would completely disagree with Hannah’s version. So I actually do have a pretty good feel for Covenant Life Church, given the fact that I personally attended, know many of the pastors, know many of the members, and am still in contact with them to this day.”

Yeah, she didn’t go to Covenant Life. She said that.

“In terms of abuse, I never intended to be flippant. Abuse is horrendous, awful, and terrible. All child abuse should be exposed. However, we must tread carefully when one person speaks of systemic problems. I am not defending child abuse in any way, and my church goes to great lengths to prevent it.”

As others have pointed out, his church is small. Like compared to Covenant life, it’s miniscule. Also, “all child abuse should be exposed” has not helped him point out or condemn the men in the lawsuit who had served jail time after being convicted of child abuse, of which there was at least one. Please remind me the last time Stephen practiced what he preached.

“My point is simply this: Hannah’s version is not a fair representation of the church as a whole. Yes, it is her experience, and I do not discredit that. But my personal knowledge of the church, my attendance of the church, and my relationships within that church make me certain of particular facts. Hannah interpreted those facts in a particular way – many others did not.”

I still can’t believe that he never once says “I’m so sorry this happened to you, Hännah, I will strive to make sure that my words and my preachings are more bible based than the things you heard, and to make sure my flock understands how to apply them biblically and not legalistically.” He has no idea that he is coming across as singularly unsympathetic and legalistic.

“Actually, yes, there is way to present a balanced viewpoint. First of all, Hannah is one person in one church in a movement made up of approximately 80 churches. To say that her story represents the whole is false. I have no doubt that Hannah really experienced what she says she did. But I personally know many, many people in her church who did NOT experience what she did. Presenting a balanced view would be to interview someone who did not experience what Hannah did.“

This blows my mind. He is literally saying that a more balanced view of the church would be to find someone who had a good experience, and interview them instead. What?

“Does my church practice emotional modesty? No. I don’t know what that means. I’ve never heard that term before today.”

Then how can you know that the term isn’t being talked about in the churches? Please do your research, its not hard to find out what terms mean. For all you know, its given a different label, but how could you know that if you claim you don’t even know what it means?

“Does my church encourage physical modesty? Of course. But not in any sort of “let me measure how short your shorts are way”. Do we practice first time obedience? No. Do we practice spiritual coverings? No. I don’t know what that is.”

She said these things happened at her church. According to the testimonies of others online, they also happened at the Fairfax church, CLC, and they happened at many different churches across the nation who weren’t SGM because they were trying to follow the “I Kissed Dating Goodbye” example of the SGM churches. (EDIT: Also, his comment about “Let me measure your shorts” reminded me of the infamous Mahaney Modesty Checklist, which includes lots of measuring and techniques to measure length of shirts/skirts etc.)

“And I am well connected with many other SGM pastors and have never even heard of these terms.”

Did it occur to you, Steven, that they may have been preaching these things BEFORE you became a pastor? Back when you were in college, or even before?

“All I’m asking is for balance. Are there problems in SGM? Sure! I can think of lots. But the Internet is a breeding ground of half-information. As Christians we should do all we can to change that.”

All she did was present her story. Is he accusing her of being part of that breeding ground of half-information? Also, if you can present those problems in SGM, I can think of MANY blogs that would love for you to set the record straight. Give us the full story, the true story, so we can support you in fixing it!

I am blown away by his narrative. He hasn’t heard the terms before, so he categorically says they aren’t ever preached. He doesn’t address Hännah or her pain, other than to say that abuse in general is terrible, awful and sad.
On the positive side of things, I must commend him for his comment: “I have no doubt that Hannah really experienced what she says she did.” That is a great step in the right direction, and a very positive affirmation that she’s not making things up to slander an organization at large. I also completely agree with his statement “To say that her story represents the whole is false.” However, no one said that her story was meant to represent the whole. That is where the main miscommunication happened.

I don’t feel that Stephen needs to speak for the SGM community. I think, that like Jesus said, we will know them by their fruits. If the larger narrative from SGM is good, then there will be fruit.

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The Silencing of the Oppressed in SGM

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I follow a number of blogs, and a few weeks ago there was a new guest post on Rachel Held Evans’ blog. Rachel asked a former homeschooler named Hännah Ettinger to write about the group of churches known as Sovereign Grace Ministries from a personal perspective. The blog post is a story of one who grew up in an environment where church doctrines were often held legalistically by church members and families.

I thought it was a well written blog post about a personal story, and how the community around the author behaved based on preachings that they heard and books that they read (like “Shepherding a Child’s Heart” and “I Kissed Dating Goodbye”).

Then Stephen Altrogge, a pastor from a church in Pennsylvania, and son of a longtime pastor of SGM, commented on the message.

“I’m sorry, but as someone who grew up in SGM, and is now a pastor in a church that recently left SGM, this is a VERY poor representation of SGM as a whole. This is one young woman’s perspective and it is filtered through the lens of her family experience. What she is communicating was not the systemic experience throughout SGM. Some were abused, yes. But this young woman’s experience is not representative.

Rachel, I’m appealing to you, please at least try to post well balanced arguments. This is not well balanced in the least. At least try to get both sides of the story.”

We will put aside the weirdness of the fact that he is defending a church he has now separated from, and get to the heart of the matter. Stephen does not put this “plea” out because he wants another person to tell a positive story. He comes from one of the smaller churches that stood under the SGM label, and although he asks for balance, he gives none himself. He doesn’t explain that his experience was good, and that he wishes that SGM would be more unified for the good of the 80 some odd congregations that were under it.

See, the truth is, even though these issues were in the past, the SGM model has been to move old theologies and commonly held ideals aside when problems pop up. They have a tendancy to pretend that the legalism never happened, or that it was fringe group who “misunderstood” what the teachings were about.

Now, if only Stephen had ever admitted that his church could be wrong and was legalistic in the past, which could have hurt people like this Ms Ettinger…Wait, I’ve got it!

Stephen, I would like to quote your own comment on a blog post a couple of months ago.

“Now, have our churches been overly legalistic about a “quiet time”, or whatever you want to call it? Sure. Just as we’ve been overly legalistic about dating, worship forms, parenting, and a bazillion other things. But our temptation is always to swing the pendulum too far the other way.”

http://wearethefamilymorris.blogspot.com/2012/12/quiet-times-bacon-post-16.html

These are the things you admitted to, Stephen. Please stop trying to silence those who would tell their story. I would like to echo and affirm the words someone who responded to you in that thread.

Nerio Jove wrote back to Stephen’s comment:

“I’m not sure you understand just how offensive this remark is to me and might be to some of the other readers here, and how effectively it epitomizes the heart problems of SGM leadership, so let me break it down for you:

1. Not only do you freely admit that SGM has been legalistic in its teachings, but that it has been OVERLY legalistic, as if it wasn’t bad enough to act like the Pharisees, but that SGM has taken it to a level that even the Pharisees might think was too much. Given how Jesus addressed the Pharisees on this issue, how might you think Jesus would address SGM if he arrived at Louisville HQ in person?

2. You respond to the question of legalistic zealotry in SGM’s teaching (and by implication, its culture) with the response, “Sure.” Do you truly understand the heartache caused by this teaching, the broken relationships, the twisting of the Truth that has occurred that you admit to, and yet you respond not with sorrow but with a glib remark?

3. You JUSTIFY the legalism with the remark, “But our temptation is always to swing the pendulum too far the other way.” In other words, Yes, SGM has taught and practiced wrongly–we have taught legalism rather than grace. But because it would be WORSE for us to abuse our freedom and become licentious, it’s better for us to err on the side of caution and prescribe all these different rules and practices–however distant our application is from the actual content of the Scriptures–as mandatory for being pleasing to God.

How DARE you say such a thing! If faith in Christ is what justifies us and enables us to come before the father, if in Jesus we are new creations no longer enslaved to sin, how is it possible that addressing Christians as being essentially just like the World could be a good thing to do?! 

 Mr Altrogge, please consider that your flippant comments on other people’s blogs are hurtful and neglectful. In the future, please realize that people should be allowed to share thier stories without being repremanded for representing their churches unfavorably. It is not your job to be the thought police, and the stories people tell are important.

Just Give Me A Reason (Fisking Pop Songs)

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It is no exaggeration that I fisk everything, even songs I adore. So without further ado, here is Pink’s “Just Give Me a Reason”

 “Just Give Me A Reason”

(feat. Nate Ruess)

(Verse 1: Pink)

Right from the start

You were a thief

You stole my heart

And I your willing victim

Pink uses a lot of violent imagery in her lyrics, and this is a rather mild example. Victim is not really a word I would use to describe a participant in a love affair, especially the female, and it grates here (especially since it makes a rather weak assonance with “fixed them”). However, there are many songs that use the “thief” stealing hearts as both good and bad.

I let you see the parts of me

That weren’t all that pretty

And with every touch you fixed them

That’s a lovely thought, but it unfortunately reinforces the idea that the non-pretty parts need fixing by a man, or that a woman needs to be made pretty once entering a relationship.

Now you’ve been talking in your sleep, oh, oh

Things you never say to me, oh, oh

Tell me that you’ve had enough

Of our love, our love

This is a wonderfully complicated idea. On the one hand, a person might say things they have been thinking about in their sleep. Many a story has revolved around someone saying something while unconscious that they might not have done otherwise. On the other hand, the sleep talking idea gives room for the woman to allow that it might be a misunderstanding, that the context of the person’s mind matters, which cannot be determined while the person is asleep. I think if the next lines had something accusing the man of being unfaithful, or patronizing or lying, this would be a different song. But instead she just launches into one of the most hopeful and realistic choruses I’ve heard in pop radio this year.

Just give me a reason

Just a little bit’s enough

Just a second we’re not broken just bent

And we can learn to love again

It’s in the stars

It’s been written in the scars on our hearts

We’re not broken just bent

And we can learn to love again

I love the idea that relationships aren’t either together or broken, that they can be bent, but healing can happen. The name of the song and the first line of the chorus are rather ambiguous, however. “Just give me a reason” could either mean “What is the reason you think we are over?” or it can mean “Just give me a reason to keep working with you on our relationship.” Either way, information is being asked for, and unfortunately it’s not clear how the other person should respond.

I should note, that up to this point, any of these lyrics could have been sung by a man, as in there are no gendered phrases to make sure the audience is catching that it’s a hetero relationship. If you aren’t familiar with pop music, you might wonder why I’m pointing this out, but in the pop world, often times the duets that top the charts make a point of writing gendered lyrics for the woman, who sings first, just so that the man can sing almost identical lyrics but with the gendered action changed (See Lady Antebellum’s “Need You Now” where the woman can call because she just “lost all control” because she was alone, but the man can’t lose control unless he’s been drinking, then its ok).

(Verse 2: Nate Ruess)

I’m sorry I don’t understand

Where all of this is coming from

I thought that we were fine

(Pink: Oh, we had everything)

This is valid, he’s confused as he doesn’t remember saying any of the things that are making her worried. Also, unlike a lot of songs where one party sings echoes and the other person doesn’t seem to hear or ignores it (“Take Me (Or Leave Me)” from Rent) Nate actually responds to the interjections.

Your head is running wild again

My dear we still have everythin’

And it’s all in your mind

(Pink: Yeah, but this is happenin’)

Yeah, this sounds like gaslighting. Yes, she may be overreacting, and he has a right to call her on that, but he doesn’t have a right to say that its ALL in her mind. So far there have been no gendered terms, but that doesn’t mean Nate’s part isn’t adhering to a male narrative in some ways. I love that Pink calls him on it, and contradicts him, saying that it IS happening right now, which may be her saying “so maybe I overreacted about that, but what is happening right now is also not ok”.

You’ve been havin’ real bad dreams, oh, oh

Used to lie so close to me, oh, oh

There’s nothing more than empty sheets

Between our love, our love

Oh, our love, our love

Here’s where it gets murky. Either he is telling her that she didn’t hear him saying things in his sleep (“Who you gonna believe, me or your own ears?”) or Pink’s part of the narrative WAS based on a dream. If he left it at that, he might look like he was being mean either way, but I like that he moves on to the problem that HE notices. Namely that there might be a cause to this confusion that is purely physical, that they aren’t sleeping as closely together as they used to, and that the problem can be worked on.  This shows he took her seriously when she says “Yeah, but this is happening” which points out that if there wasn’t SOME problem they wouldn’t be having this discussion.

Pink: Our tear ducts can rust

Nate: I’ll fix it for us

Together: We’re collecting dust

But our love’s enough

Another slightly gender specific line, with Nate singing “I’ll fix it for us.”

Nate: You’re holding it in

Pink: You’re pouring it dry

Nate: No nothing is as bad as it seems

Pink: We’ll come clean

And just to contrast, here’s a gender reversal in the line “You’re holding it in”. Usually it’s the man who is accused of holding in emotions, but in this case, the woman is being tightlipped and the man is “pouring it dry” which I believe is supposed to mean that he’s letting everything out all the time.

The last two lines before the chorus repeat are really simplistic, but useful for understanding the song. In this, the couple makes up, works it out and is able to repair everything. In total, a very hopeful and real song.

Blurred Lines (Fisking Pop Songs)

glass-with-drink-clip-art_424673I listen to a lot of pop music. A LOT of pop music. I listen to pretty much anything on the radio, and dissect it all. There is almost no song I listen to that I have nothing good to say about. I’m a student of sociology and I love to listen to what everyone else is hearing to see what influences them. So when this song came on the radio, I loved the beat, the crooning, the harmony on the chorus and the overall feel of the classic R&B that is coming back into vogue these days. But I had a few thoughts…

“Blurred Lines”
(feat. T.I. & Pharrell Williams)
[Verse 1: Robin Thicke]
If you can’t hear what I’m trying to say
If you can’t read from the same page
Maybe I’m going deaf,
Maybe I’m going blind
Maybe I’m out of my mind

Pretty basic, he feels that what he is trying to say to the woman/women he is singing to is pretty clear. If its not clear, obviously you get to call him a lunatic. This is a classic technique used to silence people from criticizing, and it was used on me the other day. A man who I disagreed with on a point came back to me after the disagreement and proclaimed “You know I was just kidding, you know I’m not a male chauvinist pig, right? You know me well enough to know that.” I had never called the man a misogynist, or a male chauvinist pig, I’d never accused his character. However, to him, to disagree with his point, I either had to say he was crazy, aka give him a label that only crazy men get, or let the issue go. There was no middle ground, no option that validated that I had a right to challenge his beliefs.

[Pre-chorus: Robin Thicke]
OK now he was close, tried to domesticate you
But you’re an animal, baby it’s in your nature
Just let me liberate you
You don’t need no papers
That man is not your maker

“He” must be a previous lover/boyfriend who Robin believes didn’t “get” this girl. The whole song talks about what this woman is, not about what she does. Robin doesn’t judge by actions or words from this woman, he judges by “instinct” that her nature is different than what she presents it to be.

[Chorus: Robin Thicke]
And that’s why I’m gon’ take a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl

Robin is absolutely certain that he is going to “take a good girl”, meaning he will now be in charge of her education, sexual freedom and expression of her innate nature. Possessive words like “take” imply aggression and ownership. Again, the woman has no agency, except in the image that she portrays of a “good girl” and obviously, that image isn’t correct, so she needs to be reeducated.

Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted

The woman is an “it”, or possibly her body parts are an ‘it’, aka her breasts, as they are “far from plastic” and thus worthy of his attention. I’ve recently come to an agreement with Penn Jillette on this issue, that the measure of how attractive a woman’s breasts are depend on how much the person who owns them likes the breasts. This is an issue that will show people’s personal biases much more than they realize. Just bring up plastic surgery and breast implants to your friends, chances are there will be one person with body modifications like piercings, tattoos or some kind of past cosmetic surgery who will speak against “fake boobs”.

Also, this may be the only place where “she” could be implied to have said something. If we take this as meaning she was talking about getting blasted (aka drunk), this could clear up why Robin thinks this otherwise “good girl” is actually an animal who wants more than just drinking and dancing. However, this still shows a leap in logic that getting drunk means wanting sex. If it is Robin who is talking about getting blasted, then maybe it is a little more innocent, just something to steel his nerves before proposing sex.

I hate these blurred lines
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
But you’re a good girl

Here is the crux of the song. I’m not the first feminist to take exception to “I know you want it”, but I want to point out here that they are preceded by the sentence which actually contains the title of the song “I hate these blurred lines”. In an interview, Robin clarified this part of the song, saying it referred to “the good-girl/bad-girl thing and what’s appropriate.” It seems that Pharell and Robin were trying to comment on the subject of the Madonna/Whore complex, and what it meant to men in the club. So what statement are they trying to make?

I hate these blurred lines
Hate. That’s what stands out to me. The word hate states in no uncertain terms that blurring of lines between categories is unacceptable. Women should fit neatly into one or the other, and not flirt with crossing lines, if they don’t want to be assumed to “want it”.
In a quote from another article, Robin said of the process of writing the song,, “Him (Pharell) and I would go back and forth where I’d sing a line and he’d be like, ‘Hey, hey, hey!’ We started acting like we were two old men on a porch hollering at girls like, ‘Hey, where you going, girl? Come over here!'”
=screeching tire sound= Wait, hold up. He…he said it for me. Pretty much verbatim what is wrong with this song, it was INTENDED and acknowledged by the lyricist. Next he’s going to say that he was doing this because he was privileged enough not to be called on it…
“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.’”
AH. I see. Its a PARODY, you guys weren’t actually enjoying writing about rapey behaviours, its to draw attention to the phenomenon, and spark a dialogue. Cool. I have to admit, my review needs to take a different tack then, obviously I need to stop trying to prove that the statements are meant to be sexy, but come across as controlling, domineering and ignorant of women’s agency. All that was intended, so I should instead be explaining where they could clarify to bring attention to the issue of objectification in a positive way…
“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.'”
Pleasure? It was a pleasure?

“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.”
See, when people say they want to turn the issue on its head, they usually mean they want to make a statement that very few other people are making. “Men are always gonna want to follow them (women) around” is the exact statement the majority is making as a knee jerk response to women asking not to be harassed every day, all the time.

“The whole point was to go over the top, knock down the ceiling, jump over the wall and say, we’re gonna do things everyone is afraid to do, as brash and fearless as possible.”
Please someone explain to me how doing a music video with all topless women is something everyone else is “afraid to do”? A quick google search of “music videos with nudity” brings up a Rolling stone article that lists the “top 15 most NSFW Music Videos of all time” which includes bands from From Duran Duran, Queen and Mötley Crüe to Madonna and Nelly. Pretty mainstream, and with an over 40 year history included just in that one list alone, I’m sure its safe for me to assert that not “everyone” is afraid of nudity and objectification.

The way you grab me
Must wanna get nasty
Go ahead, get at me

Ah, I lied. Here is an action that the woman has done. She grabbed him on the dance floor. Possibly implying that she groped him, or could be as innocent as grabbing his hand or shoulder as they dance, or gyrating her hips against him as she grabs his hips. Any one of those actions could be misleading if the girl doesn’t want “it” and the man is hoping for “it”, as men have feelings and hopes too. But hoping to get laid is different than making a conclusion that she “must want to get nasty” if she does something while dancing. Sorry, nope. I’ve danced with plenty of men at clubs, seen plenty of women friends dance with men at clubs, and seen plenty of them leave and go back home alone, completely happy to be so.

[Verse 2: Robin Thicke]
What do they make dreams for
When you got them jeans on
What do we need steam for
You the hottest bitch in this place

Side note, in the radio edit, the song goes “You the hottest ‘OH!’ in this place” which sounds like ho and I wondered how they got that on the radio. I’m not sure which is better or worse, TBH.

I feel so lucky
Hey, hey, hey
You wanna hug me
Hey, hey, hey
What rhymes with hug me?
Hey, hey, hey

This is probably my favorite line in the song (completely unironically). I love it when people say/sing they feel lucky because someone chose them, and its actually cute to use the euphemism “hug me”.  I think I like it so much because it hearkens back to some of the “classic” pop songs of the 50s and 60s.

[Verse 3: T.I.]
One thing I ask of you
Let me be the one you back that ass to
Yo, from Malibu, to Paribu
Yeah, had a bitch, but she ain’t bad as you
So hit me up when you passing through
I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two

Confession: I don’t mind my songs having a bit of dirty talk, I don’t even mind them having a lot of dirty talk. Some women enjoy it, and that’s ok. Its always important to consider context, however. For instance, in the Ludacris song “What’s Your Fantasy”, it talks about many similar themes. Why do I like that song? Because the whole song is about communication, asking the woman what she likes, and then presenting a whole range of options, from role playing to relaxation, to rough to smooth, and it has a woman on the track specifically mentioning what she wants to do. Communication between two consenting parties is GREAT and very appropriate. This song has no indication that the woman wants to be talked to/about like she’s a piece of meat.

Swag on, even when you dress casual
I mean it’s almost unbearable

Here is a good example of a guy being honest for once. It doesn’t matter what you wear. Even when you dress casual “Its almost unbearable”, with it being his sexual desire for her. Please lets stop asking girls when they are raped, harassed or assaulted “What were you wearing?” or talking about dressing modestly like it can keep away creepers.

Nothing like your last guy, he too square for you
He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that

Your choice of a man last time was wrong. End of story.

Not many women can refuse this pimpin’
I’m a nice guy, but don’t be confused, you getting it

And BINGO! Anybody else out there with their rape culture buzzword cards, I just got a straight line across the middle with the phrase “Nice guy” and a triple letter score with the implication that “nice guys” still don’t take no for an answer and are out for one thing (ok, so I haven’t played bingo for a while :P)

[Bridge: Robin Thicke]
Shake the vibe, get down, get up
Do it like it hurt, like it hurt
What you don’t like work?

So this is pretty straightforward, and translates to nothing more than “Shake what you got”. The phrasing however of the last sentence resonates with me and reminds me of the comments women get while being harassed on the street. “Oh, you don’t like me?” or in the case of my neighborhood. “You don’t wanna talk to a black man?” or “What’s your problem? You don’t like attention?” Or what was it Robin said “’Hey, where you going, girl? Come over here!’” because that doesn’t feel threatening in any way…

[Pre-chorus: Robin Thicke]
Baby can you breathe? I got this from Jamaica
It always works for me Dakota to Decatur, uh huh
No more pretending
Hey, hey, hey
Cause now you winning
Hey, hey, hey
Here’s our beginning

Beginning of the relationship, starts with impaired reasoning from drugs. Just interesting to note.

[Chorus: Robin Thicke]
I always wanted a good girl
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me

You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
I don’t understand how he can say he “hates the blurred lines” in the same song as saying “I always wanted a good girl”, but I concede that this was probably just a thoughtless reworking of the line and after all, the song was written and recorded in a day.

Here is the link to the quotes from the article by Robin Thicke.

http://www.gq.com/blogs/the-feed/2013/05/robin-thicke-interview-blurred-lines-music-video-collaborating-with-2-chainz-and-kendrick-lamar-mercy.html#ixzz2XzbH8idL