Pharrell Defends “Blurred Lines” & Explains Why He’s Not A Feminist: Watch

Christina Lee | May 30, 2014 10:26 am

Pharrell, the hitmaker behind 2014’s G I R L, defends Robin Thicke‘s “Blurred Lines” in a sit-down chat with U.K.’s Channel 4 News. In the process, he also explains why “it’s not possible” for him to be a feminist. And by the interview’s end, he shows just how contentious the term has become, among increasingly heated discussions of what it means to be a “good” and “bad” feminist.

Although Pharrell keeps his composure throughout, the entire chat starts to get awkward after he explains why he’d like to see Hillary Clinton run for president – because he’d like to see what happens when a woman helps run the world, for once. (“We’re too busy telling them what they can or can’t do with their bodies.”) But then he says “it’s not possible” for him to be a feminist because “I’m a man.”

And when talking a line from “Blurred Lines” that was once called “rapey” – “I know you want it” – he asks the interviewer if he’s ever had “naughty thoughts” about a significant other. “And that’s why that song needs to exist. Because there are certain people, who are good people, good upright standing citizens, who have thoughts, who feel funny and get uncomfortable when the camera is on them.”

It’s a headache to watch, because here Pharrell discusses a clear-cut term (“feminist”) in murky ways, while the interviewer (as with a lot of media) describes something far more subjective (sexuality) in frustratingly clear-cut terms, as if it could be that simple.

The interviewer should have told Pharrell that his reasons for wanting to see Clinton run – that’s feminism. Feminists advocate for an equal economic, political, cultural and social rights for males and females alike, not taking away from Pharrell being a man. And that same sort of freedom should be applied to sexuality, as Pharrell does say correctly. Interpreting “I know you want it” as simply “rapey” removes it from the context of the song, which is these three dudes (including T.I.) begging to be noticed. And, no matter how much they plead, females are making the final call.

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