Robin Thicke Thinks He’s a Victim of Miley Cyrus

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Let me begin by saying I am not a fan of Miley Cyrus. She is an appropriative, entitled little twit who sees black women’s bodies as mere cogs in her privileged fame machine. But everyone knows that if we’re going to talk about the shit show that was her infamous VMA performance, then we’re not just talking about one party. If we’re going to talk about twerking and raunchy attempts at notoriety, we’re talking about two parties: one the near-naked and tongue-wagging Miley Cyrus, and the other is the pinstriped and pompadoured Robin Thicke. Which is what this blog is about, because yesterday in his interview with Oprah, Robin Thicke laid all responsibility of the backlash after their twerking fiasco firmly on the shoulders of 20-year old Miley Cyrus.

Let’s talk about why this is bullshit.

The simple explanation is, “Hey, you slick little bastard, it takes two to tango.” Cyrus wasn’t on stage alone. If she had been, we could point all available fingers in her direction. But we can’t. Because she wasn’t alone. Her ass was against somebody’s crotch and that crotch belonged to Robin Thicke.

Thicke has an answer for this.

“Listen,” he told Oprah. “I’m the twerkee. I don’t twerk. I’m just twerked upon.” Oh. What does this remind us of? A sixteen-year old girl winds up pregnant and is the talk of the town. “Little Betty got herself pregnant,” they gossip. “What a trollop.” The male in question—without whose sperm there would be no scandalous pregnancy—becomes invisible. In the face of a patriarchal framework of female behavior, the unwed girl somehow was alone in her baby-making. The stigma falls to her. The shame falls to her. Thicke throwing Cyrus under the bus—a bus he’s driving—is eerily reminiscent of this scenario in which women are viewed as lone actors in a two-man show.

Thicke goes on to further absolve himself of all responsibility. “I was onstage, so I didn’t see it.” He adds, “I’m not thinking sex, I’m thinking fun. I’m singing my butt off. I’m singing and I’m looking at the sky and I’m singing and I’m not really paying attention to all that.” His final damning quote? “That’s on her.”

Robin, no one’s demanding child support payments. They’re just saying, you know, maybe you could share some of the controversy here.

“I spent my whole career playing it safe, being a gentleman, never doing anything controversial,” he told the November issue of Vanity Fair. “They told me [beforehand] that Miley’s going to take her clothes off and dance around and she might bend over…I just said, ‘I don’t care, let’s entertain the people.'”

Is it just me, or is Thicke describing Cyrus’s potential bending over the way one might describe a loaded gun? As if he’s a victim in this whole thing, and Miley Cyrus’s body/sexuality is the true danger here? If that ass was so dangerous, Robin, why did you place yourself firmly in the way of it?

It’s all so absurd. Cyrus discussed the double standard shortly after the VMAs and as much as I dislike her, I was inclined to agree. But this is even worse. What else does this remind us of? This shunning of responsibility in the face of young female sexuality? Thicke is a 36-year old married man, Cyrus a 20-year old child-star. How many times have we heard about the grown ass pedophile saying that the 14-year old school girl “seduced” him? Remember this case in Montana? The judge gave a 54-year old teacher who repeatedly raped his 14-year old student a 30-day sentence because he believed the girl was “older than her chronological age,” implying that the girl was a willing agent in her rape by a man 40 years her senior.

Before all the rape apologists start whipping out their Sharpies and making cardboard signs decrying my comparison of Thicke/Cyrus to rape, let me be clear. What happened onstage at the VMAs was not rape, and Cyrus was and is perfectly able to make her own ridiculous, appropriative, tiresome decisions. But Thicke’s behavior after the fact, especially now with this most recent interview with Oprah, requires criticism.

Thicke’s ability to saddle Cyrus with the blame indicates a problem in our culture, a culture in which men are rewarded for their sexuality and women are punished; a culture in which a man has the agency to engage in sexual acts and then withdraw from them untainted, leaving the woman to deal with the shitstorm as if they acted alone.

All this aside, the show was rehearsed. Every second of the VMAs was choreographed, planned, done over and over. For Thicke to throw up his angelic little hands and claim ignorance not only illustrates him as the spineless coward that he is, but exposes his willingness to let misogynistic public opinion to run its dirty course, knowing full well that in this culture, if a man says “It wasn’t me, it was all her! Female sexuality is scary and gross!”…the whole world won’t think twice before shoving her under the bus that’s always rolling.

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25 thoughts on “Robin Thicke Thinks He’s a Victim of Miley Cyrus

  1. I was wondering why Robin ‘old beetle-juice costume wearing’ Thicke wasn’t getting none of the blame, thought it was just me. Excellent points Olivia.

  2. I agree with rachelhurt2000; excellent points indeed! Sharing this post.

  3. carriepugh says:

    Well done Olivia! I shared on my FB page.

  4. Alison Loris says:

    When Billie Holliday was raped as a 4-year-old, her rapist went free and she was incarcerated as a juvenile criminal for seducing him. Some things haven’t changed.

  5. Alison Loris says:

    Excellent post.

    Somehow, someday, we’ll all win and defeat the rape culture, which is less about men’s sexual urges than about men’s sense of “ownership” of women’s bodies –and their terrified rage when women assert their right to own their own bodies.

  6. mysoulinspiration says:

    But what is more bizarre about the whole thing is the song that he was singing “blurred lines” is about an older man being sexually suggestive to an older man. Statements like “I know you want it”, “your a good girl, won’t let you get past me”, “blurred lines” indeed.
    The whole media industry in my eyes is odd. But it is also in our world so much it is unavoidable

  7. RadhikaJit says:

    Great post. Right after the performance, I had a feeling Thicke would disown his involvement in it, but I didn’t expect him to completely put the blame on Miley. I was a fan of his music pre-Blurred Lines and it’s disappointing to see what he’s become.

    You’re right. His ability to pass off the blame is just adding to this unfair culture that woman are to blame.

  8. godtisx says:

    I don’t watch television much these days, but wow. I’m going to see if I can find this on Youtube. But you’re right, how is he just, “She did it to me?” Can’t stand Cyrus, and he was a non-entity (before), but now he’s solidified that.

    Wondering if Oprah caught his BS.

  9. raeesahamid says:

    Very well said. I was just having a discussion with some friends the other day about how Robin Thicke has completely flown under the radar on this one, and no one seems to be attributing any blame/shame on him. Bravo!

  10. LetmebeRae says:

    You’re absolutely right. He should at least step up and accept some of the blame in this. There were several people that said that everything that happened on stage happened in rehearsal so he knew what was going on. Smh he just didn’t expect that there would be this large of a backlash.

  11. joshnaugle says:

    As I was watching this performance, it was the train wreck I couldn’t turn away from. I couldn’t believe “Hannah Montana” was doing that with “Beetlejuice”! Performance aside, this experience made me pay attention to the song beyond the catchy Fat Albert hook and classic Pharrell beat. The contents of the song are enough to question his innocence. I have a hard time calling lyrics that portray certain behaviors as “art” when it would put you in jail as testimony in court… Great post. A small light on a massive problem.

  12. bringreaner says:

    I had a bad feeling this would happen in the media, that the man would walk away completely unchecked and everyone would attack Miley, though I do think part of it is because she’s a Disney star.

    What I didn’t predict is that the man would then go on to condemn her…I thought the exact same thing; there is no way at all this wasn’t practiced! It’s the VMA’s! As if they just go up on stage with only a slight idea of what their partner is going to do…it’s all choreographed and rehearsed

    I didn’t watch the interview, but I’m guessing if Oprah had said something along those lines you would have mentioned it, and I’m surprised and disappointed she didn’t.

    I don’t know you at all, but after reading this I wish you could interview him! That would be quite interesting.

  13. delilahsangels says:

    Absolutely love this! My friend and I present a feminist radio show at uni and our topic this week was Miley Cyrus and Robin Thicke. My friend summed it up completely when she said “I just want to know where Robin Thicke stands in all of this?” Because nobody is talking about him. Miley is being shamed no end for that performance but Thicke, who is almost twice her age and already rolling around in controversy from the Blurred Lines video and lyrics seems to have got away pretty much unscathed.
    It does surprise me that he’s denying any responsibility though. If he’s a big boy, big enough to tell everybody that he has a big d*** and parade around with naked models, he’s big enough to admit he was aware of Miley twerking on him.

    • oliviaacole says:

      Valid questions. And I guarantee you had their been no controversy whatsoever and Miley was being lauded rather than criticized, then Robin would have been more than happy to step up and enjoy the limelight.

  14. I wish Id seen it. You are absolutely right. The Thicke ain’t wearing any clothes

  15. When I read all of this it make me think about the super Bowl incident with Timber lake and Janet, where she took all the blame for her wardrobe malfunction situation, and had to pay a fine.Timber lake said nothing and never took any of the blame. That’s out way with women in this society.

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