Ladies and Gentlemen, he’s done it again! Singer/songwriter Robin Thicke has written and released a song/video combination that is sure to send chills down your spine. Rest assured that those chills are not inspired by the thrill of romance — no! They’re chills of disgust and fear for both my safety and the safety of other women that may be going through a messy break-up.
“Why?” You ask.
Given the fact that I have suffered through (and survived) a physically and emotionally abusive relationship, and I have received some of the exact same texts displayed in the music video, I’ll tell you.
First of all, the song is called “Get Her Back.” It’s a featured track on his new album, “Paula,” which is obviously dedicated to his wife of nine years, Paula Patton. They recently decided to separate for reasons that are “unclear,” but given the nature of his song lyrics, I just can’t blame her! The song is a plea to “her,” and the lyrics contain phrases such as “all I wanna do,” shifting the focus off of her wish to end the relationship and onto Robin’s current desire (to “give her that thing”). Sounds selfish, right? That’s because it is! Denial and ignorance of the end of a relationship are unhealthy and disrespectful to whomever is involved. It’s manipulative and downright emotionally abusive. Still disagree? Let’s continue! The reason that this song, and the video more than anything, terrifies me is due to the fact that it will reinforce the negative behavior of other men when it comes to ending a relationship.
The video features a shirtless, bloodied Robin Thicke as the victim of the break-up, and various imagery of both him and a woman drowning. It also features an allegedly legitimate textual exchange between Robin and Paula. Those texts from Robin state things like “I’m sorry”, “I miss u”, “I hate myself”, “can I come see you”, all of which “she” counters with phrases like “it’s too soon,” “you ruined everything,” and “you’re reckless” which are all obviously stating that she has no desire to repair the relationship, especially not at the present time.
And yet, he continues to insist that he wants to “make it right” throughout the song.
The very last text message that is displayed in the video is from Robin, and it states that “This is just the beginning.” Gross! Leave that lady alone, Robin.
What people will take from this is, presumably, that persistence will eventually break the other participant, and that they can convince their former significant other to take them back. They won’t give up! Duh! It’s romantic! Not.
Actually, it’s harassment. When someone states that they want to be left alone and that things are over, the proper thing to do is believe them. You should respect their desire to retreat back into their own life, without you, and you should move forward with your own.
The sad fact is, the behavior displayed through this song/video is accepted as romantic! What the audience doesn’t see is that this behavior can escalate into verbal threats and physical violence, and all too often, it does. It’s not so romantic when you end up in the hospital, or you’re double-checking to make sure that your doors and windows are locked because you fear for your/your family’s safety. Trust me, I know from experience. If you do continue to pursue the relationship when your former significant other has no such desire, you are making appropriate grounds for a restraining order to be put into place. Quite simply put, it’s not okay.
Thicke is no stranger to producing controversial songs and videos. He was recently in the spotlight because of his song “Blurred Lines,” which contains phrases that many rape victims say are reminiscent of (or identical to!) the things their rapists said to them during their assault. You’d think that after the negative response “Blurred Lines” received, he would learn to stop producing misogynistic bullshit! The point is, we see you and we see through you, Robin Thicke. Stop teaching the men in our society that it is okay to “chase” a woman who has walked away from you. It’s not. Just stop.