In her essay, “Blurred Lines,” Gay makes her argument against restrictive legislation for reproductive rights by comparing the government’s misogynistic behavior to that of popular music. Gay argues that if we continue to ignore pop music’s prejudiced messages against women, which reduce them to merely objects, then it’s no wonder we’re finding it so easy to also ignore the government’s encroachment on women’s rights. Gay ties this analogy together with the repeated phrases, “Men want what they want,” and “Lighten up,” to represent the similarities between prejudiced music and prejudiced legislation, arguing that in the end, they both cater to the desires of men and the consideration of women’s judgement as practically worthless. The “men want what they want” argument feels strikingly similar to the “boys will be boys,” “locker-room talk” justifications behind Trump’s Access Hollywood tapes, so Gay’s argument feels very relevant—we don’t only have congresspeople who disrespect women, but a president who does as well.
In the Ansari piece, Framke makes several points that relate to the “blurred lines” Gay mentions. Because the Ansari story had several elements that made it difficult to identify as “sexual assault”—the arguably careless reporting by Babe.net and the fact that the allegations weren’t nearly as incriminating as those of the Weinstein scandal—reveals the blurred lines between the sides of the #MeToo movement. At what point should an allegation be taken as a case of sexual assault, at what point can it merely be indicative of a larger social tendency to disrespect women, and at what point can it just be written off as a misunderstanding? I agree with Framke that Babe.net’s reporting made it difficult to judge the Ansari story; however, it appears as though the Ansari story does address many of the assumptions men make about dating and what women want without really realizing it.