In both Roxanne Gay’s essay, “Blurred Lines,” and Caroline Framke’s article, “The controversy around Babe.net’s Aziz Ansari story, explained,” the subject of implicit versus explicit sexual consent is explored.
Through her analysis of both Robin Thicke’s hit single, “Blurred Lines,” and legislation regarding abortions, Gay asserts that in this current society and culture, “women exist to satisfy the whims of men… [and a] woman’s worth is consistently diminished or entirely ignored” (Gay, 189). In Robin Thicke’s song, “Blurred Lines,” many of the lyrics suggest that when a woman says no, she actually means yes or maybe. When lyrics like this are expressed in a song that is so widely accepted by society, the undertones of sexual assault and violence are absorbed by society and no longer seen as taboo, but are accepted. Though the subject of sexual assault and consent are serious, it is often difficult to address them as such because of how they are often cast aside as jokes. Gay continues to argue that this way of thinking is not only limited to artists but is also reflected in the judgments and decisions made by our lawmakers. The controversy surrounding abortion rights often stem from men in the government and often interfere with women’s abilities to make decisions that are personal. Much like the “Blurred Lines” mindset, this school of thought again demonstrates how many men tend to make decisions for women without first consulting them with the assumption that they know what women want more than the women know themselves.
Similarly, in her article, Framke also highlights society’s tendency to dismiss and belittle the prejudices that women face through examining the story of Grace and her date with famed comedian, Aziz Ansari. Although there were many elements in this case that made it difficult to legally consider Grace’s date experience as sexual assault and the careless reporting by Babe, many critics dismiss her story by saying that Grace was just “making something out of nothing, a bad date in which Grace failed to speak up and physically leave when she felt uncomfortable” (Framke). Regardless of what actually transpired on Grace’s and Ansari’s date, it is yet another demonstration of how many women’s stories are disregarded and belittled.