Jordan Galloway
Critical Reading/ENG 101-905
Essay Title: Blurred Lines, Indeed
Author: Roxane Gay
Summary: In the essay, "Blurred Lines, Indeed", by Roxane Gay she focuses on the idea that the culture is one that doesn't treat women fairly and are looked at as less than. Roxane Gay uses real life examples to support her opinion of how women are treated. She bases her essay on a specific song written by Robin Thicke called Blurred Lines, and expands to show how women aren't treated as human beings.
Definitions: sentient being - beings with consciousness, able to perceive or feel things
Disdain - disrespect; someone is unworthy of one's consideration or respect
RAINN - (The Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network) an American anti-sexual assault organization. Operates the National Sexual Assault Hotline and carries out programs to prevent sexual assault, help victims, and to ensure rapists are brought to justice.
Concurrently - simultaneously; at the same time
Virulent - extremely severe and harmful disease or poison or bitterly hostile
Implicitly - absolutely, in a way that isn't directly expressed (synonym) *completely, totally
Constituents - part of constituency* Constituency - a body of voters in a specified area who elect a representative to a legislative body
Bristled - hair stand upright away from the skin; especially in anger or fear
Staunchly - in a very loyal and committed manner
Quote: "These are just songs. They are just jokes. It's just a hug. They're just breasts. Smile, you're beautiful. Can't a man pay you a compliment? In truth, this is all a symptom of a much more virulent cultural sickness" (Gay 189).
Interpretation: In this quote, Gay is showing society and the culture's outlook on how women are touched and treated is an issue. Women are constantly treated as less than, but the society thinks it's no big deal. She's showing how in our culture women have no voice, they aren't heard clearly. Behind the jokes, songs, and compliments there's a severe problem with the culture that needs change.
This essay stood out to me so much that I went to go look at the full book, which I plan on reading. Roxane Gay made clear points that supported her argument that women are treated poorly. She took an example from the biggest industry in America and all over the world: entertainment. In entertainment, the mistreatment of women is written about, sung about, laughed at, and celebrated. She made a point that even women including herself, sing along, dance, and laugh at jokes and songs made about this topic. One of the most controversial topics is misogyny. When Gay made the point that even the lawmakers are placing laws to limit women, it really makes you open your eyes. Another point that stood out to me was, "So much of our culture caters to giving men what they want." This is not opinion, this is fact. In our culture, women are raised and taught to be "good" girls (whatever that means), to learn how to cook not even for themselves, but for a man, to learn how to clean, and learn how to take care of a man so that they can one day get married. If a woman doesn't get married, she's looked down on my other women. They think something must be wrong with her. My mom and I recently had this conversation. Women are taught to dress for men, look good for men, learn how to attract men and learn what men like. How about they learn what we like for once? How about respect? As a woman, I agree with this essay and I like the emphasis that she made on people telling women to "lighten up". But, I also like that she was honest about sometimes not being to help herself and sing along or laugh at jokes. Gay says, "I have to forget I am a sentient being. I have to lighten up." It's most of us women, including myself. Not only when I'm listening to music, but when using the term "bitch", it won't even be with bad intentions most of the time but it comes out. Before reading this, I was always interested in feminists and women speaking up.