Cathy Young on the Overwrought 'Blurred Lines' Backlash


Robin Thicke
Melissa Rose

Earlier this month, University of Northern Carolina senior Liz Hawryluk took offense when a DJ at a local spot, Fitzgerald's Irish Pub, began playing Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines"—a song feminists have blasted as pro-rape because of such lyrics as "I know you want it." Hawryluk marched into the DJ's box and demanded that the song be stopped; in response, she claims she was ejected from the pub (according to the management, she was merely asked to leave the DJ's area). Unbowed, she went on the social media warpath and found numerous supporters who mobbed the pub's Facebook page. A few days later, a spokeswoman for Fitzgerald's not only issued a public apology to Hawryluk but pledged that the popular song was forever banned from Fitzgerald's, along with the visiting DJ who had played it.

The feminist crusade against "the rape culture," whose aggressive zealotry has long eclipsed what positive contributions it may have made to tackling real problems, writes Cathy Young, has now descended into outright silliness with a war on a hit song. But it's silliness with a nasty authoritarian edge.