#AskThicke is a Hashtag with a Purpose
By Samantha Wickramasinghe, CCASA Blogger
A storm of satirical expressions bombarded Twitter when the singer Robin Thicke, along with VH1, organized a Q and A session using the hashtag #AskThicke. Since Thicke released his controversial song Blurred Lines in 2013, he was under scrutiny for promoting a song that sensationalized rape. #AskThicke Twitter questionnaire became a great opportunity for many social media enthusiasts who wanted say something publicly against this song.
Robin Thicke is getting terrible abuse on the #AskThicke hashtag. Maybe if he’d dressed less provocative & stayed sober it wouldn’t happen?
This tweet from Jim Sheridan which has been retweeted by many other users exhibits how a single creative idea can spread like wildfire. Sheridan used the victim-blaming language in a satirical manner to attack Thicke for promoting rape culture.
Samantha Acampora another clever Twitter user said,
Robin Thicke says he wants the Twitter abuse to stop, but we all know “stop” means “more”. He taught us that himself. #AskThicke
Now, there were some tweets that went too far by attacking Thicke in a personal level along with suggestions which did not reflect creativity and rebellious spirit for a just cause to end reproduction of rape culture and misogyny, but this whole AskThicke explosion, provides an answer to an important question. Does the popular disapproval in a social media site create any impact at all? Seriously, have you not heard the saying that there is no such a thing as bad publicity? Perhaps all this negative reaction to Blurred Lines lyrics could have made Thicke more popular, some would argue. However, what we learned from social media that if there were such a notion ever, it can no longer exist.
Of course Blurred Lines is not the only song that sensationalizes nonconsensual sex and victim- blaming that comes afterwards. Nor should Robin Thicke be judged unfairly for all the other songs that he will produce after this song. Hopefully after this shocking revelation, artists will think twice about how people use social media in direct and affluent ways to communicate and criticize works of art. The lesson learned here is that we know how powerful social media is and how it can be used to fight misogynist culture with unity and creativity.
So, the next time when you see a hashtag with a purpose like #AskThicke, do not hesitate to comment. Use your creativity and sense of justice, and people will follow you.