Emily Ratajkowski -- a well known nude model and actress -- was the subject of criticism after she appeared at a feminist rally on Thursday to protest against Brett Kavanaugh’s Supreme Court nomination. Ratajkowski (27) and comedienne Amy Schumer were both arrested at the Capitol Hill protest. Following the protest, Ratajkowski wrote: “Today I was arrested protesting the Supreme Court nomination of Brett Kavanaugh, a man who has been accused by multiple women of sexual assault. Men who hurt women can no longer be placed in positions of power.”

Despite showing up at the rally with fellow feminists to denounce Kavanaugh, who was alleged to have committed a sexual assault in the 1980s as a teenager, critics pointed out that her choice of clothing may have belied her commitment. On a warm fall day in Washington D.C., Ratajkowski wore blue jeans and a sleeveless blouse, apparently without a bra. One critic on Twitter wrote: “put some clothes on and read the Constitution sweetheart.” Another critic wrote that the celebrity model would have claimed more “credibility” if she had worn a bra.  

Ratajkowski has long been an advocate of nudity, Planned Parenthood, and free sexual expression. She has courted controversy in the past. Ratajkowski appeared in “Blurred Lines”: a video featuring singers Robin Thicke, T.I., and Pharrell Williams's. Released in 2013, the video quickly became controversial especially among feminists who labeled sexist for its perceived degradation of women. Others contended that the lyrics promoted rape. Salon magazine ran an article at the time, titled: “Robin Thicke’s sexism isn’t ‘blurry’. Sorry Thicke apologists. A song with rapey lyrics and a video that objectifies women isn’t feminist whatsoever.” 

In the video, Ratajkowski appears with three other nude women as they gyrate around the three fully-clothed male singers. The lyrics include such themes such as "liberating" a good girl by showing her that she wants "crazy wild sex" that she is not actually requesting. Thicke repeats in the song "I know you want it" while singer T.I. sings "I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two."


Partial lyrics:

What do they make dreams for
When you got them jeans on
What do we need steam for
You the hottest bitch in this place
I feel so lucky, you wanna hug me
What rhymes with hug me?
Hey!

Thicke told GQ magazine that he saw nothing objectionable in the video, suggesting that it portrays him and his male collaborators as the very opposite of who they really are. He said, "We tried to do everything that was taboo. Bestiality, drug injections, and everything that is completely derogatory towards women. Because all three of us are happily married with children, we were like, 'We're the perfect guys to make fun of this.'" He went on to say, "People say, 'Hey, do you think this is degrading to women?' I'm like, 'Of course it is. What a pleasure it is to degrade a woman. I've never gotten to do that before. I've always respected women.'"

Despite her ostensible feminism, Ratajkowski did not believe the video was sexist. She claimed that the producers used sarcasm and humor, thus taking “something that on paper sounded really sexist and misogynistic and made it more interesting." 

Robin Thick lost a lawsuit and was ordered to pay $7.3 million by a Los Angeles court to the heirs of the estate of late singer Marvin Gaye. Thicke was accused of ripping off elements of Gaye‘s 1977 hit “Got to Give It Up.”  T.I., who was one of the three collaborators in the video in which Thicke and Pharell performed, was listed in the suit by real name Clifford Harris, Jr., was found not liable.

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Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.

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