September 1, 2015


On Consent: Lena Dunham Targets Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean" Lyrics

Mike Pont/WireImage
Mike Pont/WireImage

Though plenty have been loving the laid-back tropical sound of Justin Bieber's "What Do You Mean," Lena Dunham is taking issue with its lyrics.

The Girls creator/star hinted at her disapproval with the new single's lyrics on Twitter, seemingly suggesting that lines like "What do you mean? / When you nod your head yes, but you wanna say no / What do you mean?" are problematic, a la Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines." 

Since its release, "What Do You Mean" has sparked a conversation about consent. Seventeen pointed out both the consensual and problematic lyrics while MTV praised the song as "consent anthem." Franchesca Ramsey, host of MTV News' Decoded web series, put it this way:

"At first, I was like 'Ooh, is this 'Blurred Lines 2.0'? But after listening to the lyrics, it's actually the complete opposite. So, 'Blurred Lines' is like, 'You're a good girl, but I know you want it' whereas 'What Do You Mean' is like, 'Hey, is everything OK? Because it seems like you're into me, but now you're not saying that you want and I want to make sure you're comfortable.' So, essentially, it's a song about consent. Which is really cool."

No word from Camp Bieber yet, but it's undoubtedly an important issue for him to comment on. Check out all the words from "What Do You Mean" via its official lyric video, if you haven't yet.