Feminist parody of Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' removed from YouTube for being 'inappropriate'

 

A feminist parody of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” – a song that has been accused of blurring the lines between consensual sex and rape – was briefly removed from YouTube yesterday, leaving its creators mystified.

“Defined Lines”, created by a bunch of University of Auckland law students, features three fully dressed women responding to the attentions of scantily clad men as they sing about sexism.

The video, which has been watched more than 450,000 times since it was posted three days ago, was removed from YouTube yesterday having been flagged by users as containing “inappropriate content”, but has now been restored.

The video’s creators, Olivia Lubbock, Zoe Ellwood and Adelaide Dunn, who call themselves the Law Revue girls, have described their efforts as “a bit of fun” with a positive message.

"We think that women should be treated equally, and as part of that, we're trying to address the culture of objectifying women in music videos," Lubbock told APP.

"It's just funny that the response has been so negative when you flip it around and objectify males," she added.

Lyrics from "Defined Lines" include “What you see on TV, doesn't speak equality, it's straight up misogyny" and the video shows men in their underwear with dog leashes around their necks being squirted with cream and having dollar bills stuffed into their pants.

Speaking of the YouTube ban, Lubbock said: “It’s been flagged by users as inappropriate because of sexual content and stuff like that, but the fact it’s been taken down is a massive double standard.

“My opinion is that people don’t like the message behind it. It was meant to be a comedic sketch, but we’re trying to address the culture of objectifying women in music videos. We think that women should be  treated equally.”

A screengrab from the 'Distinct Lines' video on YouTube A screengrab from the 'Distinct Lines' video on YouTube The video has now been restored to YouTube after the Law Revue girls appealed.

“Blurred Lines”, a single from R&B artist Robin Thicke’s album of the same name, has topped the charts across the globe, selling more than a million copies in the UK alone and spending more than 10 consecutive weeks at number one in America.

An early version of music video, released in March, featuring models Emily Ratajkowski, Jessi M'Bengue and Elle Evans topless, was removed from YouTube for violating its terms of service. Like the Law Revue video it was later restored but has been flagged as “inappropriate”.

Thicke has come into serious criticism from rape lobby groups over the lyrical content on “Blurred Lines” as well as for the video which shows Thicke and co-collaborators Pharrell Williams and T.I. (fully clothed) being attended by near-naked women (there are two versions, one topless – another with models in nude colour underwear).

The song, which includes the lyric “Nothing like your last guy/ He don’t smack that ass and pull your hair like that,” has been accused by Rape Crisis, a charity that raises awareness and understanding of sexual violence, of "reinforcing rape myths".

Rape Crisis spokeswoman Katie Russell said: "Both the lyrics and the video seem to objectify and degrade women, using misogynistic language and imagery that many people would find not only distasteful or offensive but also really quite old fashioned.

"More disturbingly, certain lyrics are explicitly sexually violent and appear to reinforce victim-blaming rape myths, for example about women giving 'mixed signals' through their dress or behaviour, saying 'no' when they really mean 'yes' and so on."

Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape Robin Thicke's video for 'Blurred Lines' has been criticised for condoning rape Feminist blog The Vagenda branded the video “generally an orgy of female objectification”, while The Daily Beast’s Tricia Romano criticised the single as “kind of rapey”.

Referring to the song’s refrain, “I know you want it”, Romano said: “Call me a cynic, but that phrase does not exactly encompass the notion of consent in sexual activity…Seriously, this song is disgusting- though admittedly very catchy.” 

In July Thicke, 36, called the criticism “ridiculous”, stating: “I can’t even dignify that with a response, that’s ridiculous."

In an interview with GQ magazine he claimed the video did not denigrate women “because all three [artists in the video] are happily married with children”.

“We were like, ‘We’re the perfect guys to make fun of this. 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,” he said.

“We just wanted to turn it over on its head and make people go women and their bodies are beautiful, men are gonna want to follow them around.”

The New Zealand parody "Defined Lines" follows another take-off of "Blurred Lines" in July by Seattle’s Mod Carousel, which deliberately avoided a straight inversion of gender roles.

“It’s our opinion that most attempts to show female objectification in the media by swapping the genders serve more to ridicule the male body than to highlight the extent to which women get objectified and do everyone a disservice," Mod Carousel said.

“We made this video specifically to show a spectrum of sexuality as well as present both women and men in a positive light.”

A request for comment from YouTube's owner Google had not been returned at press time.

So why was the Blurred Lines feminist parody removed from YouTube?

Arts and Entertainment
Caroline Flack became the tenth winner of Strictly Come Dancing
tvReview: 'Absolutely phenomenal' Xtra Factor presenter wins Strictly Come Dancing final
Arts and Entertainment
J Jefferson Farjeon at home in 1953
booksBooksellers say readers are turning away from modern thrillers and back to golden age of crime writing
Arts and Entertainment
Nick Hewer is to leave The Apprentice after 10 years

TV review Nick Hewer, the man whose eyebrows speak a thousand words, is set to leave The Apprentice

Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says

film George RR Martin owns a cinema in Santa Fe

Arts and Entertainment
Clued up: John Lynch and Gillian Anderson in ‘The Fall’

TV review

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Rhys says: 'I'm not playing it for laughs, but I have learnt that if you fall over on stage, people can enjoy that as much as an amazing guitar solo'
musicGruff Rhys on his rock odyssey, and the trouble with independence
Arts and Entertainment
Krysia and Daniel (Hand out press photograph provided by Sally Richardson)
How do today's composers answer the challenge of the classical giant?
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment

ebooksNow available in paperback
Arts and Entertainment

ebooks
News
Shenaz Treasurywala
film
News
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Jason Watkins as Christopher Jefferies
tv
Arts and Entertainment
Star Wars Director JJ Abrams: key character's names have been revealed
film
Arts and Entertainment
Pharrell Williams won two BBC Music Awards for Best Song and International Artist
music
Arts and Entertainment
Mark, Katie and Sanjay in The Apprentice boardroom
TV
Arts and Entertainment

Film The critics but sneer but these unfashionable festive films are our favourites

Arts and Entertainment
Frances O'Connor and James Nesbitt in 'The Missing'

TV We're so close to knowing what happened to Oliver Hughes, but a last-minute bluff crushes expectations

Arts and Entertainment
Joey Essex will be hitting the slopes for series two of The Jump

TV

Who is taking the plunge?
Arts and Entertainment
Katy Perry as an Ancient Egyptian princess in her latest music video for 'Dark Horse'

music
Arts and Entertainment
Dame Judi Dench, as M in Skyfall

film
Arts and Entertainment
Morrissey, 1988

TV
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

ES Rentals

    Independent Dating
    and  

    By clicking 'Search' you
    are agreeing to our
    Terms of Use.

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    The week Hollywood got scared and had to grow up a bit

    Sony suffered a chorus of disapproval after it withdrew 'The Interview', but it's not too late for it to take a stand, says Joan Smith
    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?

    Panto dames: before and after

    From Widow Twankey to Mother Goose, how do the men who play panto dames get themselves ready for the performance of a lifetime?
    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Thirties murder mystery novel is surprise runaway Christmas hit

    Booksellers say readers are turning away from dark modern thrillers and back to the golden age of crime writing
    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best,' says founder of JustGiving

    Anne-Marie Huby: 'Charities deserve the best'

    Ten million of us have used the JustGiving website to donate to good causes. Its co-founder says that being dynamic is as important as being kind
    The botanist who hunts for giant trees at Kew Gardens

    The man who hunts giants

    A Kew Gardens botanist has found 25 new large tree species - and he's sure there are more out there
    The 12 ways of Christmas: Spare a thought for those who will be working to keep others safe during the festive season

    The 12 ways of Christmas

    We speak to a dozen people who will be working to keep others safe, happy and healthy over the holidays
    Birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends, new study shows

    The male exhibits strange behaviour

    A new study shows that birdwatching men have a lot in common with their feathered friends...
    Diaries of Evelyn Waugh, Virginia Woolf and Noël Coward reveal how they coped with the December blues

    Famous diaries: Christmas week in history

    Noël Coward parties into the night, Alan Clark bemoans the cost of servants, Evelyn Waugh ponders his drinking…
    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    From noble to narky, the fall of the open letter

    The great tradition of St Paul and Zola reached its nadir with a hungry worker's rant to Russell Brand, says DJ Taylor
    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore: A prodigal daughter has a breakthrough

    A Christmas ghost story by Alison Moore

    The story was published earlier this month in 'Poor Souls' Light: Seven Curious Tales'
    Marian Keyes: The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment

    Marian Keyes

    The author on her pre-approved Christmas, true love's parking implications and living in the moment
    Bill Granger recipes: Our chef creates an Italian-inspired fish feast for Christmas Eve

    Bill Granger's Christmas Eve fish feast

    Bill's Italian friends introduced him to the Roman Catholic custom of a lavish fish supper on Christmas Eve. Here, he gives the tradition his own spin…
    Liverpool vs Arsenal: Brendan Rodgers is fighting for his reputation

    Rodgers fights for his reputation

    Liverpool manager tries to stay on his feet despite waves of criticism
    Amir Khan: 'The Taliban can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'

    Amir Khan attacks the Taliban

    'They can threaten me but I must speak out... innocent kids, killed over nothing. It’s sick in the mind'
    Michael Calvin: Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick

    Michael Calvin's Last Word

    Sepp Blatter is my man of the year in sport. Bring on 2015, quick