Increasingly clear lines: Now Leeds student union bans Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines'

Decision to ban controversial chart topper follows on from Edinburgh University last week

Tom Mendelsohn
Thursday 19 September 2013 11:10
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

The University of Leeds' student union has said that it will not play Robin Thicke's controversial song 'Blurred Lines', following the lead of Edinburgh University which banned it a week ago.

Thicke's smash hit has come in for heavy criticism over the summer for its apparent sexism and references to non-consensual sex, due to lyrics like 'I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two', and 'I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it'.

Alice Smart, an officer at Leeds' student union, told The Independent that the song would not now be played in any of the three nightclubs and two bars operated by the union.

She said that the decision had been taken collectively by the union's sabbatical officers, because it "undermines and degrades women".

"The reaction has been mainly positive," she added. "A few students are asking why if we have banned this song, we aren't banning everything, but we've chosen this one as an example, because it's so popular."

Thicke has dismissed accusations of rape connotations as ‘ridiculous’, insisting to GQ magazine that he has 'always respected women'.

On Twitter, Kenny Parsons offered his support for the move: "aside from the rampant misogyny, its a dreadful, dreadful song and video too!"

Stephen Reignberd, on the other hand, wondered "Are we going to ban "Brown Sugar" by the The Rolling Stones? Or The Velvet Underground's "Heroin"?"

"Blurred Lines" has been a worldwide hit, reaching number one in the UK, the US, Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Ireland, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands, and Poland. With more than 5m sales in 22 weeks in the US alone, it is the fastest-selling digital song in history.

Earlier this month, a feminist parody, temporarily removed from YouTube recently, saw three New Zealand law students reverse the gender roles of Thicke's original video in a stance against female objectification.

'Defined Lines' presents men with dog leashes around their necks, dressed in their underwear, being squirted with cream and feeding the women cake.

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