University of Edinburgh bans Robin Thicke's 'Blurred Lines' from playing on campus

DJ ordered to fade out track in line with new anti-lad culture policy

Jess Denham@jess_denham
Monday 16 September 2013 09:37
A screengrab from Robin Thicke's controversial 'Blurred Lines' video
A screengrab from Robin Thicke's controversial 'Blurred Lines' video

Robin Thicke's controversial 'Blurred Lines' song has been banned from playing in any of the University of Edinburgh’s student buildings.

A DJ was ordered to fade out the track at a silent disco on Sunday night despite students having the choice to turn off the song by switching to another channel on their headphones, according to a report from student website The Tab.

Featuring lyrics such as 'I’ll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two', the American’s international number one has sparked widespread criticism of sexism and been accused of referring to non-consensual sex in lines like 'I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it' and 'must wanna get nasty'.

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

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.

The campus ban on Thicke's worldwide chart topper falls in line with an Edinburgh University Students' Association policy, entitled 'End Rape Culture and Lad Banter on Campus', to shut down 'myths and stereotypes around sexual violence' and stop the sexual objectification of female students.

An extract from the policy argues that 'lad culture' promoters, such as lads mag websites and Facebook groups, "trivialize rape and by doing so contribute to a culturally permissible attitude to rape which is disgusting and cannot be allowed by our union".

"The solution to sexual violence is for rapists to stop raping, not for women to restrict their movement," the mission statement reads.

EUSA vice president services Kirsty Haigh said: "The decision to ban 'Blurred Lines' from our venues has been taken as it promotes an unhealthy attitude towards sex and consent. EUSA has a policy on zero tolerance towards sexual harrassment, a policy to end lad culture on campus and a safe space policy - all of which this song violates."

This article has been updated to include a comment from Edinburgh University Students' Association.

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