It may have won over the hearts of music lovers across the globe, but it’s the lyrics to Robin Thicke’s ‘Blurred Lines’ that have seen it land a new found foe in the UK’s Edinburgh University.
Find out below!
Thanks to lyrics many say downplay the importance of clear consent when it comes to sexual relationships, the song has now been banned at the University by its very own students, citing their ‘End Rape Culture and Lad Banter on Campus’ policy as grounds for their decision.
Introduced in March of this year, the policy was introduced to combat the “dangerous victim-blaming views about women who experience rape and sexual violence”, which they say the #1 single intentionally endorses, with the lyrics…
I know you want it
I know you want it
I know you want it
You’re a good girl
Can’t let it get past me
You’re far from plastic
Talk about getting blasted
I hate these blurred lines
Now barred from being played at any of the University’s buildings, the song’s lyrics forced its performer to explain its premise during an interview with GQ upon its release and subsequent criticism.
“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.’
“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’.”
However, it seems his explanation wasn’t enough to fall within the University’s policy, which reads:
“What will we do?
- To campaign against myths and stereotypes around sexual violence in conjuncture with the VPSA, Women’s Convener and Women’s Social and Political Union and the Feminist Society
- To support women’s campaigns across the campus and Edinburgh to stand up against these misogynist views
- To mandate the VPS and VPSA to work together with the Women’s Convener and Women’s Social and Political Union to make all night clubs in Edinburgh sign up to Zero Tolerance policies against sexual harassment and sexual violence
- To produce guidance educating academic staff/student union staff on the reality of sexual violence
- To support Reclaim the Night marches held in Edinburgh
- To No Platform known rape apologists such as George Galloway
- To campaign against lad culture and the websites/companies that promote it such as UniLad and ‘Spotted in the Library’ Facebook pages
- To begin a campaign to educate students on the negative effect of websites such as UniLAD, lobby websites such as UniLAD to remove all such material as would be considered by this motion to be offensive and lobby to have them shut down under the appropriate laws should they refuse to comply
What is the background to this?
- A significant proportion of students and the wider population hold dangerous victim-blaming views about women who experience rape and sexual violence
- These views are regularly expressed in our learning and social environments on campus, often without challenge from even from academic staff
- Following sexual violence on or near campus, our institutions and the police are still telling women to change their behaviour – i.e. do not walk alone, get a taxi etc.
- During the summer of 2012, MP George Galloway via podcast publicly commented that having sex with a woman who is asleep isn’t rape, if sex had happened earlier in the evening. He suggested this was just ‘bad sex etiquette’
- UniLad is an organization operating through a website and Facebook group run by an unknown author
- UniLad is aimed at male University Students and claims to be the ‘top student lads magazine’.
- It focuses around producing articles aimed at male students with titles such as ‘Want the Gash? Spend some cash’
What beliefs motivate the actions you propose?
- That such views can be triggering and distressing for survivors of sexual violence
- That such views must be challenged in our social and academic environments in order to dispel the dangerous myths and stereotypes around sexual violence
- That the solution to sexual violence is for rapists to stop raping, not for women to restrict their movement
- UniLad website glamorizes and promotes the sexual objectification of women.
- UniLad and other lad culture promoters trivialize rape and by doing contribute to a culturally permissible attitude to rape which is disgusting and cannot be allowed by our union.”
Was the University right to ban ‘Blurred’?
Weigh in below!