The University of Leeds student union banned Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” from being played at its venues.
Alice Smart, a student union officer, told The Independent that the song “undermines and degrades women” and that the union’s three nightclubs and two bars will not play the track. She said the union’s sabbatical officers decided to ban the song collectively.
Smart said the “Blurred Lines” ban has been generally well-received.
“The reaction has been mainly positive,” she said. “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.”
The University of Leeds ban follows a similar one enacted by Edinburgh University’s Student Association last week. The association said the song does not comply with its “End Rape Culture and Lad Banter on Campus” policy.
Kirst Haigh, vice president of the Students’ Association, said “Blurred Lines” promotes sexist culture and “cannot be allowed by our union.”
Haigh added, “The decision to ban ‘Blurred Lines’ from our venues has been taken as it promotes an unhealthy attitude towards sex and consent. There is a zero tolerance towards sexual harassment, a policy to end lad culture on campus and a safe space policy, all of which this song violates.”
Earlier this month, YouTube removed a feminist parody of “Blurred Lines” created by three University of Auckland. YouTube pulled the video, called “Defined Lines,” after it was flagged for inappropriate content. YouTube removed the video because it violated the site’s terms and condition by displaying sexually explicit content.
Olivia Lubbock, a fifth year law student, said the video was intended to be tongue-in-cheek.
“We had a lot of fun making it and like I said it was part of a comedy sketch so it was always intended to be taken as a bit of a joke,” she said.
Lubbock, Adelaide Dunn, and Zoe Ellwood, known as “The Law Revue Girls,” said they believed the video was removed because it depicted men as sexual objects.