Universities ban Blurred Lines

Ever since the release of his song Blurred Lines, Robin Thicke has been unable to escape from controversy. First it was the naked models in the video, then the lyrics came under scrutiny and now universities are following Edinburgh’s example by banning it from bars and clubs on their campuses. Leeds, Edinburgh, Derby and the University of West Scotland have already inflicted the ban, but more universities are likely to follow.

The song, which took the world by storm this summer has sparked a lot of controversy, with some claiming that it is sexist and promotes rape. Pointing to lyrics such as “I hate these blurred lines, I know you want it” and "I'll give you something big enough to tear your ass in two", some universities have decided to ban the song on campus.

Thicke argues that the idea his song promotes rape is "ridiculous" and that Blurred Lines is part of a feminist movement, with lyrics such as “That man is not your maker”. He claims that he was just trying to make a funny song that would get people on a dance floor having a good time. 

The accusations have shocked Thicke and his crew, who claim to have the utmost regard and respect for women. Thicke himself is married to his partner, who he has been with since college. According to Thicke, his lyrics were meant to stir conversation, but about the relationship between men and women and not rape. 

It seems pretty clear when listening to the lyrics that Blurred Lines is not a feminist song as Thicke claims, however neither does it explicitly promote rape. Of course the lyrics are open to interpretation, as is almost any art form. People will form meanings from words that may not be the intended message. The lyrics most likely held no political statements or meaning whatsoever to Thicke, as his dance song shot to number one. 

Of course the video and lyrics can be deemed as sexist and promoting the objectification of women, but is it so offensive as to warrant a ban? The universities that have banned it claim that their decision is popular, but as requests come rolling in, they will probably be faced with serious opposition. What you make of the lyrics is up to you, but it seems clear that Thicke is not intending to be offensive in any way.

Words by Emily Murray