Quick Hit: University of Edinburgh bans “Blurred Lines”

University of Edinburgh

Here’s proof that campuses don’t need to be the cesspools of misogynistic violence they so often prove themselves to be.

The University of Edinburgh has banned Robin Thicke’s summer rape anthem “Blurred Lines,” also known as “No Means Yes, the Musical.” The Independent reports:

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’…

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.”

Check out the whole article here.

New Haven, CT

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at Feministing.com, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX, a national legal education campaign against campus gender-based violence. Alexandra has written for publications including the New York Times, the Atlantic, the Guardian, and the Nation, and she has spoken about violence against women and reproductive justice on MSNBC, ABC, NBC, CBS, CNN, FOX, and NPR. Through Know Your IX, she has organized with students across the country to build campuses free from discrimination and violence, developed federal policy on Title IX enforcement, and has testified at the Senate. At Yale Law, Alexandra focuses on antidiscrimination law and is a member of the Veterans Legal Services Clinic. Alexandra is committed to developing and strengthening responses to gender-based violence outside the criminal justice system through writing, organizing, and the law. Keep an eye out for The Feminist Utopia Project, co-edited by Alexandra and forthcoming from the Feminist Press (2015).

Alexandra Brodsky is an editor at Feministing.com, student at Yale Law School, and founding co-director of Know Your IX.

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  • http://feministing.com/members/samll/ Sam L-L

    If, like me, you were wondering how a school could ban a song from its campus, or what that would even mean:

    Reading the linked article closely, and ignoring both headlines, one can glean that what actually happened is that the student association at the school banned the song from events held at its own venues.

    Much more sensible, and doesn’t sound like a bizarre overreach as the headline summaries might.