Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

No Blurred Lines at all as Queen's University students ban Robin Thicke's hit song

Robin Thicke on stage and performing Blurred Lines with Miley Cyrus at the MTV awards

It's been accused of being misogynistic and promoting rape culture.

Now Robin Thicke's controversial chart-topping hit Blurred Lines has become the first song in the 113-year history of Queen's University Belfast's Students' Union to be banned.

The student representative council set a new precedent when it voted by 26-22 in favour of a motion to ban the song from being played in the union, in an effort to promote a safe space for students, as enshrined in its constitution.

QUBSU has joined more than 20 other student unions across the UK in banning the song – for its perceived attitude towards sex and consent – since its release in the summer.

It has been claimed the line "I know you want it" encourages the idea "no doesn't always mean no", and that some women who are sexually assaulted are asking for it.

On the controversy generated by the song and its eye-popping video – featuring Thicke, TI, Pharrell, and scantily clad models – Thicke previously said: "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, 'Well, 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."

The successful motion to ban the song at QUBSU was proposed by vice president of equality and diversity, Caoimhe MacNeill.

Caoimhe said there were no Blurred Lines when it comes to consent and that the language used in the song can be interpreted as rape apologetics.

It is now banned throughout the QUBSU building, including all bar and club venues, Queen's Radio, cafes, clubs and societies' events.

The council ruled that when an external radio station being listened to inside the union plays the song, the station should be changed immediately.

Caoimhe said: "The Students' Union is committed to the promotion of equality of opportunity, to creating and sustaining an environment that values and celebrates the diversity of all students, and to ensuring that it is a 'safe space' for all of its members."

"It also serves to increase awareness on campus of the issues that have been raised through the popularity of this song."

Last night, student councillor Cliona McCarney said she was glad the motion passed but disappointed that three male sabbatical officers voted against the motion.

"The lyrics of the song are disgusting and really offensive," she said.

"Caoimhe's motion is the first step in making the Queen's University area much safer."

Robin Thicke: Blurred Lines is misunderstood, the song is about my wife 

Other songs banned on the airwaves... but not at Queen's

* Paul McCartney's Give Ireland Back To The Irish, with Wings

* God Save The Queen by The Sex Pistols

* Je T'aime... Moi Non Plus by Jane Birkin and Serge Gainsbourg

* Cliff Richard's Millennium Prayer

* Ebeneezer Goode by The Shamen; Lucy In The Sky with Diamonds by The Beatles n John Denver's Rocky Mountain High

* Ding-Dong! The Witch Is Dead

* The Pogues' Streets Of Sorrow/Birmingham Six

* Frankie Goes To Hollywood's Relax

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