Kingston University become latest to boycott track, along with Leeds, Edinburgh & more
Andrew Trendell

09:58 23rd September 2013

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A total of five UK universities have now banned the playing of 'Blurred Lines' by Robin Thicke, with Kingston, Derby, Leeds, Edinburgh and West Scotland all boycotting the No.1 single. 

 The track, featuring T.I. and Pharrell Williams, has divided opinion and caused a fair amount of uproar since its release, largely due to its raunchy NSFW video and the lyrics which many argue are sexist and objectify women. Some have even gone as far to claim that the song is about rape - an argument which Thicke has branded 'ridiculous'. 

In recent weeks, Robin Thicke's controversial, world-wide No.1, 'Blurred Lines' has been banned from Edinburgh, Leeds,  Derby and the Univeristy of West Scotland - but now it appears that Kingston University have joined the army of anti-blurred lines protestors in banning the song from being played on campus.

Uni newspaper The Kingston Tab reports that Kingston University Student Union president Denza Gonsalves said: “[Blurred Lines has been banned] due to the disrespectful nature of the lyrics of the song.”

The decision has split opinion among students, with Journalism and Media student, Mai Vabo calling it “A step in the right direction, definitely makes me proud! Good job Kingston!!”

Meanwhile, recent Kingston Journalism graduate, Hollie Wilson said: “I think it’s a bit ridiculous. It’s only because the song has had so much publicity because of its video. There are so many other songs with sexist, crude, indecent lyrics that are offensive and insulting, you can’t just ban them all. I don’t believe KU banned S&M by Rihanna which is all about women enjoying being sexually abused, being hit with whips and chains etc… which is arguably just as bad.”

Journalism student,Tyrone Stewart succinctly added: “Well the song is shit and over played as it is, so thank God. As for the sexism – most male mainstream music has sexist/misogynistic implications.”

Watch the video for 'Blurred Lines' below:

Joining the band and speaking to The Independent, Leeds University student union officer Alice Smart, said that they made a collective decision to ban the track because it "undermines and degrades women".

"The reaction has been mainly positive," said Smart. "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." 

Edinburgh University's SU barred the track from being played in any of the union's buildings - falling in line with the uni's Students' Association (EUSA) policy, called 'End Rape Culture and Lad Banter on Campus', in a bid to tackle "myths and stereotypes around sexual violence".

An extract from the policy slams anything which can be viewed to "trivialize rape" and "cannot be allowed by our union".

EUSA vice president 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.

"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."

Thicke however, has always dismissed ideas that the track is sexist - telling The Today Show in the US that 'Blurred Lines' was part of a 'feminist movement'.

"When we made the song, we had nothing but the most respect for women and — my wife, I've been with the same woman since I was a teenager," said Thicke. "So for us, we were just trying to make a funny song and sometimes the lyrics get misconstrued when you're just trying to put people on the dance floor and have a good time, but we had no idea it would stir this much controversy. We only had the best intentions."

He continued: "It's supposed to stir conversation, it's supposed to make us talk about what's important and what the relationship between men and women is, but if you listen to the lyrics it says 'That man is not your maker' — it's actually a feminist movement within itself."

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