DUS Decides Against Banning Blurred Lines

Students choose real feminism over banning Robin Thicke’s latest hit…


Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you will no doubt have heard all the controversy surrounding Robin Thicke’s latest chart-topping hit.

In the last month, ‘Blurred Lines’ has been ranked number one in the charts for 12 consecutive weeks, whilst being banned from YouTube, and from seven university campuses.

The University of London, Kingston, Edinburgh, Leeds, Derby, West Scotland, and Bolton all banned the Blurred Lines from their unions due to its connotations with misogyny and sexual violence.

But what did we have to say about the song?

An emergency debate was held in Durham’s debating chamber earlier this month, discussing the motion, ‘This House Believes That The Durham Student Union Should Ban Blurred Lines’.

Unlike many other universities however, students at the debate decided that more important feminist issues were being trivialised by focusing so much attention to the song.

The debate ended with a statistic from an NUS survey that ‘1 in 7 women have experienced serious violence or sexual assault at university’, and those in attendance voted against wasting time banning a pop song in order to combat a much bigger issue directly.

By continuing to play the song, it is hoped that students will be prevented from associating feminism with being too controlling and censorious. It was argued that an attack on pop music would hinder feminism’s causes more than it would help.

Instead, Durham University Feminist Society have focused their attention to their ‘Why does Durham need feminism?’ campaign, for which students can now vote for their favourite of 17 shortlisted answers from the Freshers’ Fair.

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Believed to be a more effective and subtle way of introducing young people to feminism’s real issues, this method avoided impinging on students’ freedom by telling them what they can and cannot listen to.