Humanists of Boston University, a social justice and activism organization, has collected 1,100 signatures for a petition demanding BU’s administration cancel Robin Thicke’s upcoming performance at Agganis Arena.
“It is a dishonor to our feminist history to symbolically idolize Robin Thicke by allowing him to perform his misogynist music at our University,” the petition stated.
BU spokesman Colin Riley said BU’s administration had no role in scheduling Thicke’s March 4 performance.
“This is not a BU concert,” he said. “This is Agganis Arena, one stop of a 16-show tour, for Robin Thicke to perform.”
HBU’s petition, hosted on Change.org, is not only asking BU to cancel Thicke’s show and refund ticket sales, but also to “apologize for insinuating that sexism, or any form of baseless discrimination, is permissible at our institution.”
Riley said it is highly unlikely that the show would be canceled.
“You’re talking about a college campus where it’s anathema to ban things,” he said. “We respect our students’ views, but those are those students’ views.”
BU’s administration has not received a petition requesting they cancel the concert, Riley said.
Thicke’s song “Blurred Lines,” nominated for a best pop duo/group performance Grammy award this year, has drawn criticism from feminist groups at BU and around the world for its allegedly misogynistic messages.
“BU is making a mistake in allowing Robin Thicke to continue to perform here,” said College of Arts and Sciences freshman Tori Dutcher-Brown.
Dutcher-Brown, a Public Relations representative for BU’s Center for Gender, Sexuality and Activism, said Thicke’s song may be triggering for victims of sexual assault and rape.
“Saying ‘I know you want it,’ ‘you’re a good girl,’ those words are words that have been used by attackers in many sexual assaults,” she said. “BU’s on the wrong side of the issue by allowing this to happen.”
Chung-Hsin Hou, a CAS sophomore, said though he had no opinion on Thicke’s music, he was aware of the controversy that surrounded “Blurred Lines.”
“When you view a piece of work, like music, art, you have to just take it as what it is and try not to think too much about it,” he said. “Enjoy what you can. If you don’t like it, then just don’t see it.”
CAS junior Rea Sowan said Thicke’s music promulgates misogynist messages.
“Having an artist, if you can even say that about him, who has made his message as loud and clear as he has come play at BU… is a very clear statement that Boston University is not committed to fighting back against rape culture,” Sowan said.
Bino Cerqueira, a School of Management junior, said allegations of this nature are excessive.
“It’s exaggerated to say that BU is condoning or promoting rape culture by allowing Robin Thicke to hold a performance at Agganis Arena,” he said. “I would think that it was ridiculous if BU just shut down the performance.”
Sowan said Thicke’s scheduled performance at Agganis Arena would be offensive and insulting.
“The issues of sexual assault and rape have become really prevalent in conversations around Boston University, which has been great,” Sowan said. “This kind of negates everything that has happened.”
Riley said Thicke is one of many performers charged with espousing inappropriate messages.
“Look at all the entertainers in the country who have been criticized for a range of things,” he said. “People who are interested are able to purchase a ticket and attend the concert. If they’re not interested, they don’t have to purchase a ticket.”
Written for social media:
Humanists of Boston University think too much about rape; misplace mixed feelings on pop culture and questionable lyrics towards women. Ask @BU_tweets to cancel @RobinThicke concert hosted by Agganis Arena, not #BU.
This is okay — http://www.hollywire.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/Lady+GaGa+gaga+sexy.jpg
The question keeps popping up and I’d love to hear from more students. Should students get a say at who performs at Agganis Arena?
OMG I can’t believe how people have misconstrued the lyrics to “Blurred Lines.” First question–why in a million years would a rising music star write a song bragging about rape??? Come on.
The song is playful and goofy (with genius syncopation). You can’t now reinvent the lyrics to mean something sinister.
The first part of the song is talking about how electric their chemistry is. He’s saying, maybe I’m wrong, but it sure seems to me like you are as attracted to me as I am to you.
He’s also saying that the guy she’s with is a loser and a prude. It’s not the Madonna-wh*re dichotomy. She is being given permission to let loose and have fun without everyone judging her (kinda how you guys are doing now). His complaint is that a woman should not have a bad reputation based on her sex life. She’s a good (girl) person and she has earned this reputation. She deserves it.
Also, when guys have sex they “score” but when women have sex they are sl*ts. That’s the double standard people should be correcting. He is saying, “guess what, you’re both a good person and a sexual being, and that’s okay.”
“You’re far from plastic” reinforces his position that she is a classy lady and an interesting person.
So much of the sex talk is just that– talk. Both men and women use this language today. Both sexes try to convince the other person that they are the coolest thing since sliced bread. Of course there is going to be big talk. Again, if the language is too coarse for you, either you take things too seriously, or maybe you are the prude.
And the use of the term “b*tch” is not politically incorrect (or it shouldn’t be). In the words of Whoppi Goldberg (in a segment of Best of Jimmy Fallon this week, where she is transported back in time to Downton Abbey), “B*tch, please.” It has become like the expression, “fugetaboutit” (forget about it) as explained in the movie, “Donny Brasco,” where the expression has so many different uses and meanings that it can’t be categorized as meaning only one thing.
Examples: (1) Look at these b*tchin’ jeans I just bought; (2) That math problem was a real b*tch; (3) Stop b*tching about it and just do it; (4) I got my b*tches (girl’s girlfriends) with me; (5) What up b*tch? (greeting between friends); (6) Quit being such a little b*tch about it (said by both men and women to either men or women); (7) Ain’t that a b*tch (how unfortunate).
And lastly, this song is not describing a rape. I think some people are sensitized by bad experiences, to the point where they can’t be entirely objective. They are projecting their own feelings when reading situations. I feel for them, and I’ve been there too, but you have to adjust your perspective to take into account that you have become somewhat radicalized.
Both the man and the woman in the song are jumping off a cliff together. They are transitioning from friends to lovers. This is an exciting, amazing time, usually involving joy and fun, because the two of them belong to their own private club from now on. They don’t have to front anymore. Now they are “partners in crime,” very sexy.
I hope I hit all the points. Generally, I have dead-on accuracy when interpreting social context. I would be really surprised if I were wrong. By the way, I am female.
I’m sorry to seemingly insult you, but your last line is so self indulgent that it took all the hard work you put into proving your point and makes you sound like a complete tool box ‘I would be surprised if I were wrong’ – Lol, do you have any friends with that attitude, I can’t stop laughing at your stupid closing statement, hahaha