Much like its Mod Carousel gender-swapped predecessor, a “Blurred Lines” parody called “Defined Lines” (because of gender roles, yo) made by several Auckland law students was briefly been deemed too ladybonerific for YouTube’s Council of Female Libido Deniers (it’s a very secret council).
After racking up more than 300,000 hits since Friday, “Defined Lines” (which you can also watch here after you thank YouTube for bringing you one extra click closer to carpal tunnel syndrome) was inexplicably scoured from YouTube for a few befuddling hours (it has since returned, albeit with the same age restriction stamped to Mod Carousel’s own parody). The pushback was significant — we received more than dozen tips about the ban, and news outlets in New Zealand had written up their own reports on the mystery about why a video that merely swaps the genders to parody another video that’s still freely available (without any age restriction, as if that mattered) to all YouTube perusers.
Adelaide Dunn, Olivia Lubbock and Zoe Ellwood filmed “Defined Lines” as part of the University of Auckland’s Law Revue show, which took place last week and included some 40 other comedic skits. Lubbock said that, although she didn’t completely understand why her video was removed from YouTube, she had a pretty good guess (hint: everyone’s really uncomfortable with the idea of women having sexual agency):
It's been flagged by users as inappropriate because of sexual content and stuff like that.
My opinion is people don't like the message behind it.
It was meant to be a comedic sketch and the fact it's been taken down is a massive double standard.
There are plenty of parody videos littering the back alleys of YouTube, so “Defined Lines” probably hasn’t stepped on anyone’s copyrighted toes, either. Maybe it’s all the dude-junk underwear outlines (or the bit about castration, or the cum-on-the-face line)? But then, what about all the side-boob in “Blurred Lines”? In a way, YouTube banning this parody (and the subsequent attention such an act draws on this slow holiday news cycle) distills its message more than any number of clever riffs or dudes dancing in tighty-whities can: people are generally unnerved by women having (gasp!) control of their own sexuality.