Because of Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines,” students might not be waiting in line for the artist’s concert at Boston University’s Agganis Arena on Tuesday, March 4.

Nearly 900 signatures have surfaced on an online petition demanding Boston University administrators cancel Thicke’s upcoming performance with special guests K. Michelle and DJ Cassidy. The petition was started by Humanists of Boston University, a student organization focused on promoting “compassion, social justice, reason and science” within the school’s non-religious and secular community.

The group referenced President Barack Obama’s newly-created White House Task Force, aimed at protecting students from sexual assault. Citing Obama’s shared statistic — that an estimated one in five women is sexually assaulted at a college — the organization argues Thicke’s Grammy-nominated hit “celebrates having sex with women against their will” and is a symbol of “systemic patriarchy and sexual oppression.”

“Having Thicke perform is a political statement that is out of touch with the realities of sexual violence and Boston University’s own history,” wrote the Humanists of Boston University.

The organization went on to spotlight the institution’s history, highlighting the many powerful female figures that have graced campus, including Dr. Rebecca Crumpler, the first black woman to receive an M.D. — a degree granted to her by Boston University’s School of Medicine in 1864. Just over a century later, hundreds of students rallied behind activist Bill Baird to challenge a Massachusetts law banning birth control. With their help, Baird won a 1972 case that legalized birth control nationwide.

The Humanists of Boston University concluded in their petition:

Clearly, Boston University has been a bedrock for feminism and ideologies of equality more generally. It is a dishonor to our feminist history to symbolically idolize Robin Thicke by allowing him to perform his misogynist music at our university. We kindly suggest that BU cancel Thicke’s performance, refund any ticket sales, and apologize for insinuating that sexism, or any form of baseless discrimination, is permissible at our institution.

Several of the petition’s supporters called Thicke a “misogynist.” Another admitted, “I like this song … musically, but the industry has to change.”

Could this petition help do just that?

BostInno has reached out to the Humanists of Boston University for comment, but has yet to receive a response. We will update this article when we do. 

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