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Entire School Band Suspended For Sexism

Entire School Band Suspended For Sexism

It hasn’t been a good few years for Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario.

The University has canceled Homecoming celebrations ever since 2008, due to the escalating levels of drunkenness and violence associated with the event. Last summer, the university was told to address the “culture of drinking” so pervasive on campus that two first year students died of drinking-related incidents within a month of each other. Recently, the university was forced to suspend its Fine Arts program due to lack of resources.

And now? The entire Queen’s University Marching Band has been suspended due to the discovery of sexist and degrading materials circulating within the band. The Queen’s Bands, a mainstay and pride of the university for nearly 100 years, is the largest and oldest University marching band in Canada. However, their prestige is turning to shame today, as a news release from the University announced their suspension after “materials and member guides circulated within the Bands and containing offensive language that is particularly demeaning to women recently came to the attention of the administration and the AMS.”

Vice-Provost and Dean of Student Affairs, Ann Tierney, stated “The materials, and the behaviours they promote, are unacceptable. They point to a sub-culture within the Bands where explicit, disrespectful and degrading language marginalizes community members who may remain silent for fear of exclusion. We are committed to supporting the Bands as they take action to ensure all of their activities reflect the values and principles of Queen’s as a welcoming, safe, positive and inclusive environment.”

What did the materials contain that was so horrible? Song lyrics such as “I wish all the ladies were pies on a shelf and [if I] was the baker, I’d eat ‘em all myself.” This was as mild as it got. Other lyrics and pamphlets distributed by the band included gems such as “I don’t want an oboe up the a–hole” and describing band members with phrases like “people with d—s in their mouths” and “Sucking nipple and biting the t– since 1905.”  Other, more explicit phrases and pages from the songbook are published in the Queen’s University Newspaper, the Journal — including references to rape, explicit racism and bestiality.

The band is suspended from playing for the remainder of the fall term. They have also been suspended from appearing in Toronto’s Santa Claus parade, scheduled for Sunday. All members of the band must submit to human rights training, and actively participate in creating a plan to change the culture of the organization. And all copies of the offending materials must be destroyed.

Can the band recover? Only time will tell.

 

Related Posts:

Queen’s University Told To Address “Culture Of Drinking”

Penn State Sex Scandal: Tougher Laws About Child Abuse Necessary

The College Debate: In $tate or Out of $tate?

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Photo Credit: runJMrun on Flickr.

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64 comments

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8:00AM PST on Mar 3, 2012

Maybe they need a better student body than they have had. What the kids did was not right and should not be acceptable at any school period.

11:03AM PST on Dec 27, 2011

Disgusting!! I think this comes too late, something should have been done a lot earlier not letting all this getting so far.

10:18PM PST on Dec 1, 2011

Absolutely shocking!

9:04AM PST on Nov 22, 2011

This is the city I live in. The behaviour of some Queen's students has been getting really extreme and ugly for years. There are a lot of possible factors but until fairly recently Queen's U. took a wishy-washy approach. It started to change after the fall Homecomings where a car was torched, an elderly couple were held hostage in their home (later bought by Queen's) and the destruction of property and overflow of students into the local emergency clinics reached epic proportions and stymied treatment of other people. At first police were brought in from as far away as Toronto and Queen's was forced to pick up a good bit of the tab for their services. Then a couple of students died of injuries sustained while drunk. I think Queen's needs to set a higher bar for student behaviour. Yes it's censorship but the band represents the university. This kind of stuff may be OK in a rap tune but not in the context of the university band.

8:10PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

I think that some people are missing the point and the purpose of the University's actions. True there is some censorship, but more importantly is the issue of the content of the lyrics that were written and passed around. There have been a multitude of studies that indicate violence in the form of media (whether it is the written word) or video games or movies / TV can and does subconsiously encourage violent behavior. In this case violent behavior against women.

The point is advocating or promoting lyrics that violate women is inappropriate... no matter the age of the individuals involved. It's inappropriate for juveniles, it is inappropriate for adolescents, and definitely is inappropriate for adult males. Everyday women become the victim of some form of violence, whether it is domestic violence, or financial violence or physical violence (such as rape.) And every day the perpetuators of such violence justify their actions and behavior using such statements, as "well she asked for it," "she dressed like she 'wanted' some;" "she was a 'whore-bitch' like my homie's song..." the list of excuses, innuendos and out and out lies goes on.

If we continue to allow so - called 'music' that glorifies or promotes violence against women, to proliferate, then we as a society (by our silence) the condones, approves and promotes violence towards our women and young girls.

Somewhere it needs to stop. Remember that while we scream, "Free Speech" "Censorship" there is tr

7:14PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

We all know what it is like to be young and want to have fun, but, at the price of an education today, limits must be put in place. There is a point, when extreme drunkenness can not be tolerated, and that is when it interferes with your studies or a student infringes on the rights of another student.

This is not arduous to comprehend.

1:28PM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Cont.

... save for a couple of people, only thought of how to spend the two million on themselves with no thought of the transaction flags that get raised by large purchases and other things like that.

9:42AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

@Marjaana
No, you don't understand. I mean that rap is accepted as music, no matter how bad it is, but this is attacked? Beating me up is assault, and a crime. Just like murder. No crime was committed here unless you consider creativity a crime. There's a big-bold line between saying something and doing something. Everyone has at least once thought about how to rob a bank and not get caught. Everyone has thought about how they could kill someone they really don't like and get away with it.

My mother is taking an accounting class and one of her assignments was to fully describe how she would spend two million dollars of stolen money in a period of ten years and not alert the government in any way. Not only did she manage to legalize a large portion of it, then she also planned out how she would have another two million just ten years after the initial ten years is up.

Now before you start nit-picking that situation, the actual prompt went into much more detail about how she can't just donate it, or give it away. She can't turn it in because she'll be suspected of being the third accomplice that stole the money(the money was stolen from some crime boss that is paying off the police), and then there's the real third accomplice that is also looking for her to get the money. The whole scenario is very long and complicated so I only briefly covered it. My mother got the highest grade in the class because everyone else, save for a couple of people, only thought

9:42AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

@Marjaana
No, you don't understand. I mean that rap is accepted as music, no matter how bad it is, but this is attacked? Beating me up is assault, and a crime. Just like murder. No crime was committed here unless you consider creativity a crime. There's a big-bold line between saying something and doing something. Everyone has at least once thought about how to rob a bank and not get caught. Everyone has thought about how they could kill someone they really don't like and get away with it.

My mother is taking an accounting class and one of her assignments was to fully describe how she would spend two million dollars of stolen money in a period of ten years and not alert the government in any way. Not only did she manage to legalize a large portion of it, then she also planned out how she would have another two million just ten years after the initial ten years is up.

Now before you start nit-picking that situation, the actual prompt went into much more detail about how she can't just donate it, or give it away. She can't turn it in because she'll be suspected of being the third accomplice that stole the money(the money was stolen from some crime boss that is paying off the police), and then there's the real third accomplice that is also looking for her to get the money. The whole scenario is very long and complicated so I only briefly covered it. My mother got the highest grade in the class because everyone else, save for a couple of people, only thought

4:13AM PST on Nov 21, 2011

Thanks for the article.

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