So, let’s set the record straight.
There has been a lot of discussion/buzz/hype about a certain song for what seems like the last 6 months (at least to me). In case you’re wondering, Mooch no longer will be playing the song, URN have taken it off their core playlist and Oceana have removed it from their DJ playlist – it has not, however, had a formal ban. If you ask me- I think we’ve talked about it enough, and given the song far too much press.
The one positive I would take out of the media frenzy, would be the fact that there is now the potential for students to make real change tackling the culture of sexism, sexual harassment and ‘lad culture’.
Now I’m not saying we’re perfect as a Union, neither am I saying that we have larger problems than any other institutions. What I do think is pertinent - is that for the first time, gender inequalities were brought in to the light and discussed on a wide level – with students actively challenging both their University and Union in a productive way.
The messages that the music industry sends out, and the media as a whole, is only one part of a large puzzle when it comes to sexism. Now of course we have a policy which clearly states we have a zero tolerance approach to sexual harassment, but we have to do more to change a culture, and these things take time. I urge anyone reading this to think about the underlying issue, and how we can truly work to make significant, lasting change.
Why are less female students becoming society presidents?
Why did we have only 5 female JCR presidents last year?
Why is Ellie the first female president the Student’s Union has seen in 15 years?
I’m not saying I have all the answers in anyway, but I do know we need to address the root cause. Let’s try to change our culture, and embed a new culture where students are elected purely on merit, without gender having an effect on their odds. Let’s aim to embed a culture where female students feel just as comfortable in a nightclub as male students, without the risk of being harassed. Let’s work towards creating a Union where this is the norm, without the need for censorship.
If you are interested in making a change for the better, please contact our Women’s Officers – Nina and Krishna; firstname.lastname@example.org or myself email@example.com
Follow Mike Dore on Twitter @UoNSU_Welfare