No misogyny allowed at this prom!

15 05 2009

It’s prom season…  A fun but stressful time for many high school seniors who are shopping for dresses or tuxes, searching for dates, figuring out after-prom parties/plans, and celebrating the end of one chapter of their lives with their friends.  For others, it means feminist organizing and activism.

Over at Arcadia High School in California, the badass Women’s Health and Issues Club circulated a petition last week asking students to support the banning of songs containing misogynist lyrics and themes at their prom this upcoming weekend.


From left to right: Vanessa Garcia, Madeline Conrigue and Lani Luo, kick-ass members of Arcadia's Women's Health and Issues Club

One of the members of the club, Madeline Conrigue, said, “Some of the songs call women `bitches’ and `hos,’ or refer to them as objects and treat them like animals.  We find that offensive.”  Another member, Lani Luo, said, “We are not trying to push for abstinence. We are just trying to advocate for respect.”  Sounds about right.

The petition garnered 130 signatures, but it wasn’t easy.  Unsurprisingly, not all students were receptive to this and some thought that the club was trying to ruin prom. One classmate even started a text message chain telling students not to sign the petition.

In the end, the activities director John Tung said that he’d guarantee that 20 offensive songs wouldn’t be played at prom, because monitoring 300 songs to ensure that they were misogny-free would be too hard.  These are the 20 banned songs:

“Shake” – Pitbull
“Get Buck in Here” – P.Diddy
“Drop” – Timbaland
“Low” – Flo Rida, ft. T-Pain
“One More Drink” – Ludacris
“Starstruck” – Lady Gaga
“Go Girl” – Pitbull
“Right Round” – Flo Rida
“Smack That” – Akon
“Lollipop” – Lil’ Wayne
“Get Low” – Lil’ Jon
“Turning Me On” – Keri Hilson ft. Lil’ Wayne
“Rockin’ That Thang” – The Dream
“Beep” – Bobby Valentino ft. Young Jac
“Boom, Shake, Drop” – DJ Laz
“Turn Me On” – Kevin Little
“I’m In Miami” – LMFAO
“A Mille” – Lil’ Wayne
“Bojangles” – Pitbull
“Put that Thang Down” – Ying Yang Twins

I am seriously impressed by and in awe of these young feminists and their work.  I am also pleasantly surprised that a Women’s Health and Issues Club even exists at their school.  If I had tried to start a petition to ban misogynist songs at prom back in high school, I would’ve probably been laughed at, dismissed, or possibly even yelled at for making a big fuss out of nothing.  The initiative, courage, and perseverance of these young feminists is inspiring.



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