Students at Northwestern University are complaining that an upcoming burlesque performance at the school is not a “safe space” because the group of students selected for solos wasn’t inclusive enough.
According to the school newspaper, the Daily Northwestern, every single student who tried out was cast, but only some of them get solos.
This is, of course, the normal way of doing things — and seeing as small children in church Christmas pageants are able to handle it, you’d think that these adult students would be able to handle it, too.
But no. They’re offended, and the directors are actually changing the show to appease these whiners.
“It was brought to our attention that there are people in our community who feel that those solos and duets and trios are not best representing what the Burlesque community is,” co-director Avril Dominguez told the Northwestern.
“We do have a very inclusive and representative cast at large [and] we’re taking that criticism into account and really trying to reestablish a safe space,” she continued.
#share#The use of the phrase “safe space” here is interesting to me. I personally have a terrible singing voice, and always got stuck being a non-singing narrator or lip-syncing chorus member in school musicals. It was definitely a bummer, but I had no idea that my safety was being threatened. I guess I’ve been in more danger than I realized!
But I just must not be as smart as people like senior Taylor Cumings, who is in her third year of performing in the cast of the show.
“If we’re claiming to be the most diverse show on campus, we need to be better at representing the groups oppressed in our society than the rest of society,” she told the Northwestern.
Now, what’s really interesting is that even though Dominguez and co-director Alaura Hernandez have agreed to make changes and add more solos to please people like Cumings, they’re also saying that they don’t think there was anything wrong with the selections they made in the first place.
“People are upset because they don’t think we have diversity in our small groups, but they don’t know the people who got solos — all they see is a name, so they might have made an assumption based on those names,” Hernandez said. “We see the diversity in our acts because we saw the auditions, but it’s not our place to broadcast what these acts represent.”
As Reason’s Robby Soave points out, it’s an interesting role-reversal that the students on campus who are offended by a burlesque show are the liberal ones:
“The irony is undeniable: it used to be conservative groups who threw tantrums about transgressive displays of moral non-conformity,” he wrote. “But on today’s college campuses, no one is more offended and outraged than the liberal kids.”