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Still from the “dirty dancing” section of 2014’s Best Dance evaR promotional video:

by Patrick M.

OES’s dance promotional videos have a problem.

Student Council produces, publishes, or at least sanctions videos to be shown in gathering to announce school dances. The videos, after describing the time and location of the dance, feature a series of dance rules: no alcohol or drugs, you can’t leave once you come back, no PDA, and no “grinding”, or dirty dancing.

Why is it, though, that the recurring joke of the last two is that the participants are both men?

Two years ago, in an announcement video of a dance, the OES student body president, and another student council member were featured in the “no PDA” section of the video. They were alone in a room, and upon seeing the camera, jumped away from each other. The implication, of course, was that the student council members had been kissing at the dance. When the video was shown in gathering, we, the student body, laughed. Not because two student council members were supposedly kissing, but because, in the joke, that meant they were gay (preposterous! there are no gay people here!).

Again, for last year’s “Best Dance evaR” video, two male student council members were featured in the “dirty dancing section of the video”, doing dance moves simulating anal sex. While they certainly got their point across, the joke was the same as the year before that: look! two guys pretending to grind each other! It’s funny, because they’re actually straight!

In the Semiformal dance video shown in gathering this Wednesday, two male OES high-schoolers were featured in the PDA section again. While they did have some pretty good dance moves, it’s the same joke again. It’s funny, because it’s gay.

I know OES to be an incredibly tolerant and welcoming community. For three years, now, most members of the student body have signed posters on the entrance to the dining hall. I certainly know that neither the intent of student council nor the intent of the videos’ actors or producers was homophobic. They were just looking for another way to make already great videos funny (Nate F., who worked on the video, echoed this sentiment and apologized). The people who made the videos just unknowingly stepped over the boundaries of what is and isn’t acceptable.

It’s getting old, though. Try something new!

3 thoughts on “Again!?

  1. Well said, Patrick! Even as somebody who is heterosexual myself, I’ve never understood why it is somehow more acceptable if two men grind than if two women or a man and a woman. Personally, I couldn’t care less about dirty dancing, and I would do it if it were allowed, but come on guys…

  2. I believe that this article makes presumptuous assumptions about the OES community. It is absurd to assume that every member of the OES community that laughed at the videos were insulting the homosexual aspect rather than admiring the creativity and hilarity of the actors. Isn’t it a possibility that the community just enjoyed the video for what it was: an amusing joke video, rather than an offensive anti-gay video. I hope future articles can attempt to make less drastic, and frankly ridiculous, generalizations.

  3. thanks for the article. Its an interesting perspective, and a valid one. I’m sure the making of the video could be seen from a couple different viewpoints, and not all will agree whether the guy-guy thing is inappropriate. But that its become a trend is an interesting observation. “Why is that the go-to joke?” is a great question. I’d encourage commenters who disagree to avoid calling the author’s thoughts ridiculous, and find other ways to say their piece. The author didn’t claim the entire OES community was insulting the “homosexual aspect”… in fact, Patrick said “we laughed”. I think he is getting at the thinking behind the making of the videos, rather than whether or not the student body finds the videos entertaining.

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