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!