One Big DilEMMA: PC Gone Mad

EREN KILICH likes to dress as a prostitute. And won’t let bop planners tell him he can’t.

Bop controversy emmanuel political correctness Prostitution red light Theatre

Prostitutes and firemen, the cast of Cats and the Von Trapp family – all jarred together uncomfortably in a college bar. Such was the scene at the Emma’s latest bop.

The eclectic gathering was the result of an unpopular theme change: instead of Fire in the Red Light District, students were treated to limpid Night at the Theatre. Whether through defiance or the sheer love of fishnets and cross-dressing (don’t underestimate it), many outfits kept the first theme’s fire aglow.

Complainers suggested it would normalise, even glamorise, prostitution, and pressure the ladies to dress provocatively.  Born of funsponges who love the self-righteousness of crying ‘sexist’, this reaction is wildly inappropriate. The only kneejerk reactions which this bop warranted belong in the can-can.

My admittedly understated display of dissent was no statement on the morality of prostitution, but rather a stout two-fingers to the idea of pandering to an oversensitive minority.

As fancy dress themes go, Fire in the Red Light District boasts the respectable companions of Bad Taste and Vicars and Tarts.  Their job is to challenge notions of political correctness. Like, on purpose. Fancy dress costumes, however garish, do not correspond to anyone’s actual convictions on religion, race, or gender. Tarting up for a Saturday night does not women-haters or advocates of prostitution make.

Fire in the Red Light District is vague enough a theme to allow interpretation. If it were Come as a Whore (Yes, You) then this might be an argument worth having.

That a bop (a bop!), could normalise prostitution is obviously ridiculous. It’s known as ‘the oldest profession’ for a reason, and it seems unlikely that a hasty application of lipstick will change the way we view the issue. Insisting on the change only reaffirms that prostitution is still a taboo topic. Ignoring it is surely more dangerous than engaging with it at a bop. Well, so far as one can engage with anything at a bop.

As for the theme glamorising prostitution, have you seen the gents of Emmanuel in dresses and heels? Little is less glamorous.

Plenty chose costumes other than women of the night.  A particularly creative chap came as a (fireman/stripper) pole, obviously hoping for some legs to wrap themselves around him. A shrewd second year commented that the red light theme was unnecessary: ‘some already dress as prostitutes regardless of the theme’.  Many attend bops wearing no fancy dress at all.

Most students understand the extremely limited political repercussion of a fancy dress theme. Should we really allow a minority to change a theme they find offensive? I may not agree with prostitution, but I will defend my right to dress as a prostitute to the death.