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Between the Lines: 'Baby Got Back' blares at wrong time

The Black Student Cultural Programming Board and University Programming Council hosted the Bite of Nite event yesterday afternoon at the old Howard Hall site.

Vendors from a variety of Athens restaurants offered their cuisines to bypassing students while DJ VikMrda supplied a mixture of music.

I wandered over to the site to peruse the food options available. At 5:38 p.m., I prepared to jaywalk across East Union Street when a new song began to blare over the loud speakers:

“I like big butts and I can not lie / You other brothers can’t deny / That when a girl walks in with an itty bitty waist / And a round thing in your face / You get sprung…”

The popular, raunchy rap song, which was mixed with “Time of My Life,” has been around for a number of years. Normally, I just roll my eyes at Sir Mix-A-Lot’s lyrical confession that many interpret to be a harmless, comical rap. But this time, I decided not to cross the street but rather retraced my steps back across College Green.

Two minutes later, I passed the Scripps Amphitheater, where yesterday’s Take Back the Night March & Rally began at 7:30 p.m. The annual event wraps up a week activities designed to make Ohio University students aware of sexual and domestic violence.

A two-minute walk. A two-block distance. A two-hour time difference. Two shockingly contrasting messages.

At Bite of Nite, a song made light of viewing women as sex objects — while apparently having the time of their lives. At Take Back the Night, the community bonded together in solidarity to speak for the victims of sexual violence with the hope of dissuading future horrid crimes.

No one else at the Howard Hall site seemed to mind the song. Some of those people probably attended the rally, too.

BSCPB and UPC might not have chosen the playlist, but someone should have ensured there was no sexist music broadcast across College Green, where the music could clearly be heard from the Scripps Amphitheater.

Both organizations sponsor plenty of worthy events. This occurrence, though likely unintentional, is purely unacceptable.

As shown through far too many crime reports this school year, sexual assault and rape are serious problems on campus and the surrounding area. Students cannot wait for a close friend to be victimized before opening their eyes to the sickening problems that surround them.

A senseless rap song might not directly contribute to the objectification of women, but with the recent spree of sexual crimes, it’s not worth the risk.

Students throwing off-campus parties have the liberty to choose their selection of music, but an on-campus event sponsored by university-funded entities should exercise a greater level of scrutiny when planning a function.

The choice of “Baby Got Back” is especially unfortunate because of yesterday’s rally, but sexism is a problem every day of the year.

Choosing better music might seem insignificant, but the situation at hand is too grave not to give it a try.

Michael Stainbrook is a sophomore studying journalism and a sports staff writer for The Post. Did you back away from “Baby Got Back”? Email Michael at ms229908@ohiou.edu.

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