Cheerleading posters ‘not respectful of women’

Queen’s Bands issues apology for unsanctioned flyers distributed around campus

Queen’s Bands has issued a letter of apology following the distribution of flyers that drew complaints of sexism.

“There were three [flyers] advertising tryouts for Queen’s Bands, specifically the cheerleading section of it,” said AMS Social Issues Commissioner Jeff Brown. “The content of them included one saying ‘Hotties wanted,’ and others had a cheerleading throw that was sexually suggestive that said, ‘Do you like this spread?’”

Brown said he became aware of the flyers at 10 a.m on Thursday morning, after receiving three phone calls from students and alumni complaining about the flyers.

After viewing the flyers circulating around campus, Brown met with the executive committee of Queen’s Bands, including financial officer Stephanie Vos.

“We discussed the concerns and she seemed very savvy about what the problems were,” he said. “[Stephanie Vos] was visibly upset about the whole situation and wanted to do everything in her power to rectify it.”

No one contacted was able to provide the Journal with copies of the flyers.

Vos said she doesn’t know who’s responsible for distributing the flyers, and Queen’s Bands has destroyed any copies they received. “We have no more copies,” she said.

Brown said he found the material on the flyers offensive.

“Some stuff that was inappropriate, was taken out of context and was not respectful of women,” he said. “It was a heterosexist comment suggesting that touching in inappropriate ways was part of the job.”

Hannah Glow, chair of the AMS Gender and Women’s Issues Committee, said viewing the flyers made her stomach turn.

“There’s a lot to be said about them, but my initial reaction was to be grossed out,” she said.

Glow, ConEd ’08, said the flyers weren’t characteristic of Queen’s Bands, which she called one of the most important traditions at Queen’s.

“When you think about a long-standing group like Queen’s Bands, you think of something that promotes a safe space and is welcoming to everybody,” she said. “Those flyers don’t give that impression, and that’s not the Queen’s Bands that everyone knows.”

Although Glow found the flyers offensive, she noted that the sexual innuendo in advertisements is all too common.

“We’re shown images of objectified women all the time,” she said. “People think we’ve passed a place in time where men objectify women, but we haven’t.”

While Queen’s Bands is taking full responsibility for the flyers distributed, Glow said the flyers are a testament to sexist attitudes that continue to exist on campus.

“It doesn’t take these flyers to realize that, but we have a long way to go before we can reach a place where women can be safe on campus.”

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