While outrage culture may be something more than a meme, emulating reality nowadays — most wouldn’t think that there were many individuals who would be offended by someone dressing up a cowboy. Those optimists were proven wrong very recently.
The Mirror reports that students who attend Kent University in the U.K. have been banned from wearing stetsons and sombreros when they’re out on the town — in case somebody takes objection to their outfit.
According to the new rules laid down by the top dogs at the university, students cannot dress up like John Wayne or Clint Eastwood because it might be perceived as threatening to other students who have “a right to a safe place” at the university.
Although students are allowed to party dressed up as ancient Greeks, Romans, aliens, prehistoric man, doctors, and nurses — cowboys are definitely on the banned list. As are Native Americans, priests, and nuns.
The “Fancy Dress Guidelines ” were compiled to regulate what students can and cannot wear when out on the razzle dazzle.
The Student Union justified their decision to not let their students wear spurs by explaining, “We empower students to be creative, whilst also ensuring all students feel welcome and safe.
“Students groups are free to engage in fancy dress whilst ensuring they abide by the Fancy Dress Guidelines which include being offensive, discriminatory and prejudice to an individual’s race, gender, disability or sexual orientation or based on stereotypes.”
The Kent Student Union has a history of getting a bee in its bonnet when it comes to people dressing up for a little bit of fun.
The Union recently lashed out at the Tokyo Tea Rooms in Canterbury, accusing them of cultural appropriation after the bar employed white women to dress up as geisha girls for its opening night.
Kent Student Union’s Vice President Omolade Adedapo considered this outrageous and snapped, “We need to discuss how fetishization and mockery of Asian culture has become so commonplace to the extent that some established a whole business based on cultural appropriation and mocking another culture for profit.”
Not only have happy-go-lucky students at Kent University been banned from pulling on their boots and hat and saddling up to hit the trail for a night on the tiles, they’ve also been give stark warnings not to dress up as a gender or sexuality that they do not identify with “if the purpose is to belittle.”
“Fancy Dress themes should also not be centred around political group stereotypes or the stereotypes of different levels of perceived class in the means to diminish their worth or validity… This again would promote an unsafe and exclusive campus to which we do not tolerate.”
In other words, leave your sense of humor at the door and abide by the rules — or suffer potentially harmful academic consequences.
And to all those students who still want to dress up as a rooting tooting, gun-slinging son of the rodeo, remember these words of wisdom from the Duke himself.
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway kid.”