Censorship marred lip sync contest
On Friday, March 17, the sorority Alpha Chi Omega cosponsored a lip sync contest with the Student Center Committee. There were nineteen acts presented by members of the MIT community; ours was the fourth on the program. We began to lip sync to a recording of a piece of performance art by Karen Finley called "Tales of Taboo, The Naked Truth Mix." It has very explicit lyrics. The piece is a discussion of the differences between men and women and the problems of sexism in our society underneath a description of various "deviant" sexual practices. Unfortunately, after about one minute of performance, the sisters of AXO decided that the song was too explicit, and they turned it off, thereby stopping our act and censoring us out of the contest completely.
Later in the show was a lip sync to the Village People's "YMCA." The Village People are known to have been gay, and the lip sync act included a parody of anal intercourse, something which the sorority members as well as the majority of the audience found extremely funny. We understand that it might be hard for someone to use his or her mind for a moment and make an honest judgment about the real offensiveness of our song, a piece that defends feminism and equal rights and treatment for women. We understand that it is very easy to hear a piece of music and say "Oh no, bad words!" and therefore decide to censor it. However, we cannot understand how anyone with a conscience or intelligence could stop our act and then find extreme humor in the performance of "YMCA," with an openly anti-homosexual tone.
David Hogg '92->
Jonathan Ogas '92->