Campus Free Speech

Students Who Didn't Get Solos in Burlesque Show Claim Victimhood Status

Desperately seeking a safe space because you were denied a part in a play.



Northwestern University students might have just won the everything-is-offensive sweepstakes: student-performers who were denied prominent roles in the campus's burlesque show say the event isn't inclusive enough, and organizers are frantically trying to create a "safe space" for them.

The burlesque show is an annual tradition during Northwestern's "sex week," and strives to empower students to think positively about their bodies. Everyone who tries out gets a part in the production, though not everyone gets a solo.

But this year's roster is one big microaggression, according to the students, who claim the directors didn't obey the dictates of diversity when making their selections. As I wrote in a recent column for The Daily Beast:

The directors are working tirelessly to un-hurt everybody's feelings, and have restructured the show to make room for more solo acts. But the irate performers demand more:

"Even though this is something new that we're being confronted with, that doesn't make it any less valid," said one student. "It's very important that we are always consciously thinking of deliberate ways to uplift people that are not uplifted in society."

Another student said burlesque show rehearsals will strive to be more "intentionally inclusive" from now on. The group is apparently drafting some kind of constitution, which will presumably enshrine their right to unimaginable levels of inclusivity.

The irony is undeniable: it used to be conservative groups who threw tantrums about transgressive displays of moral non-conformity. But on today's college campuses, no one is more offended and outraged than the liberal kids.

Generation "Every Kid Gets a Trophy" is coming of age, and it isn't pretty.