With their hands tied, McMaster University was forced to swiftly punish the Redsuit group for their “intolerance” and “sexist mindset.” The only tragedy of the entire event is the censorship brought on by the fear of retaliation by those who do not understand satire.
The book is crude, rude, and random in its endeavours, but what it contains is an unfiltered perspective on modern dark humour. It contains an embracement of gender roles instilled from generations prior, a willingness to break these definitions with concepts of sexuality, and shock value to smash through any other confining views in all imaginable forms. Though praise is given to Trey Parker and Matt Stone in the form of Emmys for their work on South Park and accolades given to music artists for twisted views of the world, punishment is given to similar hyperbole created by amateurs.
It is up to each individual student whether or not to embrace these open views. These Redsuits are merely one, optional part of the McMaster Engineering Society as a whole. The perception that this type of musical parody must be embraced by all is incorrect. In a Redsuit group containing several members of the larger LGBTQ community of Hamilton, the point of the songbook being about ridiculing conventionally taboo subjects rather than serious consideration is only emphasized further. Creativity can come in all shapes and forms, and this book is a brilliant and disturbing satire and portrayal of the human psyche. In any other situation not so politically correct, this would be considered art by most.
The only mistakes they made were the inability to communicate this with absolutely everyone. Though this was a differing perspective inside of a larger community, the willingness to accept and embrace these differences between people is a central part of mankind’s resilience, fortitude, and sense of community. This is an opportunity to change the mindset of the faculty and students as a whole by allowing open communication. Some were unable to make light of the larger situations that deeply affect some people’s lives, and that’s perfectly fine. Given this knowledge, we as a school will continue to grow closer to one another and embrace their perspective. The appalling nature of the vice-president’s comments stating, “The Redsuit songbook that we have learned about is highly disturbing and is the exact opposite to everything for which the University stands,” could not be any further from the desired truth and future of this university. I do not wish to feel threatened talking to another faculty’s office members about an issue; I want to promote openness and other outlooks. This university should stand for embracing both the negatives and positives of what make each of us individuals, though in a more controlled manner than this.
This event is being portrayed as a low point in our school’s history when it should be portrayed as having potential. The Redsuits know perfectly well what it feels like to be different and to have a different perspective. I trust all of them to make the right decisions towards a better future.