“We have but one rule - that every student must be a gentleman.”
— Robert E. Lee
Satirical Spectator: Fancy Dress is Racist

Satirical Spectator: Fancy Dress is Racist

Image from: http://ringtumphi.org/4357/news/fancy-dress-to-pop-up-in-new-location/

Image from: http://ringtumphi.org/4357/news/fancy-dress-to-pop-up-in-new-location/

By Eric ‘20

Fancy Dress is one of the University's oldest and most cherished traditions. The 2019 edition however seemed to be one of the most contentious in recent memory. Why you may ask? It wasn’t because Bob was removed from all memorabilia, leaving George to adorn shot glasses by his lonesome, it wasn’t because it was held in a barn on back campus, it wasn’t even because the event ran out of tickets and space for students. It was much more insidious, it perpetuated and was the epitome of class warfare at W&L. Yes, that’s right. While not in-your-face classism, it amounted to a directed assault on the minority and underrepresented students at Washington and Lee. I was left scratching my head when I first heard this, so I got informed the best way I could, by talking to a White, Anglo-Saxon, Protestant, or WASP, from the South with a BMW. 

“You see, she said between hits of her mango flavored Juul, black tie = Whites only. It’s traditions like this that make W&L such and unwelcoming place to minorities. It’s blatant racism parading around doing its best to swing dance after a frat cocktail party. Honestly, it’s just as bad as Lee Chapel.”

 I can’t believe I hadn’t thought of this earlier. Am I even “woke”? The extent of my argument against FD was the lack of vegan/gluten free options at the snack table. 

I had to see if other people shared these views, so I went looking. The next club meeting I attended, after introducing ourselves and our preferred pronouns (always one of my favorites), the mutterings began. Everyone was whispering it, no one wanted to say it  out loud. Finally, someone had the courage to stand up for what they/them/theirs believed in. They did so in the most eloquent way- Hey! Ho! Fancy Dress Has Got to Go. 

Genius, you could feel the wheels of change moving in the room. Change was being demanded. The rhyming meant that it was a certainty.

Despite a lax dress code where fancy dress no longer enforces black tie and people may show up in (and did) in a polo, jeans, sneakers and a bowtie (it’s still a classy event you know), the event has an underlying modus operandi- to be as racist, classist, and exclusive as possible. 

For these reasons, W&L must retire Fancy Dress into the annals of history, like the Lee-Jackson house name, Robinson Hall name, and being able to see the recumbent Lee. 112 years was a good run.  

Note: This article is obviously not the sentiment of the writer, as shown by his use of exaggerations and reductio ad absurdum. However, if you guessed was weirdly plausible, that’s because the Fancy Dress is Class Warfare argument is the current liberal sentiment at W&L, as shown by the article below. 

https://www.wlu.edu/executive-committee/student-organization-resources/ec-recognized-student-organizations/fancy-dress

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