OXFORD University is banning themed parties in case they cause offence.
The student union warns “vicars and tarts” events may stereotype men and women in a highly objectified and/or sexualised role.
Dressing in drag should also be handled carefully so as not to offend other genders.
The student body gives guidance for toffs’ “bops” on its website under the heading “Inclusive Practice for Events”.
It stresses it does not seek to “repress student self-expression through the clothing they wear . . . but is here to help everyone feel able to have a good time!”
“Highly sexualised themes can have distressing impacts on marginalised communities."
“Entz events with highly gendered themes are a welfare issue because there is usually an implicit or explicit gender divide, and for anyone who does not identify with traditional binary gender roles, this may be problematic."
The advice adds: “Entz events with culturally appropriative themes (such as Cowboys and Indians, Arabian Nights) or that are otherwise racially or culturally insensitive can cause BAME and international students to feel excluded or distressed.”
It adds that if organisers are in doubt, they should put up a note telling guests to avoid offensive outfits.
It concludes with: “To make all students feel more comfortable, you could put a note on the door to the bop and on any event Facebook page or email advert stating that ‘Students should be able to express themselves through their clothing in a manner of their choosing without judgement.
"However, dress that is offensive and upsetting to fellow students and others should be avoided’.”
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