Princeton Students Protest Rapper Big Sean for Promoting Rape Culture

This particular crusade seems futile

Big Sean performs during the MTVu Woodie Awards on March 20, 2015, in Austin, Tex.

Big Sean performs during the MTVu Woodie Awards on March 20, 2015, in Austin, Tex.

Photographer: Tim Mosenfelder/Getty Images

Princeton University students are mounting a protest against a performance by rapper Big Sean, who is scheduled to headline "Lawn Parties," an outdoor festival on campus in the Spring, citing the musician for "promoting rape culture and misogyny."

In a petition that asks the school's student government to rescind the invitation to the artist, junior Duncan Hosie and senior Rebecca Balsadua write, "in the future, [the undergraduate student government] should strive to bring non-misogynistic acts to campus." Hosie and Balsadua told the Daily Princetonian that close to 500 people have signed the petition. 

Hosie said he saw a promotional video for the performance in which Big Sean rapped "stupid ass bitch," became outraged, and took to the Internet. “After I saw that video, I started researching Big Sean’s language and I found language that was both misogynistic and homophobic,” Hosie told the Princetonian. Balsadua said the university should have chosen another rapper.

“I’m sure every singer has a questionable song, but there are a significant amount of his songs that deal with this and I think there are a lot of other artists in the same genre even that would have been a better choice,” she said. Hmm. 

The students said they were not responsible for fliers that popped up on campus urging students to protest the show. "'If she look good, she pay me in sex,'" read the fliers, quoting Big Sean's song Dance (A$$) (hopefully the Nicki Minaj remix), adding: "Want to take this down? Take down Big Sean." 

Big Sean is just the latest celebrity to face the ire of student activists. Recent offenders of the sensibility of college students include comedian Bill Maher, Christine Lagarde, the head of the International Monetary Fund, and American Enterprise Institute fellow Ayaan Hirsi Ali, all of whom were the targets of protests after being picked to appear at commencement ceremonies. 

Gumption aside, it does not seem as if this particular crusade will work. “The contracts are signed and it’s unrealistic to stop this from happening,” said Simon Wu, the chairman of the student government's social committee, in the Princetonian. Wu said the university may set up a panel at the Women's Center to discuss misogyny in lyrics. For anyone at the festival looking to avoid being affected by Big Sean's sexism, there's always unlimited alcohol. 

(Corrects spelling of Christine Lagarde's name.)

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