A “misogynistic” music video produced by Stanford business students for their annual show has resurfaced online after it was axed from the school's official website.
The students, poised as the next leaders of Silicon Valley, were accused of making a sexist video, set to the song Unfinished Business by student musician and producer Petros ft Sol. It portrays women having a water fight in scant clothing, scenes of a sexual nature and men swinging golf clubs suggestively.
One of the critics was Michele Dauber, a law professor who is working to recall the Judge who sentenced former Stanford student Brock Turner to just three months behind bars for sexual assault.
“This video is offensive and normalises the objectification of women in the educational context,” she told The Independent.
“It is quite literally a film of a hostile educational environment and it is objectively offensive. It is also a perfect illustration of the endemic culture of sexual harassment in Silicon Valley. It is not funny it is degrading to women.”
After complaining about the video, it was removed from the website, but still exists on the Graduate Stanford Business show channel on YouTube.
Ms Dauber tweeted a screen grab of the video, which showed multiple undressed people with their hands on each other. The image was then blocked from the social media platform.
“I guess twitter has laid to rest the question of whether this is objectively offensive,” she wrote.
A spokesperson for Stanford annual show team said in a statement: "We unequivocally stand in support of women's rights and disagree with the accusations that Unfinished Business promotes a culture of sexual assault or misogyny. We are deeply saddened that critics have conflated these terms with the consensual and positive sexuality portrayed by women and men alike in the video.
"While we stand by the video, its creators, and performers, we also recognise that we cannot control its narrative or its impact at large. Out of affection and respect for Stanford University, we've made the independent decision to take down the public video in order to not interfere with the serious steps that the university is taking to ensure that there is no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus."
The lyrics use business speak as sexual innuendo and features Stanford student merchandise and campus grounds. (“We’ve got a little homework to do / I love collaborating with you / returns you can’t resist / follow my lead / (let me show you my) / master’s degree.”)
It was produced to advertise the school’s annual student show next month, which costs $59.50 a ticket.
Stanford has strict rules about student filming on campus for academic purposes only, which might suggest the school approved the video.
The actresses fighting against sexism in Hollywood
The actresses fighting against sexism in Hollywood
1/12 Anne Hathaway
The 32-year-old actress said she has already experiences job rejections because of her age. “Now I'm in my early thirties and I'm like, 'Why did that 24-year-old get that part? I was that 24-year-old once. I can't be upset about it, it's the way things are,” she told Glamour.
2/12 Helen Mirren
On news that Maggie Gyllenhaal had been turned down for being ‘too old’, aged 37, to play a 55-year-old man’s partner: “It’s f***ing outrageous. It’s ridiculous. Honestly, it’s so annoying. And ’twas ever thus. We all watched James Bond as he got more and more geriatric, and his girlfriends got younger and younger. It’s so annoying.”
3/12 Maggie Gyllenhaal
Gyllenhaal revealed she was told by a Hollywood producer that she was too old, aged 37, to play the love interest of a 55-year-old man. “It was astonishing to me. It made me feel bad, and then it made feel angry, and then it made me laugh,” she said at the time.
4/12 Meryl Streep
Meryl Streep has helped fund an all-female screenwriters group called The Writer’s Lab to encourage more women to pen Hollywood scripts. She previously told Vogue in 2011: “Once women pass childbearing age they could only be seen as grotesque on some level.”
5/12 Emma Thompson
The actress said she thought Hollywood is “still completely s***” when it comes to treating women equally to men. ““When I was younger, I really did think we were on our way to a better world. And when I look at it now, it is in a worse state than I have known it, particularly for women, and I find that very disturbing and sad.”
6/12 Elizabeth Banks
Banks said she was driven from acting to directing due to the lack of roles for older women in Hollywood. “"[Industry sexism] drove me to direct for sure. I definitely was feeling that I was unfulfilled and a little bit bored by the things that were coming across my desk. I mean look at Gwyneth Paltrow who has her Oscar [for Shakespeare in Love] and played fifth banana to Iron Man,” she told Deadline.
7/12 Viola Davis
“I had never seen a 49-year-old, dark-skinned woman who is not a size 2 be a sexualised role in TV or film. I'm a sexual woman, but nothing in my career has ever identified me as a sexualised woman. I was the prototype of the ‘mommified’ role,” she told The Hollywood Reporter.
8/12 Liv Tyler
The Lord of the Rings actress said she only get cast in roles where she is treated as a “second class citizen” at the age of 38. “When you’re in your teens or twenties, there is an abundance of ingenue parts which are exciting to play. But at [my age], you’re usually the wife or the girlfriend - a sort of second-class citizen. There are more interesting roles for women when they get a bit older,” she told More magazine.
9/12 Cate Blanchett
The actress famously called out sexism on the red carpet at the 2014 Screen Actors Guild Awards. When a camera operator scanned her up and down, she said: “Do you do this to the guys?” In her Oscar acceptance speech for Blue Jasmine, she reminded the film industry that movies with leading women can still be successful. “And thank you to... those of us in the industry who are still foolishly clinging to the idea that female films, with women at the centre, are niche experiences. They are not -- audiences want to see them and, in fact, they earn money. The world is round, people.”
10/12 Ellen Page
Asked if she had ever encountered sexism in Hollywood, Page told The Guardian: ‘Oh my God, yeah! It's constant! It's how you're treated, it's how you're looked at, how you're expected to look in a photoshoot, it's how you're expected to shut up and not have an opinion, it's how you... If you're a girl and you don't fit the very specific vision of what a girl should be, which is always from a man's perspective, then you're a little bit at a loss.”
11/12 Zoe Saldana
The actress says she refuses roles where she has to play the generic girlfriend, wife or sexy bombshell. "It's very hard being a woman in a man's world, and I recognised it was a man's world even when I was a kid. It's an inequality and injustice that drove me crazy, and which I always spoke out against — and I've always been outspoken,” she told Manhattan magazine.
12/12 Charlize Theron
The actress spoke to ELLE about negotiating equal pay for the Snow White and the Huntsman sequel: "This is a good time for us to bring this to a place of fairness, and girls need to know that being a feminist is a good thing. It doesn't mean that you hate men. It means equal rights. If you're doing the same job, you should be compensated and treated in the same way."
Andreas Rentz/Getty Images
“In other words, did the makers of this film have Stanford's permission to film on campus?” Ms Dauber said.
She added: “If it was approved, who approved it? If not, what steps is Stanford taking to ensure that its brand is not associated with this depiction of women?”
Stanford Graduate School of Business spokeswoman Kristin Harlan said: "The video, which is intended to be a parody, is an independent activity that was directed and produced by the students and did not require nor receive university or school approval."
A spokeswoman previously stated that the video was “unacceptable on numerous levels and a team is working on having it removed.”
The producer of the video could not be immediately reached for comment.
Jen Boynton, editor of TriplePundit, a website that covers sustainable business, wrote that the video was “misogynistic” and “ill conceived”.
“This video promotes gender stereotypes and sexual harassment — issues one would hope Stanford students and faculty would be actively working against in the classroom,” she said.
Sarah Lacy, founder of Silicon Valley blog Pando, which often focuses on the way women are treated in the industry, said the video was “bizarre”.
“What am I watching? Is this a parody?” she tweeted.
The New York Times reported that a 2014 petition signed by 46 current and former business school employees claimed there was “a hostile work environment” that differentiated “on the basis of gender and age”, prompting Stanford to carry out an independent investigation over several months.
The case of the video comes six months after Brock Turner, a former Stanford student, was sentenced to just a few months behind bars for sexually assaulting an unconscious and intoxicated woman behind a dumpster in January 2015.
The survivor’s powerful impact statement quickly went viral and helped Ms Dauber to lead the on-going movement to recall the judge in the case, Aaron Persky, who was revealed to have a controversial history when it came to prosecuting male perpetrators of violence against women.Reuse content