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Op−Ed | Where them girls at?

Published: Monday, February 4, 2013

Updated: Tuesday, February 12, 2013 15:02

One night, Flo Rida and David Guetta walked into a bar, saw 2 Chainz and asked him, “Where them girls at?” 2 Chainz said, “You know what, I don’t know, but I’d sure like to see some more!” We know, this probably never actually happened, but who knows? Maybe it was Based on a T.R.U. Story. Whatever the truth, if 2 Chainz knew that Tufts University has only ever had two female artists perform at Spring Fling, surely he too would be saying, “Where them girls at?”

In 1983, we hosted Evelyn King and in 1994 we had Queen Latifah headline. During the past 32 years of Spring Flings, every other artist has been a man (either a band or a single male artist). That makes it 19 years since a woman has been on stage. Furthermore, even in 1994 when the amazing Queen Latifah graced Tufts with her presence, she was one of four performers — the other three were all−male bands. If you look at the full list of every artist we’ve ever hosted at Spring Flings at Tufts University, we have had 101 performers — and only two of them have been women.

We spent a delightful evening listing off every female artist that we could possibly think of, and then presented this lengthy list to the Concert Board two weeks ago. Obviously some are way too impossible (i.e. Beyonce) and some are most likely not familiar to the entire student body (i.e. India.Arie). However, there are plenty of women artists who are famous, realistic for our budget, and would be a blast at Spring Fling: Janelle Monae, Robyn, MIA, Keri Hilson, Santigold, and that’s just to name a few. No matter who Concert Board gets, there are going to be some people who are pissed off every year – and yes we understand that the Concert Board’s goal is to pick an artist that the most number of people will be excited about. But there are so many women artists who would put on a kick-ass show, there’s no reason not to.

After attending a few meetings at Concert Board, we want to first thank them for allowing us to hijack a bit of their meeting time and for accepting the long list of female artists that we presented to them. Their meetings are open to the student body and we were a bit curious as to exactly how the Concert Board goes about choosing performers for Spring Fling. The process is as follows: the Board lists all artists they are interested in having, sends that list and their budget to our agent, the agent then checks with those artists’ agents on the date and prices, and then the Board makes the final selection from the edited list the agent sends back. We have submitted our list of awesome women to the Concert Board, but we also want to encourage them, as well as the whole student body, to take this seriously as an issue: we need some lady artists — or even just one — at Spring Fling. There are so many wonderful female musicians, artists and performers in our Tufts student body and it would be so validating and incredible to have this presence mirrored by such a huge community event like Spring Fling.

If you are a Tufts student who cares about this like we do, sign our Change.org petition and tell us about a female artist you’d like to see on stage! You can also email the Concert Board (TuftsUConcertBoard@gmail.com) or go to one of their meetings on Thursdays at 9 p.m. in Pearson 104 and tell them yourself. Let’s bring the ladies back, and have them bring down the house in style.

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Julia Rodgers is a junior majoring in women's studies. She can be reached at Julia.Rodgers@tufts.edu. Amy Wipfler is a senior majoring in art history and can be reached at Amy.Wipfler@tufts.edu

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