Students from the University Of Oklahoma’s Gender and Equality Centre have made some serious accusations against singer Adele Laurie Blue Adkins. The campaign refers to the song “Hello” and claims that “even great songs normalize sexual harassment.” It’s making a direct reference to the line, “I must have called a thousand times.”
Sexual harassment is nothing to snub your nose at, but the organizers of this gloried gripe have missed the mark completely. We’re not exactly talking about Daddy Yankee here, whose lyrics include domestic violence and cannibalism, sparking what is by and large a legitimate campaign. No, this is Adele, mother and philanthropist, arguably the safest pop star since Engelbert Humperdinck.
The poster itself is an odd crossroads of assumptions and overreactions. What do they even mean when they include the phrase “even great songs?” So is it great or is it sexual harassment, are they saying it’s both? The campaign works against the overall message because a song like “Hello” is hardly harassment, especially when taken into context. This is making a big fuss over nothing and shows how misguided some of these campaigns can be. It trivializes the whole matter with its ignorance and does more damage than good.
There’s a lesson to be learned here: Before embarking on a campus wide campaign make sure you exercise a bit of logic. Otherwise you run the risk of losing the same people you’re hoping to educate. It’s diluting a poignant message into a stew of confusion and indifference.