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Leave Pudding Tradition Alone

DISSENT

By David B. Lat

In urging one of Harvard's oldest and most colorful institutions to change its charter, the staff assumes a posture that has received little support from the campus at large. People have seemed to enjoy the annual Hasty Pudding show for years--both men and women alike--and we think that including women in the cast would diminish its unique draw.

With all due respect, the attempt made by the staff to liken the Pudding to discriminatory final clubs is absurd. First of all, women are allowed to participate in the Pudding with all of the attendant advantages--including the trip to Bermuda and the coveted alumni connections. Women are members of the band, the business staff and the technical crew. And the co-producer this year is a woman. Moreover, there are an almost unlimited number of other theatrical opportunities for women at Harvard.

The special appeal of the Pudding is that males play female roles--not simply that actors play opposite-sex roles. Notwithstanding, the staff arrogantly says that "adding women to the cast in male parts would enhance...the special transvestite ambience of the Pudding." How a bunch of journalists could determine this is anybody's guess.

The Pudding scripts, since the show's inception 146 years ago, have been written with an all-male cast in mind. What will the staff support next? Women in the Kroks? Men in RUS?

Tradition, especially at Harvard, is not necessarily a bad thing. For instance, it's a big part of The Crimson. Instead of criticizing the Pudding for being "so tightly bound to tradition," the staff should get off its high horse, sit back, and enjoy the show.

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