Last year members of St. Stephen College’s Alnutt North Gentlemen’s Association (ANGA) came under fire for pledging to promote misogyny and philander exclusively with men. After a video had surfaced of them undertaking the pledge many students groups, feminist groups and women’s groups criticised them for upholding this tradition. In response, ANGA had clearly stated that this pledge was made in jest and was saddened by the misinterpretation it had faced. This year, however, they have made huge changes to the oath.
Every year on Valentines Day, the members of ANGA would gather in the Alnutt North men’s residence block and pledge in the name of liberty to ‘promote among them all misogyny’ and to ‘philander exclusively with men’. After the video was posted by Pinjra Tod on Facebook last year, many groups had criticised this oath for being sexist and homophobic. Prerna Geeta Manian co-head of Stephen’s Gender Studies Cell had tried protesting this oath but was told it was harmless and stupid and was hushed on the grounds of respect. Vaibhav Srivastava, a member of ANGA, who had not participated in the oath his first 2 years put a stop to this practice in his third year when he became the ANGA prince, only for it to restart again the next year.
ANGA responded to this backlash by claiming that the oath had traditionally been a mockery of the institutionalized inequality in society and that its members support the idea of gender equality. It was supposed to be considered sarcastic and they were saddened by how it had been misinterpreted and overexaggerated.
This year, however, in recognition of the recent discourse around sexism, ANGA has made huge changes to the OATH. The lines ‘Liberty-to philander exclusively with men’ has been changed to ‘Liberty-to shape our own destinies’ and the line ‘to promote among them all misogyny” has been changed ‘to promote among them all fraternity’. No comments have been made yet about these changes by the student groups.