Why the Georgia Tech Fight Song is Worth Your Time

I’ve seen a few ramblings about the Georgia Tech fight song over the last few weeks. I’m not really into sports. I know the fight song isn’t solely a sports thing but that’s what I tend to associate it with. I didn’t go to a game for nearly a year after i got to Tech, but when I did one thing I noticed was the fight song.

People will say it’s stupid. Maybe it is old and outdated but who cares? I care, and so should you.This is the Institutes main fight song. It represents who we are, and its tarnished by a blatantly sexist statement,

Oh, if I had a daughter, sir, I’d dress her in white and gold,
and put her on the campus to cheer the brave and bold

It’s small and it’s subtle, but it is what it is. Your daughter isn’t an engineer–that level of honor is left for your son. Your daughters just there to cheer him on.

It’s important to identify sexism to help eliminate it. It is subtle, but it’s there none the less. Allowing it stay only continues to sanitize people to the problem where they think a few small things don’t matter. But they do. They influence how we are perceived by others and ourselves.

I get it’s tradition, but tradition is a terrible excuse to continue doing something shitty. It was made in 1908, back before women were allowed in to Tech, so it shouldn’t be that surprising that it has sexist undertones.

Its demeaning to women. Keeping it the way it is not only reinforces this type of mindset by encourages it. We need to stand up and say this is unacceptable. Luckily, things may be changing.

Georgia Tech sent a message to it’s students earlier today talking about just that. It read as follows,

It has come to the attention of the Student Government Association that a proposed change to the Institute’s main fight song, I’m A Ramblin Wreck from Georgia Tech, has stirred up many conversations and discussion over the possibility of a change and a possible underlying issue that spurred the proposal for change. This change was not introduced by a member of the student body however such changes, should they happen, have to be done at the request of the students. The link below is to a poll to gauge the opinion of the student body as to how we should move forward.

http://polling.gtorg.gatech.edu/index.php/716134?lang=en

So things may actually change all depending on this one poll. Here’s a snapshot of the poll.

Capture

This is great–well, not really. It’s definitely a step in the right direction, but I don’t think it should be left in the hands of the students. Universities don’t let fraternities, sororities, or other groups have free rein. Racism and sexism is serious problem that the the University rightly won’t tolerate. I’d expect the university to be even stricter when comes to something like this that doesn’t just represent one group but rather the entire student body and the university itself. Of course they don’t, and it’s appalling in my opinion.

But it is the way it is. We have to work with the hand we’re dealt. That’s why I urge you to go and vote in the poll. Vote to fix this embarrassing problem.

10 Replies to “Why the Georgia Tech Fight Song is Worth Your Time”

  1. I’m glad alumni are allowed to vote, because every single one I know of is voting against the change. How are cheering and yelling not the same thing? A more useful change, if any, would be to change “but” to “and” – “and if I had a son, sir.” That would at least make it perfectly clear that both children are cheering for the team, and not contrasting their roles.

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    1. Well, I’m sorry to hear that. Obviously I disagree.

      “I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech, and a hell of an engineer—
      A helluva, helluva, helluva, helluva, hell of an engineer.
      Like all the jolly good fellows, I drink my whiskey clear.
      I’m a Ramblin’ Wreck from Georgia Tech and a hell of an engineer.

      Oh! If I had a daughter, sir, I’d dress her in White and Gold,
      And put her on the campus to cheer the brave and bold.
      But if I had a son, sir, I’ll tell you what he’d do—
      He would yell, ‘To hell with Georgia!’ like his daddy used to do.”

      His son is like his daddy, another hellava engineer who yells to hell with GA, but his daughter is there to cheer him and his son on.

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    2. It’s not about the boy or the girl showing support for the school. The issue is that the song is worded in such a way that it promotes an outdated idea of traditional gender roles and the place of men and women in society. It isn’t explicit. Of course it isn’t. These things rarely are, but it still reeks of a time when women were second class.

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  2. Josh,

    You are an idiot.

    Leigh is correct. Amazingly, boys and girls can both go to Tech. They can cheer and yell.

    Why don’t you go find a useful cause, like women’s rights in the middle east?

    The song stays.

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    1. I never said boys and girls can’t both go to Tech, nor did I say the song did. What the song does do is promote an outdated idea of what roles men and women ought to play. Look, history sucks sometimes. There is no point trying to act like there was never a problem because there was. Luckily, we’ve made a lot of ground in overcoming that problem, but as this song shows, the issue still remains in small but important ways.

      As far as being concerned with women in the middle east, that is just a complete false dichotomy. There is nothing stopping us from fighting for change in small and big ways, at home and abroad.
      Thanks for your feedback though.

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  3. Consider this just for a moment: other than blind traditionalism or simple willful obstinance, what reason would one oppose this minor change? Seriously, what does it cost you?

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sorry Josh – I think both you and Jerome are both implying sexism where none exists, and in fact, I offer a completely different point of view. I believe that Billy Walthall actually was referring to women being less “crass” then men, where they would politely cheer rather than boisterously yelling. One more genteel, the other more forward.

    If that’s sexism, then I’d gladly suffer being accused of not being obnoxious as a gender.

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  5. Why not change the wording to “yell “To Hell with Georgia” like his momma used to do,”? I am a proud female alumna of GA Tech. Leave the song as is, tradition is what has kept Tech a great institution for over 100 years.

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