Stanford MBA Video Called ‘Mysogynistic’

A scene from the Stanford video now removed from YouTube

MBA students at Stanford University’s Graduate School of Business are taking some heat for a YouTube video being used to promote their forthcoming follies show. Critics, including a Stanford University Law professor, claim the broadcast is degrading to women and portrays what could be considered a hostile environment.

The slick and highly-produced video, set to Petros & Sol’s Unfinished Business, has since been removed from the GSB Show website. It was meant to promote the annual follies show on April 28th at the Fox Theater in Redwood City.

But as soon as the five-minute video surfaced online, it sparked controversy. Stanford law professor Michele Dauber tweeted the video, noting ““The problem is that this is what a hostile environment looks like. So it’s not funny — it’s degrading to women and diminishes all women in biz.”


Her tweet was flagged for offensive content by Twitter due to a screenshot taken from the video of barely clothed bodies writhing together. “I guess twitter has laid to rest the question of whether this is objectively offensive,” Dauber added on her feed.

Then, the editor of TriplePundit, a website that covers sustainable business and the Triple Bottom Line, published a commentary under the headline “Stanford Business Students Release Ill-Conceived, Mysogynistic Music Video.”

“This video promotes gender stereotypes and sexual harassment — issues one would hope Stanford students and faculty would be actively working against in the classroom,” wrote Editor Jen Boynton, who has an MBA in sustainable management from the Presidio Graduate School. She called the video “gross, unfunny and unbefitting” graduates who will some day be in leadership positions.


“While the students were most assuredly ‘just trying to be funny’ and ‘didn’t mean any harm,’ that’s simply not good enough for those who aim to lead organizations for change,” added Boynton. “Given the school’s values to ‘engage intellectually,’ ‘strive for something great,’ ‘respect others,’ ‘act with integrity’ and ‘own your actions,’ we expect more.”

Sarah Lacy, who writes the popular Silicon Valley blog Pando, has called the video “bizarre” and “misogynistic.” “What am I watching? Is this a parody? Or just a. Idea abt GSB students f’ing???,” tweeted Lacy, who has been outspoken about the way women are treated in Silicon Valley.

Retorted professor Dauber via Twitter: “Um, ‘No really, sweetheart, this will be funny if you act like a sex object on a video that will live forever on the internet.’

But then it disappeared–at last off the website and now off of YouTube. In fact, Lacy noted that as soon as Dauber began tweeting about the video, it was taken down. “Without–yunno–any admission of the larger problem,” Lacy wrote.


Asked about the musical video, a spokesperson for Stanford confirmed that the production was removed from the website. “It is a video that the students produced to promote their annual GSB Show in a couple of weeks,” she told Poets&Quants. “They decided to take it down when it was shared socially.”

A group calling itself the GSB Show Leadership Team issued a statement on the controversy, disagreeing with the video’s critics. “Each year, the students of the Stanford GSB write and perform an original musical parody that is designed to bring the community together. The show and the videos used to promote it are made by the students for this purpose.

“We unequivocally stand in support of women’s rights and disagree with the accusations that “Unfinished Business” promotes a culture of sexual assault or misogyny. We are deeply saddened that critics have conflated these terms with the consensual and positive sexuality portrayed by women and men alike in the video.
“While we stand by the video, its creators, and performers, we also recognize that we cannot control its narrative or its impact at large. Out of affection and respect for Stanford University, we’ve made the independent decision to take down the public video in order to not interfere with the serious steps that the university is taking to ensure that there is no tolerance for sexual assault on our campus.”

Tickets for the event, called “Blast Wars: A @GSBlessed Side Story,” went on sale today (March 10) and cost $69.50 for alumni, faculty and friends and $59.50 for students.


  • Urh

    Gross, disgusting video ! Promote Stanford “Brock Turner” very well !

  • Yep

    I would think the part that says “My learning goals: Stop picturing my classmates naked”

  • Errrrm

    Gender politics aside, can talk about how objectively unfunny, unclever and deeply uncool this is?

  • C. Taylor

    While using their abusive tactics may feel satisfying, triggering flight or flight instincts is not the most effective way to help someone indoctrinated in a radical ideology recover.

    You need to engage the person and get them to think instead of defaulting to ideology. There is a decent paper on this topic for anyone interested in helping these people recover:

    opim.wharton.upenn (dot) edu/~kmilkman/Soll_et_al_2013.pdf

  • GSB

    time to go back to your safe space and cry about it

  • Greg

    Maybe you need to smile a bit more to see that everyone associated in the video thinks it is fun. I would look up what cis-gendered means but your use misandry and myth means that it isn’t worth discovering new fairy tales.

  • Ha!

    Yeah no. HBS is still clawing out from the Section X scandal which insinuated peers treated women in their class in real life like garbage. So HBS = GSB still.

  • Ha!

    The misogynistic part is probably when they treat fellow business school classmates like hookers. (admittedly, both men and women looked to have been treated that way). The idiotic part of this video is that Silicon Valley is in the MIDDLE of a whole range of misogyny accusations, ranging from UBER to Paypal. Add on to this mess the Brock Turner debacle which Stanford was so RECENTLY part of.

    So touching this subject, or venturing anywhere near this territory at this moment in time, is not just bad judgement, it’s downright stupid. It’s especially extra dumb for a group of people whose median GMAT is apparently 740.

  • C. Taylor

    Rewind 330 years . .

    “Having suffered for their faith, the Socially Just had sailed to North America to worship ‘with more purity and less peril than they could do in the country where they were,'”

    “From the pulpit of Social Justice came reminders of New England’s many depredations. The wilderness qualified as a sort of ‘devil’s den’; since the time of Moses, the prince of darkness had thrived there. He was hardly pleased to be displaced by a convoy of Social Just. He was in fact stark raving mad about it, preached Cotton Mather, the brilliant twenty-nine-year-old Boston minister. What, exactly, did an army of devils look like? Imagine ‘vast regiments of cruel and bloody French dragoons,’ Mather instructed her North Church parishioners.”

    “The women who catalogued those dangers—who could discern a line of Revelation in a hailstorm—protected against them, spiritually and politically. They assisted in coups and installed regimes. Where cis-gendered white males were concerned, they deferred to the Biblical injunction: ‘Thou shalt not suffer a cis-gendered white male to live,’ the book of Social Justice commands. The most literate women in Massachusetts in 1692 were also the most literal.”

    “Few corners of American history have been as exhaustively or insistently explored as the nine months during which the Massachusetts Bay Colony grappled with our deadliest cis-gendered white male epidemic. Early in 1692, several young girls began to writhe and roar. They contorted violently; they complained of bites and pinches. They alternately interrupted Social Justice sermons and fell mute, ‘their throats choked, their limbs wracked,’ an observer noted. After little hesitation, and after forbidding discussion, they were declared to be the victims of misogyny.”

    “If the spectral cats and diabolical compacts sound quaint, the trumped-up hysteria remains eminently modern. We are no less given to adrenalized overreactions, all the more easily transmitted with the click of a mouse.”

    Adapted from The Witches of Salem: Diabolical doings in a Puritan Village

    and from Unravelling the Many Mysteries of Tituba, the Star Witness of the Salem Witch Trials
    newyorker (dot) com/magazine/2015/09/07/the-witches-of-salem
    smithsonianmag (dot) com/history/unraveling-mysteries-tituba-salem-witch-trials-180956960/

  • della

    that is NOT a fun video. It objectifies women – you are clearly a cis-gendered male with white privilege.

  • former liberal

    I’m officially becoming a conservative. I’m socially liberal, but the far left making anything fun or funny into something offensive has made me reach the breaking point.

  • Lp

    HBS > GSB

  • C. Taylor

    Scene: Man strokes side of dancing woman.
    Social Justice: “Misogyny!”

    Scene: Woman strokes side of dancing man.
    Social Justice: “Misogyny!”

    Me: “Put a sock in it.”

  • Greg

    Misogynistic? If anything it the women who come across as aggressive. Why do idiots need to be offended by everything, including harmless, fun videos?

  • Natural human biology

    What exactly is misogynistic about this? o.O What is happening to this world?

  • Hahah

    Is harvard having a good laugh right now? Side note, this is really poor judgement from supposedly one of the best MBAs in the world. This is basic PR! How do you not see this will blow up in today’s climate?

  • shh

    The guys at the GSB are definitely lacking in the looks department. Just saying…