“The world needs more cowboys,” the University of Wyoming says in a new marketing slogan. But apparently not everyone agrees. The slogan has drawn backlash from critics, including faculty members and Native American groups, who call the catchphrase sexist, racist and counterproductive to university recruitment — because it excludes women and people of color, Reuters reported. “Honestly, I thought it was a joke at first,” associate professor Ellen Currano told the Chronicle of Higher Education. “I thought it was a joke. And then I looked it up on the university web page and saw that no, this was, in fact, serious.” The university’s mascot is a “cowboy” riding a bucking horse with hat in hand. But Darrell Hutchinson, a cultural specialist, told Reuters that people who do not fit the stereotypical image of a cowboy – “a white man with a wide-brimmed hat riding the range on horseback” – are not made to feel welcome. “If you’re not a white person, and especially if you’re an Indian, it would make you feel out of place — it wouldn’t make you feel too good about yourself,” said Hutchinson, a member of the Northern Arapaho Tribe in Wyoming. But university officials in Laramie defended the tagline, which they said was created by a Colorado-based marketing firm. “In a vacuum, the term ‘cowboy’ appears gender- and perhaps race-specific, but in the context of the branding campaign it is connected to images and words that show our cowboys are diverse, of every sex and background,” university spokesman Chad Baldwin said, according to Reuters. He said the university wants to “throw away” the stereotype of cowboys, updating what it means and looks like to be one. “A cowboy is not what you are, but who you are,” Baldwin said. The campaign cost $500,000 and is part of a more than $1.4 million investment to advertise the university, located around 50 miles northwest of Cheyenne. Jim Magagna, executive vice president of the Wyoming Stock Growers Association, said ranchers are worried the dispute may cast “aspersions on a time-honored way of life and work,” according to Reuters. “We are proud of the true image of the real cowboy or cowgirl, often of very diverse race or ethnicity, riding the range on a well-groomed horse while sporting a cowboy hat, chaps, spurs and a rope,” he said in a statement. Wyoming, the so-called Cowboy State, hosts the university’s sports teams, also called the Cowboys; a cowboy mascot named Pistol Pete also appears at games.
The whole controversy is beyond silly.. This is what happens when bed-wetting, whining, liberals are out looking to find some reason to feel victimized. It’s political correctness gone crazy. Clearly these idiots who are whining about this haven’t been to Cheyenne Frontier Days; one of the biggest rodeo events in the country. There are people of all ages, genders, and yes…ethnicities. Good on the folks at the Univ of Wyoming for sticking to their guns, and blowing these idiots off.. Unreal..