Thursday, March 21, 2002

You know, I sometimes get sick of all this activism. Currently, the kick is "Take Back the Night" here in Blacksburg. For those who don't know, this is when the sociology, women's studies, and environmental policy and planning majors on campus get together to protest rape. They put stuff all over campus stating their views and generally implying that all men are rapists (or at least wannabe-rapists). Usually, they chalk inane statements like "Men, you CAN stop rape!" and "No means NO!" on sidewalks, for those of us who don't think we can stop ourselves from raping (and pillaging!) or who benefit from being told that a word means what it means. They put up some t-shirt project every year, with different-colored shirts representing what happened to the person who wrote on them, generally with the darker the shirt, the worse the situation. I go and look at that, and I see an awful lot of yellow shirts, and very few red or purple ones. I think the thing which most annoys me is the vandalism. I was walking into Hokie Grill for lunch today, and someone had spray-painted "consent is SEXY" on the ground. First, this is a very stupid statement, unlikely to sway anyone. Secondly, it means the groundskeepers are going to have to put in a lot of work to remove that from the sidewalk. It's selfish, is what it is. I'm sure that these are the same people who, ironically enough, want to Save the Planet and who want to Empower the Proletariat. They make me sick.

UPDATE: Apparently, I was going off poor vision and bad information (the Iron Line of politics). I only saw one or two white shirts, which represent women who've died of violence. The color I saw most of was yellow/beige, which represents women who've been battered or assaulted. There are more colors representing other things like incest, sexual assault, and homophobia, but I'll just say that they were all fairly represented. What got to me wasn't that there were so many shirts, but that there were so few. Over ten years, they'd accumulated about 300 shirts. That's only about 30 per year, of all kinds of assault (which is simply the threat of violence). Of course this isn't what it should be, and I'm sure there are plenty of cases that weren't reported or put on shirts, but I was still underwhelmed.

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