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Fighting The Campus Denial

March 24, 2011

College administrations are notorious for a head-in-the-sand approach to rape culture.  Part of it is that they want to pretend that rape doesn’t happen, and they’re willing to be rather bare-knuckled to silence survivors.  Part of it is that they want to view rape in isolation, as if the cultural circumstances of the campus have nothing to do with it.  There are a lot of reasons for this, which I don’t have time to go into in depth.  The result is that, when rape jokes and pro-rape statements and rape-supportive behaviors are brought to their attention, to often students get the runaround.  There’s an excellent organization whose primary function is to combat exactly this.  And then there’s good old fashioned tenacious individual activism.  Tiffany posted this great example.  Quick quotes [Trigger warning for rape cheerleading]:

Then, the one I got a picture of, “Let’s not turn this rape into a murder!”

*     *     *

a dorm on my campus [] is known for having a “rape rock” …  apparently a rock that gets passed down to freshman guys that has painted on it, “Rape. It’s not rape if she can’t say no.”

*     *     *

The first RA I spoke to was using many qualifiers with me, sounding almost skeptical about the jokes.

*     *     *

I got stopped while walking out the door by the Resident Director who told me she had SENT out warning letters to that floor and that there was no way an investigation could be done. … [I] don’t appreciate being lied to. My friend lives on that floor, and he had received nothing that day.

*     *     *

threatening me with a violation of my lease after not meeting with me after I requested a meeting is known as retaliation here.

I can’t offer any happy endings or easy answers, just my support for Tiffany and what she’s doing.  She’s right, they’re wrong, and only tenacity changes anything that needs changing.

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3 Comments leave one →
  1. March 26, 2011 1:21 pm

    Thomas, thank you for the SAFER shout-out, it means a lot as I am a huge fan/supporter of your writing here. And thank you as well for linking back to Tiffany’s story…I’m still trying to not puke at the thought of the “rape rock” but it’s so important that students are writing about this stuff publicly on their own blogs. I want to get better at cataloging these posts in one place!

  2. March 29, 2011 12:25 am

    Thanks heaps for posting this, I really appreciate the encouragement and links as well :)

  3. k not K permalink
    March 29, 2011 8:37 am

    Awesome work, Tiffany. It’s tough to be an activist in that hostile of an environment, and you are kicking some ass! Not to mention, guaranteeing a wider audience for the way rape culture functions at your university. Keep it up!!!

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