Letters to the Editor: 9.30
Published: Thursday, September 29, 2011
Updated: Friday, September 30, 2011 00:09
Sexual Assault Is No Joke
The Instant Daily from 9/22 concerns me in that it seems to imply that The Daily Campus not only condones sexual assault, but finds it funny. When one says, "After the Female Orgasm lecture, I decided to be a good Samaritan by checking my roommate for breast cancer; she didn't seem to appreciate my selflessness," one is admitting to touching another's breast without the latter's permission. Yet instead of interpreting this as the misogynistic, sexual assault- condoning nonsense it is, somehow, this is passed off as a joke and The Daily Campus is telling us that we should laugh at it.
This is a fundamental failure to understand rape culture and the nature of a woman's bodily integrity and autonomy. Because of the way women's bodies are portrayed in the media, we are often objectified in a manner that makes our bodies public property. That's what makes people believe that they can blithely dismiss the groping of women as acceptable and entertaining, which is simply unacceptable.
Some may also claim that the narrator is female (even though the narrator's gender is not specified), and that's why it's funny. But this is fallacious for several reasons. First, because there is still no consent involved. It very clearly says that the roommate "didn't seem to appreciate" being groped. Second, because gender is irrelevant: would people still think this funny if it were one man touching another man's genitalia without permission? It's clear that the action performed by the narrator was done without her consent, and consequently, a violation of her personal space. This is what is legally known as sexual assault, which is a crime--not a joke.
I wish I could say that was the only repulsive Instant Daily from last week, but it's not. Another one from the same day, "Lately the Instant Daily has been comparable to a freshman girl, way too easy to get into," also is disrespectful to women. The casual dismissal of 17-19 year old women as "girls" is one part. The casual acceptance of trying to take sexual advantage of their ostensible naivete is another.
The printing of these two Instant Daily submissions shows blatant disrespect for women and undermines the seriousness of sexual assault. I hope that this letter clarifies why it's inappropriate to make light of such situations, and that such misogynistic ignorance should not be tolerated.