Column: Hop Off Of Your Barstool
Published: Sunday, February 5, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 9, 2013 18:01
No one has ever accused me of being a feminist, but it is certainly a label I would welcome. A feminist is simply someone who wants equality, nothing more and nothing less. There is a certain negative connotation attached to "feminist," and most definitely a slew of derogatory terms for women and men who demand equal protection and treatment for all people.
It does not take a feminist, though, to have qualms about rape and sexual assault. A three-year-old could tell you that taking and touching something that does not belong to you is inappropriate, and, in some ways, that is just what sexual assault is. The difference, though, is that Little Johnny will one day laugh about his reaction to his mother taking away his teddy bear, but a victim of rape will not be able to laugh.
Why, then, does El Presidente, Boston Barstool's head editor and publisher, feel the urge to make light of the victimization of women who have had too much to drink or perhaps have worn jeans that are too tight? Perhaps the humor is an attempt, albeit a poor one, to cope with the atrocity that is sexual assault. Considering his other contributions to the site, such as Smokeshow of the Day and Guess that Ass, which promote the objectification of women that makes it possible for someone to degrade another human, it seems unlikely that his nonchalant humor is a coping mechanism.
Maeve Kennedy Gormly, A&S '12 and gender politics banter partner of mine, wrote a letter printed in last Thursday's issue of The Heights. She called upon the student body to be responsible men and women for others by boycotting a Barstool event and instead attending Take Back the Night that evening. She is absolutely correct to ask us not to pour money into the coffers of a man who makes money off the victimization, or, at the very least, the satire of the victimization of women.
But allow me to take this one or three steps further. El Prez, you should not be promoting this sort of behavior. Although it is most certainly not ideal, it is often men who have power in our world, and even more so men who have a following as large as yours. You have an obligation to model proper behavior to those who read your blog.
I get it, though. I chuckled for about half a second before I asked myself, "Joe, what's wrong with you?" My adolescent self got the better of me—but only for a moment. A good man has no business printing jokes about violence against women. El Prez, you are a grown man, and a married one at that. You have no business publishing objectifying images of women, allowing similarly minded adults and adolescents to suggest that rape will deter women from wearing clothing that does not fit, and then quipping about the way some men treat women who mistakenly chose to drink too much around men who have boundary issues.
El Prez, grow up. Be an adult.
Young men who read El Prez's blog, feel free to have the cheap laugh he provides, but when you go out, respect boundaries. You'll be able to live with yourself in the morning, and you won't end up a middle-aged creep living in a basement, publishing degrading pictures of co-eds.
Boston College students, especially our genuine men—boycott BC Blackout and demonstrate solidarity with those who have been the victim of sexual violence at Take Back the Night on Mar. 28.