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Column: Hop Off Of Your Barstool

Heights Columnist

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.

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3 comments

Anonymous
Tue Feb 7 2012 13:25
Shut up, shut up, shut up! I read barstool and think that stuff is hilarious.

I have, nor will I ever, rape or degrade a woman. Real men can make their own decisions. I don't need a self righteous douche like you to speak down to me. There are literally dozens of better ways you could spend your time promoting the safety of women. This is not one of them.

Anonymous
Tue Feb 7 2012 11:23
First writing that men should read the Stool (taken with a grain of salt), and then implying that "genuine men" wouldn't associate themselves with the Stool at all doesn't really make sense.

While I understand the argument that you're trying to make, I think you and the others who support the KOBarstool movement aren't really tailoring your position to what Barstool actually says, but rather to what you assume it says based on a few out-of-context quotes. I think that you should take some time and actually read the website thoroughly, and take into account Dave Portnoy's own arguments in support of the website. Then, you should have a dialogue with him.

As long as protestors refuse to allow Portnoy to speak reasonably with them (as he attempted to do the other night at the HOB), or give him completely condescending, unrealistic advice, as you have done here (while implying that he lives in a basement and is somehow unfaithful/disrespectful to his wife), they will be completely meaningless.

Anthony
Tue Feb 7 2012 11:02
I love how you and people like you have taken one comment and turned it into this huge ordeal. Are you guys so out of touch with reality that you think he is going to make a serious comment in support of sexual assault? Come on. You aren't going to bring down the stool.




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