Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What the Hell, University of Maryland?

So maybe this story just pissed me off because the Feminist Student Alliance at my own university was unable to even put on a Clothesline Project because we're cursed this semester, but even so, this is still some shit.

Apparently, the University of Maryland thinks its more important to protect its athletes from the (non-legal, even) accusations of its female students who have been raped by them.

Yes, they are concerned about lawsuits, but they just got into a lawsuit by making the decision they did. They also have got a bunch of protests and unhappy students because of it as well.

And of course, with any sort of support for women who have been sexually assaulted in this culture, you've got idiot rape apologists who want to demean the survivors.

With so much controversy around this year's project, it was not a surprise that an act of vandalism took place. Someone defaced one of the banned t-shirts by writing on it: "Being inappropriate doesn't equal with rape Idiot."

"I can't believe someone would do that," said Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network (RAINN) Campus Outreach Coordinator Michelle Spradling.

Apparently, someone had a guilty conscience.

The Clothesline Project takes place on campuses around the country to promote awareness about violence against women. The University of Maryland-College Park has held a Clothesline Project for the past seventeen years. This is the first year that any t-shirts have been banned. The Baltimore Sun reported the speculation of some students that the university took action this year because a shirt which named a prominent former athlete was displayed at last semester's event.
That last line pisses me of so much. So because the guy that was named was a prominent athlete, and thus probably brought the school lots of money and attention, his victim was silenced. Her freedom of speech and ability to speak out about her experiences was muffled because her rapist is a privileged athlete and thus well-liked and well-protected by the school.

Ay yi yi, this is why I don't understand why more people don't think we live in a rape culture.


FEMily! said...

Well, Maryland doesn't believe that it's rape when a woman withdraws consent to sex once it's already started for any reason.

In a way, I can understand not allowing the women to display the names of their rapists. The women would get sued by their rapists for defamation, particularly if they were acquitted. But that's obviously not the position the university took.

Megan said...

They were more worried about the university getting sued, which wouldn't even really make sense. It would be the individual women, like you said, so it would be up to the individual women to put themselves out there like that.

But yeah, that is true. I forgot about that other bullshit regarding Maryland and rape law.