Tuesday, April 12, 2011

The Attack of the Harvard Snow Phallus

You may need to take an extra dosage of your preferred medication to treat digestive system upsets when you read this one.

Feminists arrogate unto themselves full and unbridled license to be in-your-face about displaying pudenda and crudely discussing female body parts because, as well all know, such conduct is raunch-empowering, as in "you go grrrlfriend!"  Prof. Mike Adams has a provocative column called Feminists Are No Better Than Frat Boys where he chronicles some of the ways they do this: at the Vagina Monologues, for example, they repeat the "c*nt" word, they sell and lick "pussy pops" (a lollipop shaped like a woman’s genitals), and they go nuts over a fake orgasm skit.  They're also behind orgasm awareness week at UNC-Chapel Hill, which has a good old fashioned Vibrator Museum.  At the Women’s Center at Appalachian State University, somebody donned a giant vagina costume and paraded around campus in it.  And at various campuses, feminists sponsor an annual Sex Workers Art Show where strippers and porn stars engage in various activities including self-stimulation and even inserting objects into various body cavities.

All of this is deemed not just acceptable but empowering to women. Indeed, it is politically incorrect to take offense at any of it.

But when fratboy types pull similar nonsense, how do you think the feminists react?  I hark back to February 11, 2003, when members of the Harvard crew team decided to have some fun by building a snowman. Only the boys decided to limit their snowman to one anatomical male feature, so they constructed a 9-foot tall, decidedly engorged snow penis, replete with "a sizeable scrotum." The Harvard Crimson proudly displayed a NSFW photo of it, in all its penile glory, here:  http://www.thecrimson.com/article/2003/2/24/ruined-snow-penis-stimulates-debate-when/

The boys who built the snow penis intended it as a joke. The brains behind the boner-chilling venture said he came up with the idea so that a few members of the team could “hang out together.” He said: “We built it for fun, instead of building a snowman. We built it specifically as a junior high prank.”

And that's all it was: a junior high prank. Let's say this up front. It would have been wholly appropriate for the school's administration to tell the boys to tear down the frozen stiffy simply on the basis of obscenity -- because the public display of aroused sex organs is inappropriate in public places at Harvard or anywhere else. It is, after all, not the type of "sculpture" that most people would want their minor children, or their grandparents, to see. (Indeed, one of the two women who took it upon themselves to tear down the structure was a self-proclaimed social conservative who acted because she felt it was obscene. The other woman who acted with her was a feminist.  That combination is worthy of its own separate post.)

Since it depicted a penis, and an erect penis at that, does it surprise anyone that the snow phallus caused a feminist conniption (a redundancy, I know)?   With zombie-like fidelity to the feminist playbook, they used it as a teaching moment -- yet more evidence that women are oppressed by dreaded males.   

“As a feminist," fumed Amy Elise Keel, the other woman who "proudly" took it upon herself dismantle the penile art, "pornography is degrading to women and creates a violent atmosphere."  Ms. Keel declared the snow dick not just offensive but "incredibly offensive" to her. You see, the sculpture symbolized "male dominance," she said. 

Then Ms. Keel did what feminists have no compunction about doing, even though they have no right to do it: she proceeded to speak for all women. "[N]either I, nor any other woman, should have to see this obscene and grossly inappropriate thing on my way to class."

"There was nothing 'challenging' or 'subversive' about the penis," she blathered on. "The only thing it did was create an uncomfortable environment for the women of Harvard University." Keel said that the snow dick "propagated the notion that women don't really belong here."

Then the coupe de grace. Ms. Keel trotted out the rape analogies. "No one should have to be subjected to an erect penis without his or her express permission or consent. . . . . The unwanted image of an erect penis is an implied threat; it means that we, as women, must be subject to erect penises whether we like it or not."

You'd think the damn thing slid down the campus square and chased Ms. Keel until it positioned itself smack underneath her vagina. 

Ms. Keel, it turns out, claims to be a rape survivor, which supposedly made the statue even more offensive for her. “Men think they have the right to force that on you,” she said. “It’s a logical extension.”

Women’s Studies Lecturer Diane L. Rosenfeld, who taught Women, Violence and the Law at Harvard at the time, couldn't stay out of this one. “The ice sculpture was erected in a public space, one that should be free from menacing reminders of women’s sexual vulnerability," she said.

But wait, Rosenfeld wasn't finished. She said the snow penis follows a long line of public phallic symbols, including the Washington Monument and missiles. “Women do not need to be reminded of the power of the symbol of the male genitalia,” Rosenfeld said. “My guess is that they are constantly reminded of it in daily messages.”

Sigh. Can you just envision the committee meeting in the 1830s to decide how to honor George Washington? I'm sure someone said this: "What type of monument can we build that will both honor the father of our country and make a statement about our hatred for women at the same time?"

The fact is, I would have to be Shakespeare to adequately describe the puerility behind these inane comments. The gynocentric chutzpah of these feminists is positively jaw dropping. Let's try to keep it simple so even they can understand.

First, it wasn't a real penis, ladies. It wasn't even a photograph of a real penis. It was a snow penis. That's what made it funny, in a junior high way.

Second, the boys didn't erect (well, you try to think of a better word!) a supposedly objectifying snow sculpture of a nude female. Even though their "art" consisted of uniquely male body parts, to Ms. Keel and Ms. Rosenfeld, it was all about women. And therein lies the problem.  You see, ladies, without putting too fine a point on it, it is entirely natural for young men attending Harvard, or young men in general, to experience multiple erections in the course of a single day.  That's literally millions of erections on campus every year.  Although you, and women of your ilk, would find it difficult to believe, virtually none of those millions of erections are, in any manner, associated with sexual assault.

Let's cut to the chase: for feminsts to equate a natural, albeit very private, bodily reaction experienced by males countless times a day to "women's sexual vulnerability," or to suggest that it a depiction of that reaction is "an implied threat" to women -- in other words, to read evil, misogyny, and rape into a garden variety hard-on -- is downright sick and other-worldly. It is, indeed, comments such as Ms. Keel's and Ms. Rosenfeld's that engender disrepute of the entire feminist movement.

If the boys had made a snow figure of a robber holding a pistol, many people probably would have considered it strange and unpleasant, but I promise you that the feminists wouldn't have had a conniption over it. The fact that we have reached the stage where the depiction of an erect penis is more threatening and more offensive to women than the depiction of a cocked gun tells that us we are stranded in an era marked by the worst kind of misandry.