Jessica Jin, a 24-year-old recent graduate of the University of Texas, has started #CocksnotGlocks, a protest against a new Texas law that allows guns on college campuses. In contrast to the new law, Texas law and University of Texas policy forbid the prominent display of big wagging dildos, and Jin thinks our culture's priorities are screwed up. Because of Jin, thousands of UT students have pledged to carry dildos around campus on August 24, 2016, the day the new campus-carry law goes into effect.
Jin claims there has also been an outpouring of hate and anger directed at her, mostly from men who (1) feel threatened and angered by toy penises, and (2) are passionate about gun rights.
The notion that men are threatened by college students walking around campus displaying dildos is absurd. Any backlash to #CocksnotGlocks emanates from gun rights advocates--Jin has put herself smack in the middle of one of the most heated controversies in America (an issue we're not going to deal with head-on in this post)--but she wants to make it about men being threatened by toy penises.
Some of Jin's statements are illuminating. She says that "a lot of the anger has to do with the threat dildos pose to masculinity in some people’s minds." They "see the word ‘dildo’ and their eyes just glaze over and they start foaming at the mouth.” Further, "people want me dead for a dildo."
Why did Jin use dildos as the centerpiece of her protest? These are Jin's words: ". . . it spotlights the masturbatory nature of the power which people derive from gun ownership, and the self aggrandizing 'I'm one of the good ones, I'll protect you' arguments we're so often expected to simply trust." (And, no, I'm not making that up.) Further: ". . . this satirical employment of dildos has also sparked more serious conversations on topics like . . . the intersection of guns and sexuality, and even campus sexual assault." (No, I didn't make that up.) And: "The narratives surrounding sexuality (or just dildos, in this case) and guns are more intertwined than one would expect, and more similarities seem to unfold every minute. They each have the power to instantly masculate or emasculate at a moment's notice. Some shootings in this past year can even be traced straight back to sexual repression. Dildos and guns are in it together for the long haul."
Allow me go and bang my head against the wall.
Jin is part of the usual crowd anxious to pin everything bad about our culture on their made-up version of traditional masculinity--meaning, misogynistic, racist, violent, conservative men who love guns. The problem, of course, is that the puerile straw man Jin has constructed has little to no basis in reality.
First, I must chuckle because it isn't the "men" Jin describes who'd be offended by the sight of fake penises on campus, it's feminists. The stereotypical "men" Jin describes seem to be the type who'd have fake testicles hanging from the backs of their pick-ups--the last group who'd be bent out of shape over college students with dildos.
Ask yourself this: if, separate and apart from Jin's protest, UT fraternity men decided to walk around campus one day wielding dildos, who would be offended--the "men" Jin describes or folks like Jin? We all know the answer, and we all know what would happen--the fraternities would be suspended and the ringleaders punished.
When some members of the Harvard crew team famously decided to build a 9-foot-6-inch tall snow phallus as a prank, "women’s groups . . . led a chorus of complaints against the snow penis, arguing that such a display is demeaning to women." Women tore it down, and one of them, feminist Amy E. Keel, analogized the snow phallus to rape: "No one should have to be subjected to an erect penis without his or her express permission or consent," she declared. "The unwanted image of an erect penis is an implied threat." The snow sculpture's "only purpose [was] to assert male dominance," and it "propagated the notion that women don’t really belong here. It . . . put us in our place.” Women’s Studies Lecturer Diane L. Rosenfeld wrote that the public space where the ice sculpture was erected "should be free from menacing reminders of women’s sexual vulnerability.” She explained that 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 declared.
Brooklyn College once bowed to pressure to change its logo because the old logo, a silhouette of an iconic campus clock tower, after a women's studies professor said it looked too much like a penis. Tufts' men's crew team was suspended from racing due to a double-entendre T-shirt the crew created that stated "check out our cox" above a picture of a silhouetted boat. ("Cox" is short for "coxswain," the person who sits in the front of a boat and directs the rowers.) Apparently, the shirt was reported through Tufts' "bias incident" reporting system, in which students can anonymously report actions, words, or pictures that "target a person or community." The dean allegedly said the picture was too phallic and promoted aggression and rape.
Even a statue of a sleepwalking man was "triggering" to college feminists--it reminded them of sexual assault, don't you know.
Sorry, Jin, but any "anger" being heaped on your protest has nothing to do with fake penises and everything to do with guns.
Second, while we're on the subject, gun violence is, indeed, a serious problem in America, but it is one shaped by race, something people like Jin studiously avoid discussing. See here. If we want to address the social pathology of gun violence, we need to look to our government's policies that decimated the inner city family, starting with the infamous "man-out-of-the-house" rule of the Aid to Families with Dependent Children program that rewarded women if the father was not living with the family. Gun violence is, indeed, a serious problem for the kind of "men" Jin describes--because of suicide, a national epidemic that strikes men far more often than women (and, perhaps because of that gender disparity, is largely ignored).
It is also absurd, and disingenuous, to conflate a tiny segment of the population that suffers from serious mental health issues and goes on rampage killings with traditional masculinity, but the usual suspects do it all the time.
You want to protest guns, great--the First Amendment gives you that right, and every right thinking person knows that gun violence is a terrible problem in this country. But don't go tearing down your opposition by turning them into knuckle dragging cretins who froth at the mouth at the thought of college women carrying dildos. As the late Daniel Patrick Moynihan said, "Everyone is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts."
You can read about #CocksnotGlocks here: