Monday, February 29, 2016

'Snow penis' outside college residence hall reported as a 'bias incident'

In Baghdad, a news report tells us ISIS killed more than 70 people in its latest bombing--just another atrocity from a group that stones innocents to death, burns them alive, crucifies and beheads them, and flings gay men off tall buildings for sport. In Northeastern Nigeria, Boko Haram, another Islamic extremist group, continues its rampage--it routinely massacres, tortures, abducts and rapes innocents. In North Korea, the nuclear ambitions of its unstable and ruthless dictator have been realized: North Korea can now strike the U.S. mainland with nuclear missiles.

But those atrocities are insignificant to someone at the University of Michigan: a Hall Director has reported a giant snow penis outside a residence hall as a "bias-incident."

You read that right. Bias-incidents, according to the Student Life Website, are “incidents that make people feel targeted because of their social identity group membership.” And what could be more offensive or triggering than a giant white penis? According to Student Life, “after a bias incident occurs, staff focus on rebuilding trust in the community, restoring relationships, repairing harm, and fostering healthy communication.”

I would need to be Shakespeare to be able to describe the stupidity at work here. The incident does remind us of the most famous "snow penis" incident on campus. Flashback to Harvard, February 11, 2003. A few male members of the Harvard crew team decided to have some fun in the snow, but they didn't want to just build a snowman. For Ivy League over-achievers, what could be more enjoyable than spending an hour with your buddies constructing a 9-foot-6-inch tall snow phallus? A crew member came up with the idea as a way for a few guys on the team to “hang out together” outside of practice. The young men did it for fun, with no motive more profound than to perform "a junior high prank."

But within hours after its erection (well, you think of a better word!), two women tore it down, and "women’s groups . . . led a chorus of complaints against the snow penis, arguing that such a display is demeaning to women."

Women’s Studies Lecturer Diane L. Rosenfeld, who taught Women, Violence and the Law, wrote that the public space where the ice sculpture was erected "should be free from menacing reminders of women’s sexual vulnerability.” (Yes, she wrote that. Wait, it gets worse.) 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. (Salon later quipped: "The Crimson makes [Rosenfeld] sound like a Lampoon parody of a feminist scholar.") Ms. Rosenfeld recently made an appearance in the film "The Hunting Ground."

Amy E. Keel, who identified herself as a feminist, was one of the students who tore down the snow penis and proudly defended her right to do so. She analogized it 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.”

Based on Ms. Keel's comments, you might think the snow penis slid across Harvard Yard in icy pursuit as she fled in terror to avoid an unspeakable wintry encounter. Talk about frigidity.

If the boys had sculpted an image mocking Christianity, any attempt to destroy it would have been widely criticized on First Amendment grounds. But, alas, apparently, the First Amendment does not protect snow penises, so down it came.

There is a strain of insanity on the campuses of our vaunted institutions of higher learning. There, the chronically aggrieved do not take offense that gay men are flung off buildings for sport or that screaming innocents are burned alive by radical terrorists. They yawn that in Pyongyang, a madman is aiming nuclear weapons at us. No, these people have decided they are oppressed by crystalline ice floating from the clouds, and they've convinced themselves that college boys' bathroom humor is a "bias" and a "menacing reminder of women’s sexual vulnerability."

We are raising a generation of nitwits.