Human Rights Letters to the Editor

Letter to the Editor: F*ckrapeculture clears up ‘Blurred Lines’ controversy

This article was written by Claire Chadwick. The Ohio University Student Union meets Thursdays at 8pm in Baker 237.

Allie Erwin and I started f*ckrapeculture a few weeks ago when we realized how utterly disappointed we are by the culture we live in. We decided that we could either sit around and complain about the status quo without actually doing anything, or we could take this incredible opportunity to impact the lives of Ohio University students. While some reporters were completely misrepresenting Allie Erwin, co-founder of f*ckrapeculture, others were downright misquoting her. Hopefully this column can clear a few things up.

Our intention with “Blurred Lines” was never censorship. We had no idea that Lombardi would tell Dr. Suk that the Marching 110 couldn’t play it at their show. The letters written to Dr. Suk and the 110 by students and faculty were meant to convey disappointment in the choice of song, not to demand that they pull it. What we wanted to do was spark a discussion, and with that, our efforts were successful. We wanted Dr. Suk to reflect on why a song like “Blurred Lines” was appropriate to play at a university event. We wanted people to question why our culture allows songs with such a clear message of non consensual sex to make it to the top 40, and to consider why music with this message is being produced in the first place.

Our goals with “Blurred Lines” were such a small aspect of our organization, and the media attention we received from that took away the attention from other positive things we’ve accomplished. Our methods might be radical, but our demands are moderate: We want mandatory consent education for athletics, Greek life, and freshman; sexual harassment training for student workers; and a guarantee from the university administration that victims of sexual assault won’t be charged for underage drinking.

Most students agree that these are reasonable demands. However, there have been critics who have accused us of targeting Greek life and athletics.

We aren’t saying that all athletes and members of Greek organizations are rapists. But we are saying that with their high status on campus, they hold a responsibility to do what they can to keep this campus safe. And instead of adopting an accusatory stance, we think they should be willing to take their status seriously by working to prevent sexual assault from happening within their jurisdictions.

F*ckrapeculture has already made some great changes. Allie has worked with the Chief of the Ohio University Police Department to redraft crime alert language in order to avoid victim blaming. Student Senate attended a panel on sexism and slut shaming. Senate now requires Safezone Training for members, and within the next week, CSSR will be releasing a public statement of an amnesty policy for underage victims of assault who were drinking.

We still have a long way to go, but f*ckrapeculture will be leaving a lasting impression on Ohio University. If you would like to join our cause, we’ll be having a march and rally to f*ck rape culture on Friday, Oct. 11 at 4pm, beginning at the bottom of Jeff Hill.

The name of our organization and the statements that we’ve made are loud. But it’s because we need to be heard.

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