Op-Ed from Human Rights Society Intern, Robbie Waddell: “Halloween Prop Causes Controversy at University”

Written by Human Rights Society’s own staff intern, Robbie Waddell, on November 20, 2013_
“In the past week, the University I attend has been getting some attention in the media. Unfortunately, it is not about it’s beautiful campus or great education. For Halloween this year, a fraternity decided to make a prop outside of their house that resembled a black cage with hanging chains and a stripper pole in the middle of it. On the cage were the words “Bad Bitches Only” painted in red. It is late november and this week the fraternity had destroyed it after a few students from the University were offended. Word traveled fast as a student wrote about it in her blog and the media then picked up the story. The student discussed how the cage resembled the environment found in sex trafficking, a form of human trafficking. As someone who is very passionate at fighting human trafficking: this is what i want to say about this controversy.

I do not believe they had the intention to make a cage for university female students to pretend to be sex slaves, but I think there is a point to make in all of this. Even though this cage was made for fun, it shows how men look at women in our society. The sad truth is, it is too easy for men to look at women as objects. With a sign on a box that read “Bad Bitches Only” and a stripper pole right in the middle, the cage is saying “Girls, perform for me. Entertain me. Pleasure me.” Now I am not going to blame the Greek system for this problem, but I am going to blame the Fraternity for allowing this cage to happen. There was not one guy who stood against it. We need to empower men to treat women as humans rather than an object who brings pleasure. Men need to learn to love women with their hearts and not with what is between their legs. We cannot just put the blame on this frat, but we also need to identify this as a men’s problem. I also know I am now generalizing all men. I don’t want to accuse all men of this, but I think all males can agree with me that society has caused us to be tempted with lust. And lust is not just a temptation men deal with, women also struggle with it. I will admit that I too have experienced this temptation and need to keep myself accountable.  Society makes it too easy, giving us access to lust over women and look at them as objects. That is why I have asked friends to keep myself accountable and been asked to keep other accountable.

From a blog post I wrote in June of 2012, I wrote “In our society today, men easily have access to  strip clubs and pornography. With this easy access, men can feel more powerful than ever. A fear of mine is the challenge men have to altering their thoughts of what is an object and what is subject. Going to strip-clubs and watching materialistic women on one’s computer screens are the times when men see women as objects. These are the times where they use the woman for their own pleasure. The fear that I have is whether men are able to understand the difference between the women on the computer screen to the woman that the man is actually in bed with, sharing an act that depends on vulnerability. At the same time, both the computer screen and the lover get the job done for the male. You see, porn revenue is larger than the revenues of all professional baseball, basketball and football franchises combined. It is about the pleasure not the emotional intimacy.” Pornography has told us men that objectifying women is okay and normal. Men, don’t believe in that lie. Men, what if you found your daughter on that screen? Would you allow other men to objectify her?

As a man, I am sticking strong to my beliefs and telling you men to stop creating scenarios for women to be objectify. Stop looking at porn to objectify women. Stop letting society tell you what makes a women beautiful and pleasurable. Be accountable to yourself. Ask a buddy to keep yourself accountable. Be an accountability buddy for someone else.

Stand up for your mothers, your friends, your future daughters. Stand up to other men who are ignorant. As men, we struggle with not wanting to be judged from other men because we are against a norm our society has created. Be Bold. Be Courageous. Be an actual man and love the women that God has created, for the women they are inside and out.

And to the ladies who do not see this cage as a big problem. Don’t let society lower the standard for yourself and other women. It isn’t necessary for you to dance in a cage that reads “Bad Bitches Only” to catch our attention. You are not a bad bitch. Do not cut yourself short. You are great and better than the sexist society says you are. Be above the standard. Be the best that I know you can be.”

For the original article, please click here.

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