Disturbing Campus Tale

I heard a story over the weekend that I haven’t been able to get out of my mind and I would like to hear others’ thoughts because it relates to a lot of issues we’ve been discussing in class.  A freshman girl told me about her experience at a campus party– it was a Wednesday and her and her two other friends were out, having fun, and had consumed alcohol.  A song came on that I believe had a dance to go along with it that involved some sort of twerking or “risque” dance moves. The girls got on the counter (a typical situation at campus parties), started dancing.  The guys surrounding them were heard saying “dirty” things about the girls…and one proceeded to throw singles at the girls as if they were strippers.  This disturbs me beyond belief.  Not only is this creepy, but what was the goal in that action? Was it supposed to be funny to treat these first year students like strippers? Was he making a point or a judgement, positive or negative, about their dancing? Regardless of the “why” here, I’ve been sick to my stomach about the whole thing and what it says about our campus’ (and general society’s) culture. 

Women are shown dancing in the ways I can only assume these girls were dancing in the media, and women are often expected to dance like this to get attention at parties.  But when they do, they’re treated like entertainment, not human beings.  I would like to open up a discussion, if possible, on how to change this cycle we’ve gotten ourselves into.  How can women get noticed by others in these situations? How can we change the patriarchal/ dominating ideology around dancing and parties?

On that note, at the most recent CSMART meeting, someone brought up that “grinding” promotes a lack of consent, and therefore rape culture, because men often do not ask women to dance, but simply grab their hips and get going.  This could be something to consider when discussing the issues above. I would love to hear people’s thoughts and reactions.


2 thoughts on “Disturbing Campus Tale

  1. I actually ended up thinking about this post quite a bit over fall break. I went clubbing with some friends in Columbus, and I was struck by how much my friends and I actually *heard* people asking for consent–before grinding, or other physical contact–especially in comparison to Denison’s campus. We were all bothered by the fact that a campus environment, where education is readily available, would be less conducive to consent than an all-access party in the city.

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