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Response to “Only Connect…” article (part 2)

Posted by: Liz Duff | May 5, 2010 | No Comment |

This article also made me wonder if the goals a liberal institution has can be inhibited or prevented entirely because of the culture outside of the school. For example, Dickinson. There are many aspects to Dickinson that are very open and accepting, but there are also tributes to it that are intensely homophobic, racist, and closed-minded. Now, it is possible that these deficiencies in social progress are caused by the oh-so-conservative town of Carlisle where it is not unusual to see a license plate depicting the Confederate flag, but there are many traits that were born and nurtured on campus that lie at the heart of Dickinson culture, ie. fraternities, sororities, and Mr. Dickinson. Many argue that there is nothing wrong with fraternities and sororities, and that Mr. Dickinson is just a way to have fun and get the student body engaged. My issue with this sentiment is that each of these enforce a gender normative environment as well as a divide between men and women on this campus. Next time you have dinner in the caf, assuming you eat in the caf, take a look at the tables of people. There are very few tables for an organized group that have men and women sitting together. I can only name two; the track/cross country table, and the Frisbee table, everyone else is pretty cleanly divided by their sex. Mr. Dickinson is viewed, by the administration, professors and the student body, as a “tradition”, but the fact that it portrays women quite clearly as sex objects is overlooked. Another Dickinson College “Tradition” is Red-Zoning. For those of you who don’t know, Red-Zoning is essentially where a senior sleeps with a freshman at one point during the academic year. The administration as well as much of the student body, brushes it off as “silly college stuff”, and ignores it, but the basic idea of Red-Zoning is disgusting. A part of the Red-Zoning process is during the first month of school where a number of upper classmen guys position themselves on Briton Plaza and rate the “fuck-ability” of the incoming freshman women. The concept of this alone should be disgusting to any human being who respects themselves or anyone else. The way that the men on this campus treat the women on this campus is revolting. There have been 23 reported sexual assaults at Dickinson this year. (This fact comes from Stephanie Gilmore’s research.) 23. That is insane. And it’s not the townies who are doing it. No, it’s the young American men who are receiving a “liberal” education. Where’s the disconnect?

under: Liz, Reflexiones

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