College is supposed to be a time where young people can expand their horizons, discover new interests, and learn more about themselves in the process. In many instances, that's the case: but we can't deny that college campuses also have some big problems on their hands, especially when it comes to the treatment of women and the culture surrounding sex. Now, signs displayed at Old Dominion University are coming under fire for promoting "rape culture," and it's about time that people stop tolerating this kind of sexist BS.
A house on ODU's campus in Norfolk, Virginia, displayed a few signs "welcoming" the women of the freshman class. The crude, sexually charged messages, which appeared on a student private residence, included things like "Rowdy and fun, hope your baby girl is ready for a good time!" Clearly the "educated" students in this house thought they were being hilarious, which is just proof that they need a lot more schooling.
It's incredibly disappointing (though not surprising) that these signs exist, considering that college campuses have a huge problem with sexual assault. According to recent statistics, one in five women will experience it during their years at school. Nine out of 10 of those women will know their attacker. That's why these signs are so dangerous: they are not-so-subtly suggesting that women can be used by men for sex.
There is some good news about these signs, and that's the fact that the school is not tolerating them. The President of ODU, John R. Broderick, gave a statement to the press about how he was "outraged" and "offended" by the signs, and that while the school is making efforts to educate students about sexual assault and harassment, he is disappointed that not everyone is getting the message. He stated that the school will continue their efforts to combat assault with full force and added that he will review the incident at the house and punish any student found to violate the code of conduct.
Society shouldn't tolerate anything that makes any person feel unwelcome or unsafe, especially in a place of education. We should all be outraged by these signs: they're not jokes, they're threats.
UPDATE: The house in question was one associated with the Sigma Nu fraternity of ODU. According to the ODU Facebook page, the fraternity's national board has since suspended ODU's Eta Chi chapter for their actions.
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