In a statement issued in The Stanford Report today, the University announced that the Leland Stanford Junior University Marching Band (LSJUMB) will be barred from performance at any away athletic events for one year.
Catcalling at will is unacceptable not because the people who are flattered by it don’t count; it’s unacceptable because, as with anything else, consent is paramount.
On Wednesday Stanford’s campus was filled with all varieties of denim from skinny jeans to decorated vests. However, the event was more than just a fashion statement; it was an international social protest in solitude with victims of sexual violence.
Something needs to be done to correct the harmful gender relations ongoing in Greek organizations. The very fact that Greek life, by definition, is based on a system of segregation of the sexes creates an us-them mentality that allows for sexual objectification, violence, and acceptance of set gendered roles. As a result, a dismantling or, at least, integration of the Greek system may be necessary to overcome the problems in gender relations.
In effect, due to their status as a stigmatized minority, queer women have an increased susceptibility to the physical and mental consequences associated with harassment. Despite the severity of these consequences, ending the sexual harassment of queer women, especially on college campuses, remains to be prioritized.
The connection between harassment and rape culture, then, becomes a matter of the beliefs that the perpetrators of these acts share. A culture in which harassment is normal directly contributes to a culture in which rape is common and permissible; in which Title IX is a joke, not a law that prohibits unsafe accommodations and environments for women; in which domestic violence leads three women every day to be killed by an intimate partner or former partner. It is important to take these abstract notions of gender and sexuality seriously because beliefs about gender and inequality influence women’s safety.
According to a University statement made earlier today, Stanford has suspended the on-campus housing privileges of the Sigma Alpha Epsilon (SAE) fraternity for the next two academic years, effective spring quarter this year, as a result of an investigation undertaken by the University regarding sexual harassment concerns.
The statistical consensus of social science points to the overwhelming prevalence of street harassment as a gendered phenomenon that targets women disproportionately to men. This demonstrates that it is not sufficient to conclude that some men are malicious. Rather, street harassment represents a norm of a generalized, shared claim that men make to social power, and the ownership of women’s lives and sexual status.