Editor’s note: On Friday, the following petition was created on change.org by SMU Women’s Interest Network and SMU SPECTRUM. We reprint the full petition verbatim here for information purposes and welcome any comments to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Daily Campus at SMU has published numerous sexist and misogynistic articles so far this school year. The November 1, 2013 edition features an article called: “Women: Prevent Sexual Assaults; Drinking responsibly may reduce risk factor.” There is nothing wrong with encouraging students to drink responsibly. I think we can all agree that college students should make intelligent choices when it comes to alcohol consumption. But the author of the above mentioned article singled out women as needing to drink more responsibly. But that’s not the worst of it. The article begins: “At the beginning of the school year, SMU students noticed a large number of alleged sexual assaults on campus, but is the blame being placed in the right place? Of course the perpetrators are the ones responsible for the crimes, but to solve the problem they can’t be the only ones taking blame.” The author goes on to say, “The best way for women to prevent these assaults from happening to them is to never drink so much that they cannot control themselves or remember what happened the next day.” The entire article is nothing but victim blaming by a rape apologist. Other recent articles include “Modest Costumes Exist,” in which the author gives female students suggestions on how to not look like sluts on Halloween; and “SMU In Need of More Men,” in which another author says, “The modern women’s rights movement has put women at the forefront of every issue and left men utterly powerless.” The Daily Campus has an obligation to justice—what are the ethics of this paper? These types of articles are a slap in the face to young women on this campus who are survivors of rape, and publication of such articles discourage the reporting of sexual assaults. This is not a matter of Freedom of Speech; saying that people have their opinions and we are just posting them is blatantly unethical, erroneous, and ignorant. The focus needs to be on the implications and insinuations of such public dialogue– the dominant ideology (i.e. patriarchal misogyny) is only bolstered when such diatribes are pushed forward for public consumption. The Daily Campus at SMU must stop publishing articles contributing to rape culture and misogyny in general. We are fed up. Clearly we need all the help we can get here in Texas, so help us stop The Daily Campus from continuing to do harm.