Ross’ Rants: MRU gets its own ‘rape chant’
MRU Confessions goes too far with borderline rape paraphernalia
MRU Confessions needs to stop.
I never wanted to be the one who became the face of anti-confessions, and I tried to make that clear with my last piece. But since then, the site has gone from annoying part of my day, to a proprietor of rape culture on campus. I will no longer sit idly by and watch this page become the unwelcome face of our school.
Not content to just let those who post on the page walk (and cross) the line between being kind and being creepy, the site is now starting a new gimmick — MRU Confession Condoms.
If they were just going to hand out free condoms on campus like Health Services and the Pride Centre, it’d be helpful. Giving out condoms to university students is a great idea because they’re going to have sex anyway and they should, ideally, be protected.
However, as MRU Confessions has a habit of doing, they couldn’t just let what was a good idea in theory actually be a good idea. They have gone and plastered the condoms with the worst slogan they could have chosen.
“Anonymously Get Inside.”
Dr. Gaye Warthe, Chair of the Department of Social Work, suggested there were two ways to interpret that message, the first of which is acknowledging that the mantra does invoke a sense of rape.
“’Anonymous’ does not imply consent. Anonymous sex brings to mind unknown, or sex with a stranger, [or] date rape,” said Dr. Warthe, who is also the principal investigator of Stepping Up, a dating violence prevention program at Mount Royal.
“A second, much more generous interpretation might be casual sex, where there is less of an expectation of knowledge of the sexual partner. However, casual sex does not suggest anonymity, it requires a relationship where expectations are clear and stated,” she said.
“A condom alone cannot make anonymous sex safe.”
With the 2013-14 school year seemingly littered with sexual harassment and violence — with incidents like the rape chants at University of British Columbia and St. Mary’s University, as well as the numerous, connected sexual assaults making headlines at UBC — there is no excuse to go on pretending this is a non-issue.
While not as clear and pronounced as the rape chants at the aforementioned schools, Dr. Warthe believes that “Anonymous Get Inside” is one as well, in part because there are only male condoms and the message is clearly aimed at penetrators.
“I agree that the message is directed towards men and sexual activities where men “get inside.” To me the message implies power of one partner over the other. Again, this reinforces that the message is actually a ‘rape chant,’” she said.
With MRU hosting events like “Don’t Blame Me: Creating a Culture of Consent on Campus,” and “Project Unbreakable”, it has shown that it wants to be a progressive campus and reduce the chances of sexual assault on campus to zero per cent — as it should be.
While the administrators of the page have admitted that it isn’t the best slogan, they defended it in a comment on the photo, stating “’Anonymously Get Inside Pending Consent’ does not sound as catchy.” I’m sorry, but encouraging sexual assault isn’t fucking catchy either.
You can talk all you want about how the page gives out money prizes for tuition, and that would be really great if it wasn’t just recycled money from the students themselves. And furthurmore, how much of a profit do you think they made from their Halloween bash? To put it into perspective, they would have had enough for the tuition prizes they gave from just 75 early bird tickets. There’s no way they aren’t making money off of students.
Speaking of money, here’s the best part — they tossed out the idea of having students fund the condoms with a Kickstarter. Nothing says school spirit to me like giving money to help fund rape culture.
Sadly, there will be those that think that this is an overreaction to what some will see as a joke. To those of you who want Mount Royal to stay as a safe place, I encourage you to make your voice heard and no longer have pages, which encourage anonymously getting inside. Stop letting this site be one of the school’s biggest online presences.