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Where does Eleanor Carnivore do Gender Studies? The Australian home of inter-collegiate rape, of course!

‘They can’t say no with a c–k in their mouth” read the hand-drawn graffiti in the Salisbury Bar, part of St Paul’s residential college on the University of Sydney campus.

It has since been painted over, but the sentiment remains.

”Any hole is a goal” stated other graffiti. ”Free entry” yet more announced, accompanied by an arrow pointing to a sketch of a vagina.

Seriously. This is my university. The university that thinks it’s funny to publish columns in its student pubications advising college men how they can marry a student at Women’s College. The university where I avoid events, balls, parties, and pissups like the plague because everyone knows they exist solely so that idiotic imitation frat boys can drag off a drunken college woman and rape her. The university where homophobic insults get daubed over queer-positive messages in the legal Graffiti Tunnel. This is where I do Gender Studies.

Dear students,

 

Many of you will have seen the articles in today’s Sydney Morning Herald relating to behaviour in our residential colleges.

 

I want to assure everyone in our University and the wider community that I regard the issues raised in these articles with the utmost seriousness.

 

I am appalled by the reported behaviour and apparent attitudes of some students. There can be no excuses for sexual assault. Binge drinking is at odds with our commitment to rational behaviour.

 

There should be no additional protection of any kind for students who break the law. They must be accountable for their actions and should be treated just like every other member of the community. Indeed, being a student of the University arguably carries with it an additional obligation to uphold its values.

 

The University and the residential colleges have been working hard to bring about a change in attitudes and behaviour. Obviously we still have much to do.

 

Dr Michael Spence

Vice-Chancellor and Principal

The University of Sydney

Yeah, Spence, you have a lot to do. Get on it. How about some rape prevention programs for the men at college? How about you try to stop rapes from happening to drunk first-years at intercollegiate pissups? How about no more naked runs through Women’s College, how about some more security, how about you try to make sure Paul’s boys turn out to be decent human beings instead of another round of fascist rapist investment banker anti-citizens? How about you  end the Old Boys mentality at the colleges, tear them down, and make them free, entry based on academic potential, proximity to the university, and socioeconomic disadvantage?

While we’re on shit you need to do, how about you build some decent low-cost housing for international students and poor students, how about you get international students their fucking travel concession? How about you lobby as hard as you possibly can to make university free and Youth Allowance enough to live on, so that all universities stop being strongholds of unit production for the kyriarchy and start producing some real goddamn people?

I am so disgusted and scared, I can barely speak.

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I’ve been in an imposed non-blogging period, mostly because I can’t find an internet plan costing less than $4860986094 per month and I’m not willing to mortgage my sister to pay for my blog. Consider this a brief reprieve from the drought, motivated mainly by disgust.

This is a short summary of an article that appeared in the SMH’s weekend life and style supplement, the core message of which was that married men with higher libidos than their wives should be allowed to have sex with them whenever the fancy strikes.

A woman, 54, from Hobart spent the first 10 years of her marriage fighting about sex, always nervous about an unwanted advance. “He’d be snoring loudly and I’d still lie there worrying that the hand was going to come creeping over.”

This is the “issue”: women in heterosexual marriages being undesiring of sex with their husbands. This poor woman, who lived in acute and daily fear of rape, is characterised as being in possession of a Serious Fucking Problem, a “low libido”. I just, for the life of me, cannot understand how someone’s brain could read her experiences and immediately peg her as the problem. What about her disgusting rapist husband? That’s her Serious Fucking Problem.

I can’t even do the rest of the piece justice, it contains so many violently misogynist tropes. It presents women as the deviant, their bodies as commodities and possessions, strips them of bodily sovereignty, ignores their sexual pleasure, ignores non-het relationships, justifies extreme male privilege, advocates rape. It’s like someone presented the author (who is a woman) with a lucky dip of woman-hating and she decided to steal the entire bag and run for the hills.

All of this illustrates, I suppose, that the Herald is less a daily broadsheet and more a dissemination tool for sick social hygiene messages from 1952. Yay.

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