Some Ridiculous Sexism and Racism in Pennsylvania Universities
Published On December 5, 2012 » By Victoria Martin » Breaking News, Opinion

Occasionally while browsing the news, I find an article which is so ridiculous that I assume it’s from The Onion, or taken verbatim from a Colbert Report diatribe. A few web searches on the headline later, and I’m typically left shaking my head, still holding out on the slight glimmer of hope that it’s all a misunderstanding, and that no one would really ever find it acceptable to publish an article about the swamp creature-like horror of their girlfriend’s menstrual cycle, or dress up as racist caricatures of Hispanic men and post pictures of themselves on Facebook. But, alas, both of these events really did happen at Pennsylvania universities this week.

Temple University newspaper romance columnist John Corrigan penned what is sure to be a Pulitzer Prize winning article—as well as a solid recommendation to any future employer who Googles his name—on the delicate nature of the female menstrual cycle. Corrigan lovingly describes his girlfriend as waking him with a “lion’s roar,” and demanding 7-Eleven jalapeno taquitos, and sexual satisfaction longer than “a quickie.” The horror!

Although any man can sympathize with the crotch shots suffered on every episode of America’s Funniest Home Videos, imagine Sandshrew digging in your nether regions like the mini game in Pokemon Stadium.

Ouch. I’ll give you a moment to recover from that mental image.

The article then goes on to lament the plight of women everywhere, claiming that “Maybe Chaz Bono had the right idea,” because, obviously the only reason someone born biologically female would elect for gender reassignment surgery would be to escape the horror of their period. Uh huh.

While I don’t think Corrigan meant to touch on anything more than some “bro-humor” with his article, it’s an indication of how acceptable sexism still is within our society. Men are urged to duck and cover when their lady friend’s fragile emotional state utterly shatters with the addition of some extra hormones, and the thought of—gasp—actually spending some time watching a movie with their girlfriend is treated as some kind of Herculean sacrifice.

If you’d like to read his advice in full, it’s up on Temple-News, with a comment section that’s sure to provide you with at least a few minutes of entertainment.

In another prime example of how to utilize the internet to make sure you are never hired, Penn State University’s Chi Omega sorority chapter is facing public backlash after a picture from their “Fiesta” themed sorority social was posted on Facebook, with several members tagged. The picture in question is of multiple members of the sorority, dressed in sombrero hats and ponchos, with two members in the front of the group holding cardboard signs reading, “Will mow lawn for weed+beer,” and “I don’t cut grass I smoke it.” Penn State has not confirmed if the sorority will be facing any penalties for their actions.

The President of the Penn State chapter of Chi Omega gave a statement to the campus newspaper, The Daily Collegian, saying, “Our chapter of Chi Omega sincerely apologizes for portraying inappropriate and untrue stereotypes. The picture in question does not support any of Chi Omega’s values or reflect what the organization aspires to be.”

I find it rather disheartening that there is a need to clarify that Chi Omega’s values do not include racism. Once again, the fact that this sort of action can be justified as “humorous” says a lot about what we as a society find acceptable.

There’s no place in our communities for sexist and racist attitudes. Just because something looks like it might be funny at first glance doesn’t mean it really is. When prejudiced behavior is dismissed as humor, it becomes easier and easier for people to think that it’s acceptable. But, the truth is, it’s not okay to post yourself ranting about “women—am I right?”, or posting pictures on the internet claiming that Hispanics all smoke weed.

It sounds obvious, doesn’t it? Apparently, for some, it’s not.

About The Author

Victoria Martin is a senior Public Health major at West Chester University of Pennsylvania. She is originally from Shippensburg, PA in Cumberland County. Victoria aspires to work in LGBT health upon graduation.
She can be reached at vmartin@pennsec.org.

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