This university needs the Women?s Caucus more than ever. Incidents attacking the self-worth of women by reducing them to little more than their component parts have become weekly occurences on the River Campus.

Signs proclaiming ?Women have been suffraging for years and it?s time to take action!? appeared on posters last week, poking fun at Women?s Caucus by advertising a fake rally to end ?women?s suffraging.? When I told some friends how angry I was that our group?s name was used on the poster, they thought I was overreacting, being a typical Women?s Caucus femi-Nazi.

I don?t believe I?m over-reacting. As publicity chair for this group, it is my job to make flyers for our events and put them up. They?re usually torn down by the next day, even if they?re advertising something like a 5K race. I assume people just see the words ?Women?s Caucus? and get the urge to destroy.

Last year, former Women?s Caucus president Brie Blumenreich wrote a letter to the CT expressing her anger at a comic that depicted women as only being valuable for the size of their breasts. She was then made fun of in a comic in the same issue in which her letter appeared and was accused of not being able to take a joke.

As a result, Women?s Caucus continues to be made fun of in the CT comics to this day.

The women of Sigma Delta Tau sorority were attacked last week in the form of hateful words and disgusting pictures painted over their work in the tunnels.

Women?s Caucus simply asks for equality for women, nothing more. SDT did not want to file a report with security because they didn?t want to cause any more trouble or bring any more attention upon themselves. Would a fraternity have felt the same if they were in a similar situation?

I really don?t have the right to make an assumption, but I think it?s fair to say that a group of men would feel more justified in reporting a wrongdoing against themselves than women, who have been taught by society that if something bad happens to them, it is their fault.

Women?s Caucus wants to help women to believe the opposite, that it?s okay to stand up for something they believe in.

Last Friday, Wilson Commons and Susan B. Anthony Hall were plastered with pictures of naked women masturbating with vegetables. The posters, meant to be a joke in reference to Danforth, served only to perpetuate the idea that it?s okay to objectify women and treat their bodies as pieces of meat.

When I saw those posters, I felt personally degraded. I have a lot of self-confidence ? imagine the impact of these posters on women, who are convinced by society through incidents such as these, that their only purpose in this world is to be a source of pleasure for men.

This crosses way over the line of being an innocent joke ? whoever did these things displays an incredible hatred against women.

To repeat an idea that?s been appearing in the CT all too often, this is supposed to be a prestigious university where we?re all receiving an education that will teach us to be accepting and open-minded. Unfortunately, it appears to be populated more by stupidity and apathy than intelligence and compassion.

The message I got from these events is that some people at this university think of women as second-class citizens. They give the impression that it?s okay to deface the tunnel when the work is done by a group of women, especially a sorority. This act belittled their display of pride in their organization, only leaving the reminder of the awful stereotype that sorority women are shallow and promiscuous.

These examples of violence against women, no matter how innocent and mild they seem, are the reason why Women?s Caucus continues to exist.

Feminists are not man-haters who think the male population should only be used for reproductive purposes. Feminism is simply the advocacy of political, economic and social equality for women, and Women?s Caucus seeks to promote this ideal through education, which includes such activities as putting up flyers and writing letters to the CT.

Maybe students at UR aren?t capable of handling confident women who are not willing to sit by idly as they are harassed and their rights are trampled.

Burt is a sophomore and the publicity chair for Women?s Caucus

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