Cocks not Glocks: University of Texas students to open cary dildos in response to new “campus carry” gun law

dildobag2

In June, Texas Governor Greg Abbott signed into law Senate Bill 11. The legislation, commonly referred to as the “campus carry law,” will give licensed firearms owners the right to carry concealed handguns in most public university buildings within the state beginning in August 2016. While the legislation does apparently give university presidents some flexibility in designating buildings that can remain gun-free (like administrative buildings, no doubt), the result will undoubtedly be more guns on Texas campuses, and many, as you might imagine, aren’t happy. The following comes from the San Antonio Express-News.

…At two public forums held in the last month, dozens of UT-Austin students, faculty and staff spoke against the law, urging President Greg Fenves to severely limit campus carry at the flagship. Last week, a professor emeritus in the school’s economic department announced he would be giving up teaching over concerns about his personal safety…

And protests are being planned. The most interesting one I’ve read about thus far is an open carry dildo protest scheduled to coincide with the campus carry law going into effect at UT Austin. “You’re carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I’m carrying a HUGE DILDO,” event organizer Jessica Jin proclaimed on Facebook. “Just about as effective at protecting us from sociopathic shooters,” she went on to say, “but much safer for recreational play.” And, as of right now, 1,800 people say they intend to join her with their dildos… Here’s Jin’s explanation of the event.

cocksnotglocks

As far as I know, Jin hasn’t asked for people around the country to show their support by doing the same, but I think it would be pretty awesome if students at EMU and UM followed suit. While we might not yet have legislation on the books in Michigan to allow guns in our university buildings, you can be sure that it’s coming. And I think a proactive dong-out might be just thing we need to raise awareness and start building a real opposition movement here.

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20 Comments

  1. Anonymous
    Posted October 11, 2015 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    One hopes that an upstanding citizen with a CPL doesn’t perceive a dildo as a threat and shoot the person brandishing it.

  2. Jean Henry
    Posted October 11, 2015 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

    Oh Christ… Really? There is no rule that I’m aware of at either EMU or UM that prohibits possession of a sex toy. There are rules (upheld by the state courts) prohibiting open carry. So co-eds packing dildos would serve what purpose? It would be ‘awesome,’ why? Because men would like to see women brandishing sex toys for free? The sexual politics of this site are really fucked up.

  3. Jean Henry
    Posted October 11, 2015 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

    I was wrong about U-M’s policy being held up in State courts. (Apologies) It had never been challenged until last month. AAPS restriction on open carry has been held up in the regional court and is on appeal. The plaintiff in each case was the same man, Joshua Wade.

  4. Posted October 11, 2015 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

    Sex makes some people uncomfortable. And, quite often, it’s those same people who are pro open carry. And, yes, I think it’s clever that, at UT, people will be carrying dongs around with them at the same time that their classmates will be bringing weapons into classrooms. I think it’s an interesting way to bring attention to the subject.

    And, when I said I liked the idea, it had nothing to do with a desire on my part to “see women brandishing sex toys for free.” The way I’d envisioned it, both men and women would be doing the brandishing. As for “the sexual politics of this site” being “really fucked up,” I’m not sure what you mean. I thought this woman had a great idea and I shared it here. I did not insult her. I did not say her idea was “slutty.” I did not say, “How dare these people have dildos.” I said that it was a good idea and encouraged others to show their support. I’m sorry if that wasn’t clear.

  5. Meta
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    Jin is claiming there have been death threats made against her.

    The following interview is from the Houston Chronicle.

    Q: How did you think this all up?

    A: I was sitting in traffic yesterday listening to a discussion on public radio about the morning’s school shootings. I felt a lot of frustration at those who were still trying to explain-away, or make excuses for this repeated pattern of violence and said to myself, “Man, these people are such dildos.”

    I couldn’t believe that people could still sit there and defend their own personal gun ownership while watching families mourn the loss of their children. The dildo concept began as a reaction in jest to this week’s shooting events. One joke led to another, and I did a little research on the rules surrounding dildos in classrooms. When I discovered that it is indeed against UT policy to wave dildos around campus, I just couldn’t help myself.

    Q: What feedback have you gotten so far on your proposed protest? Has there been any backlash?

    A: You know how internet comments can be.

    It has been absolutely fascinating that some folks seemingly feel threatened or angered at the thought of people carrying dildos around with them. They’re incredibly offended! So much outrage! They’re calling for my head.

    People want me dead for a dildo.

    It’s the type of reaction that we could only hope to see from them when they hear of a child being gunned down in a classroom. It’s a little scary and absurd, but it still sounds like progress to me.

    Otherwise, most people are super supportive. I think it has caught on quickly because it resonates with them in a multitude of ways. The gun puns and the humor have been remarkable, but this satirical employment of dildos has also sparked more serious conversations on topics like the perception of safety, the intersection of guns and sexuality, and even campus sexual assault. Others are simply seeing it as quite a literal f*** you to the people and forces that led us into this divisive nationwide deadlock in the first place. There’s a lot of arguing going on, but the consensus is: we’re all just trying to not get killed.

    Q: Why dildos of all things?

    A: Firstly, it is just plain funny. A campus bobbing with dildos is the stuff of every prankster’s dreams. It’s also self aware. We’re all a bunch of dildos for allowing this debate to go on for so long.

    Read more:
    http://m.chron.com/local/education/campus-chronicles/article/campus-carry-ut-austin-dildo-Q-A-texas-6564913.php

  6. Jean Henry
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I fully support the action in Texas. It’s a clever turn around. It just makes no sense here where neither of those rules exist. So I question– as a woman with a few miles under her belt– what the appeal is of suggesting that here. I can not speak to your intent. I can speak to how it appears, and what I suspect the appeal of this action is to so many. This was an idea executed by a clever woman to address a specific policy incongruity. For a man to suggest the same action gives it a different tone. The images on the internet were of a young thin woman with long blonde hair carrying a pink dildo in her back pack…. No face, just a fetishized body type and a sex toy. (To your credit you didnt use this image)While it would be cool if men, especially straight men, also walked around with sex toys, that is unlikely to happen. It’s just naive to suggest so. Please feel free to start the action yourself…
    As for the sexual politics of this site, it just seems a bit juvenile at times– tittering about sex and judgmental of sex workers. All of which just feels like boys giggling in middle school sex ed class while judging girls with any open sexuality. This is in no way uncommon. My comment was a response to this and the Deja Vu mentions in the post just prior in combination. Asking radio guests and readers to imagine women in various states of sexualized costumery is not really ok if you want women to be welcome and full voiced in this space– which I believe you do. Most women are very familiar with this kind of scenario playing out among grown men– especially online– and just shrug it off. I just expect more of this site– which may be unreasonable and (horrors) no fun. It’s hard being an ally and I would not suggest trying unless one is willing to self-examine. I’m quite fond of innuendo myself. I have no problem with nudity. Everything is context though. Agency is crucial to women as a means of navigating the male gaze, which is really just the societal gaze at this point. It’s not entirely reasonable for me to expect men to understand the perspective of women inhabiting our gender in this culture. But I keep trying.

  7. Jean Henry
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

    I also question your assertion that open carry advocates would necessarily be prudish. I grew up in a town full of conservative gun advocates. Granted, it was still the sexual hey day of the late 70’s early 80’s, but they were anything but prudish. That assumption could be made about Christian fundamentalists, but open carry advocates are mostly just rural working class whites. I’d wager a bet that they buy sex toys at the same rate as liberal well educated members of the upper class. Educated people can be pretty uptight. My experience has been that there isn’t as much difference between liberals and conservatives as most people think.

  8. Lynne
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    I think that the dildo idea is really appropriate because it addresses the toxic masculinity that is so common among those who feel a need to carry guns in public places. The gun is a substitute for the penis and all of that. I don’t see it as something degrading to *women* except for the implication that women who carry guns do so out of a desire to grab power that our culture has usually reserved for men. When you consider the context of a university rule which bans the public display of dildos while allowing guns to be carried, carrying a bunch of dildos also serves to highlight how often rules which prohibit sexual behavior, and especially the sexual behavior of women, are total BS when one compares them to the rules which are permissive about guns.

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 12:44 pm | Permalink

    I agree Lynne. And I never suggested in any way that carrying a sex toy is degrading to women. I suggested that many men will view it that way while also sexualizing it. I’m totally cool with women using the male gaze to draw attention to a cause– or even just themselves. I’m not as cool with men suggesting women do the same. I don’t see the value of the action at UM or EMU absent laws allowing open carry or prohibiting display of sex toys. I would welcome men to start the action in our cities, where open carry is allowed. I think it would be ‘awesome’ to see a lot of men wandering around with pink dildos displayed.

  10. Peter Larson
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    “I also question your assertion that open carry advocates would necessarily be prudish.”

    I agree that this is odd. I have never observed this, and I know quite a few open carry advocates.

  11. Peter Larson
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    ” The gun is a substitute for the penis and all of that. ”

    There are many female gun enthusiasts. My mother carried a gun.

  12. Brainless
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

    Things I learned today:

    1) Some folks are just plain old boring and that any serious solution must be either discussed or scowled to death, I guess.

    2) Peter Larson’s mommy = statistics.

  13. Lynne
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    Re: “There are many female gun enthusiasts. My mother carried a gun.”

    Yes. I would say that the penis is often a symbol for the kind of power traditionally reserved for men in our society and that guns similarly are a symbol of the kind of power traditionally reserved for men in our society. The phallic shape of the gun further allows one to make the connection. That some women might see owning a gun as a way to claim some of that power isn’t surprising at all.

    Luckily it is a false sense of power. I mean, obviously guns are powerful and those who have them have the power to kill easily and that isn’t a false sense of power. But the male power that the guns symbolize is just not nearly as strong as it once was and it is shrinking all of the time. When women are as powerful as men are, I expect that the gun will become less of a symbol of male power. I also expect that we will be able to have a reasonable discussion about gun regulations at that time. Currently, the reaction to even modest proposals such as mandated insurance are met with “you want to castrate me” style protests!

    Also, while some may be into guns because the guns make them feel more powerful, it is also true that some people just like guns. I can understand that too. Guns are fun! I even believe that we can have gun laws which allow people to keep their guns while also keeping the rest of us much safer. We need to allow the CDC to approach the whole gun thing in much the same way they approach other issues that affect public health. They need to be able to research the problem which means that we need to repeal the NRA backed legislation which prevents them from doing it. Then we need to take the evidence they gather and use it to craft meaningful gun restrictions. At the very least, we need to capture some of the externalities that guns present in our society and that is something we can do right now without waiting for the CDC to do their research.

  14. Posted October 12, 2015 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

    Where to begin?

    First, I guess I should say that I appreciate your letting me know how this post made you feel, Jean. I wouldn’t have guessed that anyone would take offense, and it’s good for me to be reminded on occasion that things can be seen and taken in ways that I didn’t intend for them to be. So thanks for initiating this conversation instead of just stewing about it. And I mean that sincerely.

    In this instance, I saw a woman in Texas who was addressing a real problem in an interesting way… a way that both got people involved, and got press. I thought it was an awesome idea, and I said so. I have posted similar things in the past about Satanists challenging the presence of Ten Commandments monuments in their state houses by offering their own religious statues, and the Yes Men, who are always looking for ways to playfully take on their corporate adversaries. I like when people use creativity to go up against better funded, more powerful adversaries. And this was one of those cases.

    At first, I got the impression that you were upset that I mentioned the protest at all. (I got the impression that you felt I just mentioned it because I wanted to see women with dildos, which wasn’t the case at all.) Now, however, it seems as though you’re upset by just the last few sentences, where I suggested that people in Michigan, and around the country, should find a way to join in, support her campaign, and leverage the positive momentum she’s already gotten. And you raise a great point. Part of what makes the campaign so powerful in Texas is the fact that you can’t brandish a sex toy in public, whereas here you apparently can. I wasn’t aware of that when I wrote the post, and, you’re right, it would make a protest here somewhat less effective. I still think, however, that this is a conversation worth having. As someone who spends a great deal of his life on a college campus, this is of huge importance to me, and I’d welcome any idea out there to bring the subject up in a creative way, as I do suspect we’ll eventually see similar legislation here in Michigan that would make it legal to carry guns on campus. If that’s dildos, so be it.

    My sense is that you, at least at the outset, were upset with me because you felt I was just sharing this because it was titillating. I was not. I wasn’t trying to be salacious, and I think, if you look at the post again, you’ll see that. The image I used was from Jin’s Facebook post. In fact, I cropped it, so you could see less of the woman. My interest in this has nothing to do with seeing women carry dildos. As I said before, it could just as easily be men. Or maybe it could even be a poster campaign. It doesn’t matter to me. I’m just thinking about creative ways to address the proliferation of weapons in society, and I think this idea of Jin’s as one worth pursuing.

    As for your comments about “the sexual politics of this site,” I’m not sure how to respond. I don’t doubt you when you say that you’ve heard or seen evidence of my “tittering about sex and (being) judgmental of sex workers.” Without knowing what you’re referring to specifically, I can’t really respond other than to say that I’m sure, in the interest of humor, I may occasionally approach a line that shouldn’t be crossed. And, if I got too close, and caused you to doubt my dedication to the objectives of feminism, I’m sorry.

  15. Peter Larson
    Posted October 12, 2015 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Violence and control are definitely not exclusively male traits, nor are forgiveness, restraint and tolerance in any way exclusively feminine traits.

    I’ve seen many a mother savagely beat their children just as I’ve seen many a father treat their children with compassion and understanding.

    Guns have nothing to do with gender, and everything to do with human violence. Even if fewer women carry guns than men, the reality is that a lot of women out there don’t complain when their male partners carry them. In exactly zero of the gun owning households I’ve been in has there been any indication at all that the female spouse had any problem at all with them.

    If this sounds sexist, it is not. Humans are good at killing one another, either by themselves or by proxy.

  16. Demetrius
    Posted October 13, 2015 at 5:15 am | Permalink

    I don’t think the problem is guns or gun ownership, but rather, a small minority of (mostly men) who see the 2nd Amendment as more important that the rest of the Constitution …. and who are seeming to festishize the possession and display of guns … until every elementary-school pageant and PTA meeting becomes just another opportunity for people to “pack heat,” while looking warily at each other.

    I don’t think the “pink dildo” movement was intended to be about patriarchy or the “male gaze” at all … but rather, a way to point out the “fetish” that seems to be the main point of so many “gun rights” advocates.

    Most people (including me) believe that Americans have a right to own and possess guns. Many of these same people (including me) believe that many so-called gun advocates (fueled by propaganda from the NRA, and profitable gun manufacturers) display an unhealthy obsession with this topic … a “fetish,” if you will.

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted October 13, 2015 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Thank you Mark for reading closely. Much appreciated. I do not question your dedication to feminism. If I did, I wouldn’t have bothered replying. Like I said, I hold this site to a higher and perhaps unfair standard. I do not think feminism implies a fixed set of positions. I’m really not interested in any political position that degrades human body parts and compares them to weapons, personally, but many feminists use that rhetoric all the time. Women will use sexual provocation (or any other kind of taboo breaking) to draw attention to political issues. Because it works and the issues are important to them. That creates tricky territory for men. Again, if men in Ypsi would like to copy cat this protest, open carry is legal on the streets of Ypsi, but not on campuses. Please feel free to start packing the dildo heat.
    Any references I made to the ‘male gaze’/societal gaze on women was not meant to dissect the Texas protest itself, but the approach of this site to the protest and how that may feel to some women. Not all women. If you are a woman and live your whole life navigating between gendered expectations and reality, it matters. If you don’t live with it, it sounds silly and over-wrought. It is exhausting to think about… not a pleasure for sure.
    Women love guns. And not as substitute penises. They are fun and they offer them protection or even just the sense of protection. People underserved by the police in the country, meaning communities of color and women (especially those under threat from domestic violence) are the fastest growing demographic of new gun owners. I very much support increased regulation of gun ownership (the bar is very very low). I worry that those regulations might end up most negatively impacting people already marginalized. In my experience, that happens a lot with new government regulations.
    One of my grandmother’s dying wishes was to get back out to the ranch and shoot some ducks. She had to put her feet up on the dash of the pick-up to steady herself on the back roads and hauled an oxygen tank behind her, but she shot that gun one more time. I don’t think it was a display of penis envy…
    Focus on open carry advocates and the extreme gun nuts and the rhetoric used degrades the vast majority of Americans– gun owners or not– who are in the middle somewhere. It’s a losing angle for advocates of meaningful and effective gun reform. Also I’m not sure why fetish is considered a bad thing:)

  18. Lynne
    Posted October 13, 2015 at 12:59 pm | Permalink

    Peter, I dont think that women are incapable of violence nor do I think that women can’t like guns for any of the reasons you put forth. Not every gun owner chooses to have a gun for the same reasons. It isn’t sexist to point out that women are capable of violence or that men are capable of being peaceful (most men I know are peaceful, loving, forgiving, people) but it also isnt sexist to point out that men are more likely to hurt others and to be violent than women are in our current culture.

    The gun argument in the USA is very closely related to gender and privilege. Also political leaning. And just so we are clear, even though guns are becoming a polarized political issue, I get it that liberals own guns too. Just like how I get it that even though men are way more violent in general than women are, it doesnt mean that women are incapable of violence. Still this argument about guns is largely about preserving a right that currently mostly benefits white men (since white men are more likely to own guns) while forcing everyone else to take on the risks of having guns in our society. Not to mention the whole angle of recent mass shootings where the motivation was clearly related to sex and gender. I mean what else can we say other than we live in a society where some men feel so entitled to sex that they go into a rage when they cant get laid that results in them taking it out on others by shooting them? I am comfortable making the association of guns with masculinity because the vast majority of gun problems occur when a man is holding a gun. Guns also seem very tied up with how many men view their own masculinity.

  19. Meta
    Posted October 13, 2015 at 7:21 pm | Permalink

    Meanwhile, closer to home.

    “Senate panel approves bill to allow concealed guns but stop open carry in Michigan schools”

    Michigan Senate panel on Tuesday approved gun bills that would allow concealed carry instead of open carry in schools, moving ahead despite concerns from education officials who fear the proposal will do little to shield students from possible violence.

    “Moving to a concealed carry system only hides the potential danger,” Don Wotruba of Michigan Association of School Boards said during committee testimony.

    Read more:
    http://www.mlive.com/lansing-news/index.ssf/2015/10/senate_panel_approves_bill_to.html

  20. Meta
    Posted October 13, 2015 at 7:28 pm | Permalink

    The legislation ends “gun-free school zones” in Michigan.

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  1. […] I’d pass along the following incredibly helpful tips from the University of Houston, where they’ll be allowing people to carry weapons on campus starting August 1. I figure, given the way things are going in Michigan, they may come in handy before too […]

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