The Phi Sigma Kappa fraternity at West Virginia University rolled out a batch of tees that have campus social justice warriors pissed off.
The shirts, worn by fraternity members during rush week, have the phrase “We haven’t seen your girl wrestle, but we’ve seen her BOX,” emblazoned on the backs.
From The Daily Athenaeum:
“It’s very subtle,” said Nic Conley, president of the fraternity. “We’re funny guys.”
The dean, on the other hand, didn’t find the playful nod to female gut lockers nearly as humorous.
“If that’s how it works, then that’s how it works,” said Dean of Students Corey Farris about the process. “It’s disappointing, and it certainly describes what they think of women and their respect for women.”
Shockingly, members of WVU’s Center for Women’s and Gender Studies were also deeply offended.
“I was offended (when I saw the shirt),” said Jennifer Orlikoff, director of WVU’s Center for Women’s and Gender Studies. “I was very disappointed. Given all of the initiatives in place to change the culture… I was really hopeful that we’ve turned a corner and that things were going to get better. This is just a slap in the face. It’s so disappointing that this is going on.”
“I think this is an indication that it’s more of the same and that it’s a (top down) change,” Pershing, a WVU lecturer, said. “People who are not actually associated with the fraternity culture on campus are the ones putting rules in place, but there isn’t actually change at the fraternity level and certainly not among the students.”
The shirt pairs sex and violence, a combination Pershing believes to be especially dangerous. She talks with students in her class about rape on college campuses and how fraternities in particular breed a cultural narrative.
Saying the shirt is a reference to sexual violence is quite the stretch, and the fraternity’s president isn’t caving to issue an apology.
Conley, though, said the tees were only meant to be funny and thinks people need to “lighten up a little bit.”
For now, Conley’s fraternity is sticking with the tees. Conley’s goal for recruitment season is simple: “We made the best impression on campus we could.”
Damn right it made an impression.
Luckily, campus administrators decided not to punish the fraternity for the “lewd” graphic, which I didn’t expect to be the case. I thought campus administration would have given the brothers the full force of their disciplinary power and shut them down. Glad they had the sense to refrain from such drastic measures.
Godspeed, Phi Sig. May your visions forever be clouded by the sight of moist and eager box..
[via The Daily Athenaeum]