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The Blue & Gray Press | August 28, 2016

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Op-Ed: Why UMW is not a ‘feminist friendly campus’

Op-Ed: Why UMW is not a ‘feminist friendly campus’

By PAIGE MCKINSEY

Last semester I was asked if I thought the University of Mary Washington was a “feminist friendly campus.” At the time, I said yes it was, citing the record-breaking number of sign-ups Feminists United received at Club Carnival, the wonderful faculty in the Women and Gender Studies Department and the enthusiasm of our members. While Feminists United still has dedicated members and the faculty of the WGST program continues to offer important courses, I no longer find UMW to be a “feminist friendly campus.” What is unfortunate is that my answer changed around the time that the club increased its visibility on campus. We went from a club that met Wednesdays at 8 p.m., to a club that tried to affect change on campus, pulling back a thin veil of a “feminist friendly campus” to expose the insidious misogyny and hatred very much alive at UMW.

Here is why my answer changed. As many students know, a motion passed through our student senate last semester proclaiming that the UMW community would support institutionalized Greek life on campus. What many students do not know are the troubling arguments made in support of the motion. When one student senator argued that the Greek system is inherently discriminatory in that is only allows people of one gender to join, another countered that UMW already has sex discrimination in the form of the Women’s Health Center. When the argument was made that research shows that institutionalized Greek Life on campus increased the rates of sexual assault, a fellow senator said this statement (which is supported by numerous studies) is simply a stereotype and to stereotype fraternities in such a way was the equivalent of racial stereotypes.

Here is why my answer changed. Once the motion passed the Senate, there was a town hall meeting on the subject. While the meeting appeared well mannered and cordial, this was not so. When I spoke, I asked the members of the pro-Greek life side to address the studies and research which shows that institutionalized Greek life on campus increased the number of sexual assaults. I asked them to explain how they plan to address this issue when, as of right now, UMW has far to go in adequately supporting victims and survivors. As soon as I finished, people were “yakking” about how “this feminist needs to calm the hell down” and how I was “scary.” Later on that evening more “yaks” circulated about “the feminists” using insulting and disgusting words to describe a group of students who asked that the safety of this student body be counted as a top priority.

Here is why my answer changed. Eventually, the club was able to meet with administration members about what more UMW can do to prevent sexual assault and support victims and survivors. These meetings were productive and the administration was open to our ideas. After one meeting with our Title IX Coordinator, Dr. Leah Cox, a group of us walked home on College Ave. We had no posters, t-shirts or anything on our persons that would indicate that we were the executive board of Feminists United. As the cars drove by we heard someone yell out a window “**** the feminists!” While street harassment often leaves people with a feeling of discomfort and fear, this time was especially worrisome. Not only were we confronted with an act of aggression, we were singled out and identified as “the feminists.”

Here is why my answer changed. It came to our attention at the end of last semester that the men’s rugby team performed a chant one night at a party. The chant discussed violence against women, including murder and battery, sexual violence against women, including assault, necrophilia and rape, and used derogatory words to describe the women in the chant. I would ask the members of Mother’s Rugby to consider the words of Dr. Chris Kilmartin, a professor in our psychology department: “Although the vast majority of the men are not sexual predators, their participation in these chants provide support for the sexually aggressive men who were present. We should ask ourselves if we would be so comfortable if the chants were racist in nature. Sexism is still an acceptable social activity in many sectors of society, and it has got to stop.”

Here is why my answer changed. As soon as Feminists United started affecting change on campus, we were faced with aggression and hatred. To those who are responsible for the examples I have described please know one thing: Feminists United will continue to push forward in trying to make UMW a safer and more equitable place for all students. We are not going anywhere. We will not stop.

Paige McKinsey is president of Feminists United on Campus

Comments

  1. Ben Cunningham

    Can’t make waves without rocking the boat; Keep up the good work Feminists United.

  2. Sharon Wildberger

    Fantastic statement, Paige. I am so saddened that these things happened, and for the vitriol directed at Feminists United. As you said, there are numerous studies on the relationship between Greek life and sexual assault. Making “fraternity stereotypes” analogous to racial discrimination is, at the very least, extremely misguided, inaccurate and offensive.

  3. STUDENT

    I’ll remain annonomus here out of fear of being attacked from this club.
    First off, drop the Greek Life thing. It’s over, our wonderful president silenced the student voice on that issue.
    Second, I find it comical at best that “yik yak” is even mentioned in this article. Please, this is why so many people question sources.
    Third, I recall being yelled at my freshmen year from a car “f*** you freshmen.” I’m not out here saying the university isn’t a college that supports it’s first year students.
    Fourth, back to the Greek life thing. Just because there were students asking for something you may not want doesn’t make them bad people. As I recall, the pro-greeks were willing to work with any educational, etc, programs that the school thought would reduce sexual assault.
    Fifth, rumor of a chant at a party is not a good excuse to call out a well grounded and respected club here at UMW.
    No one wants sexual assault, but there are right and wrong ways to doing things. Here at UMW, I personally would be scared to report sexual assault (if it was a woman assaulting a man) because I know that there would be plenty of people that would attack me and likely call me the aggressor.
    Please, bash what I’ve said. I think this school is doing s wonderful job at supporting ALL people at this school. No ones perfect but as long as we are working towards it..
    Paige, I am sorry you feel this way, but from someone on the “opposing side”, we want the same thing, we just have different ways of getting there.

  4. Nikki O

    Well said, Paige!

  5. Leanna

    Incredible how selfish people are when their worldview is challenged and they can’t seem to fathom experiences beyond their own… I’m glad you’re bringing attention to this, especially since the campus atmosphere hasn’t been publicly critiqued in this way before. While the article isn’t likely to change the minds of the hateful and, frankly, immature people it mentioned, hopefully it’s a catalyst for action from younger students who will get involved over the coming years.

  6. Anonymous

    I know exactly which rugby song you’re talking about. Did you know that women sing the same exact same song but it’s about men? I don’t see any mention of that in the article. Also a lot of people are attacked on YIK yak for stupid reasons I don’t understand how that’s a valid argument.

  7. James

    Seems to me because a few jerks said some very rude things it reflects negatively on the campus. I think UMW is feminist friendly and extremely progressive. I agree with “STUDENT” because I’ve seen first had how this campus supports people.

  8. Anonymous

    I agree that umw is not a feminist friendly campus, but for different reasons. I am a feminist. I believe strongly in feminist ideals. I am a woman. What I do not believe is that anger is the same thing as activism. In my interactions with the feminist club I have found myself feeling attacked for being “not feminist enough” and I disagree with a lot of the ways the club goes about getting things done. I don’t think that creating sides and vilifying the other side in any way a feminist ideal. I believe those who are the most active in a movement are frequently not representative of the people in the movement. Therefore, I believe the people who are in charge of the feminist club and the ones “fighting” for “our” rights need to take a hard look at what they are really fighting for and how they are going about doing it. So, I agree. Umw is not a feminist friendly campus, but I know it has been in the past and it can be again.

  9. SusanB Anthony

    I know some of the people mentioned in this post. Be careful to categorize people as “teams”. 7 people singing does not make a “team”. It is easy to sit back and write position statements like “this group is this” or “all these people do this”. By doing that you have lumped whole pools of students that participate in a different sport in 1 pile and you now have become even worse than the people you are criticizing. Self righteous drama is horrible. Why not find the 90% of hear campus groups that are good people rather than throw the whole group under the bus? Of course you know everything…

  10. Anonymous

    I believe this school is very “feminist” friendly, if anything the only reason there is resistance from the student body is because of the unprofessional way many members of your beloved club conduct themselves. On top of the sneaky, forcfull, and judgmental way I’ve scene members try to get things done, I have personally been judged and called out for not signing a petition that was, in my opinion, extremely disrespecting to men.
    The only people hurting FUC is FUC.

  11. Amelia Earhart

    Hey Paige, I’ve heard the women’s rugby team sing 4 songs of the same style and the women’s soccer team (yes, they are all women) sing the same songs. I eagerly await your article on this. You have committed the most basic error of reporting of writing, you did zero research outside of your group and made blanket statements. You lose a lot of credibility here and with me personally. It is not right that the other groups sing, but you isolate a group that is not even the leader.

  12. Billy Bob

    Paige, this entire article is full of error, poor journalism, lies, and manipulation. If you would have done the smallest amount of research you quickly would have realized these chants are harmless and song by female teams as well. You would have realized pro-Greek representatives said they wanted to work with the admin and FUC to create programs that insured that the establishment of a Greek system did NOT mean the increase of sexual assault. You would have realized that everyone is bashed on yik yak, not just feminist. You also would have realized yik yak is far from a creditable source.
    Open your eyes and stop judging this entire school based upon a few yakers, some dushebags in a car, some people that want to see a positive change (Greek life) made at the school, and a chant.
    Very bad look for both you and FUC.
    This article shows the lack of integrity many members have already shown.

  13. Anonymous

    A lot of the comments above are bashing the idea of mentioning Yik Yak, but it’s actually an incredible indicator of what people are actually thinking. I mean, that’s the point of the app, right? That when given the safety of anonymity, people will be their most honest selves. So with that in mind, it can be incredibly scary and sad to see so many people express such hatred and shaming towards women, racial, and sexual minorities. Because people are shed of their obligations to be polite and those feelings lead to dangerous acts of violence and aggression.

  14. Anonymous

    To reply to the person below…Here at UMW, men ARE the sexual minority…
    I thought this was well known.
    Still doesn’t make yik yak a good source. Most of those people just want to get under other people’s skin. They don’t care who

  15. idk

    maybe if the people commenting negative things about this article would look up the definition of “feminism” and actually educate yourselves on what the group stands for, you’d understand. while, yes, i agree that Paige should not have used yik yak as a source or generalized rugby teams and pro-greeks, that’s the least of the issue. how can you bash FUC, a group that is trying to enforce gender equality, and awareness/prevention of sexual assault and violence against women? feminism is important. we NEED it. the few individuals who ARE saying things like “fuck the feminists” and all that bullshit IS making an impression on those who don’t understand the nature of feminism. because those people are giving not the club a bad reputation, but feminism in general a bad reputation. if feminism has a bad rep, people will veer from it and we will never achieve equality. maybe the club comes off strong, but try to look deeper. there’s a bigger issue, and feminists are feminists for a reason.

  16. feminist

    Oh dear. Here come the #NotAllMen #NotAllSportsTeams, #NotAllFraternies comments.
    I think you guys are missing the point. What if this article were written by a black student voicing her concerns about race on campus in a similar manner to this article, and people responded with something like #NotAll WhitePeople?
    Completely. Misses. The Point.

  17. feminist

    To Billy Bob’s comment: I didn’t realize rape jokes were harmless. I also didn’t realize they were funny. Gosh I can’t wait to tell all my friends about what I learned today!

  18. LyndonJohnson

    The arguments made by some of these commenters are downright asinine. What I’ve seen repeated on here is the general thought is that aggressive behavior and speech should be discounted because “women sing the same chant” and “yik yak bashes everyone, not just the feminists”. Of course the views of a few don’t reflect the views of the entire school, but the fact that these views exist at all indicate a less than an ideal campus setting.
    Furthermore, as a student who had the experience of being part of one of the Greek organizations, I can fully support the fact that attitudes held by many of the members contributed to the idea that UMW is not feminist friendly. While I can’t say the same views are currently held by active members, the fact remains when a bunch of college guys get in the same room together a hive mind almost certainly can take effect.
    Paige, this article was very effective and well written. You made some very valid points and I hope you continue your good work.

  19. Grammarist

    If you meant that Feminist United is trying to create change, then you should write ‘effect change’, instead of ‘affect change’. It’s one of those weird cases when effect is used as a verb.

    Other than that keep fighting the good fight.

  20. Cara

    Paige – Thanks for writing a brilliant piece. I graduated last year, so UMW’s stance against greek life is still really important and relevant to me. It floored me that this was passed right after the Rolling Stone article was printed. (Yes, some of the facts of the article were inaccurate, but the overall point of the article remained intact, and many of the horrendous things mentioned in the article WERE facts.) Greek life is one of the biggest reminders of misogyny the US today and it’s ridiculous that UMW should want to embrace it after 100 years of standing against it.

  21. Billy Bob Again

    Miss Feminist, as expected I have been miss quoted. Seems to be a recurring theme here.
    I never said rape jokes were funny or harmless.
    I never said the word funny, or jokes as a matter of fact.
    I said “these chants are harmless.”
    That’s it and I’m correct about it. In no way does Mothere Rugby or any other sports team that sings this same song support rape culture.
    It’s pretty bad when you can’t properly quote me when it’s literally written down for you.
    I guess that’s how FUC does things though. You love to twist and tangle words to make them into what you want them to say.
    As for you Cara, the Rollong Stones article cannot be called reliable. There was too many lies to be able to tell what was true and what was not.
    And to briefly discuss Greek Life… Just because UMW historically does not have it doesn’t mean it was against it. It just means until now there wasn’t as large as a push for it. Nor can ANYONE site a RELIABLE statistic drietly linking Greek culture with a higher sexual assault rate. There are too many other players to make such a broad assumption. (Regardless we are talking about UMW, we HAD the opertunity to create a unique Greek System unlike any other, where sexual assault rates actually drop)

    I think we can all agree, the awesome president scienced the student body in this discussion with his decision. He refused to even have the discussion.

  22. John Doe

    It seems to me that people are forgetting the definition of feminism. The combative nature of FUC and how they seem to lump men into one giant category doesn’t help the situation. As a feminist on campus and a male at UMW I personally ask myself why an organization who wants to have itself taken seriously is called FUC and why every time I encounter their members they’re pointing the finger at me saying, “We need to teach men not to tape.” As if we are monsters that cannot be controlled. If you ask me I think that UMW is more progressive than most campuses but has a long way to go. I think that men, women and all others who identify as anything should be supportive of equality a cross the board instead of stereotyping one specific group of people.

  23. feminist

    Bawdy songs that depict rape and violence against women for amusement are technically rape jokes. You stated “those songs are harmless.” How is a song about rape sung for amusement *not* a rape joke? I don’t believe I was misquoting you.
    If singing songs about assaulting women “for the lulz” does not signify (perhaps unwitting) support for rape culture, please tell me what constitutes supporting rape culture, because I am completely and utterly dumbfounded.

  24. Billy Bob Again

    Even when I point out what I said I’m miss quoted…
    “THESE CHANTS ARE HARMLESS”
    Not
    “Those songs are harmless”
    I get it, same thing, but it just shows the amount of detail is taken in creating these arguments.
    I’m sorry if you are offended by these chants, funny thing is, those are private houses hosting private events. They can sing whatever the hell they want.
    As long as nothing illegal is taking place, it’s okay.
    I don’t get offended when the sing the chant “Jesus can’t play rugby”, why? Because I understand it is just a chant… I’m catholic btw.
    No one is incourageing any form of sexual assault. I don’t get mad at black jokes, I’m black. Maybe If we stopped focusing on the minor things and started focusing on the big picture we would arrive much faster.
    Back to the main point…
    FUC is a horrible example of feminism, I believe in equal rights, so there for I am a feminist. You don’t get to equality by bring everyone else down. That’s what FUC is best at. Male shamming, and if you disagree ask around. I know plenty of people that have felt personally attacked by members of this club for disagreeing with the way they were doing things. Men are not the problem. Humanity is.

  25. #AreyouHUMANenough

    ^ remember that campaign. FUC was all about it.

  26. #AreyouManEnough

    Sorry.. It was this one
    Should have been Human though

  27. UMW Student

    Most of the “feminists” advertise themselves as the kind of people who think men are the root of any and all evil…there was a damn sign hanging up for weeks implying that all men beat women and that domestic violence was only initiated by men…

  28. Bread The Pen

    Feminists need to shut the fuck up, I was literally verbally abused by one for holding the door open for one.

  29. in response to 'Bread The Pen'

    One time a man was rude to me, so men need to shut the fuck up. One time a white person was rude to me, so white people need to shut the fuck up. One time a basketball player was rude to me, so basketball players need to shut the fuck up. Do you see what’s wrong with your logic? Don’t be a lawyer.

  30. Friend

    This is ridiculously simplifying all aspects regarding Ms. McKinseys argument as to why UMW is not ‘feminist friendly’, but here’s my takeaway:
    -Greek life advocates have personally attacked FUC members
    -Anonymous app YIK YAK had insulting comments regarding FUC members
    -Club Rugby is compounded into the ‘problem’because of offensive songs

    Yes, all these events contain offensive, aggressive behavior being inflicted on the FUC (the rugby ordeal seems very clumsily lumped into those events). In my view, that does not give an accurate gauge of the environment at UMW. It gives the view of the environment among the FUC.

    As far as feminist friendly campuses go, UMW has more open-minded and progressive students than this article leads us to believe.

    FUC is giving it’s biggest effort to push their idea of feminism onto campus, but it doesn’t seem like the rest of the school agrees with the way they are going about it.

    UMW is a feminist friendly school. It seems the FUC is being pushed around by a large population of students, but I wouldn’t go so far as to say that those students are against feminism, but more so against where the FUC are choosing their battles. If the FUC seriously wants to become the leader for feminism at UMW, they have to work to keep from isolating themselves from the rest of this university.

  31. Confused Student

    I agree with “friend” to a point.
    FUC is certainly who the student body is resisting, mainly because of their radical views and unprofessional emotional tactics. I believe this school is largely feminist, meaning the vast majority believe in equal rights.
    FUC is the problem, they should consider talking a look at how they conduct themselves.
    I do have to disagree with Friend when he said Greek Life Advocates have personally attacked FUC members. As a matter of fact I’m not sure where this came from because from what I’ve read it’s the other way around. No Greek like advocate has personally attacked anyone in FUC. They actually work WITH FUC to build a relationship, it gets difficult however when the president is bashing the very organizations (UMW Greek organizations) that try so hard to support their greater cause.

  32. Scared Alum

    Are you actually on the cusp of graduation from a liberal arts college when you are this ignorant and close-minded?

    I have no personal stake in UMW’s Greek life – I spent my time at UMW and was fine without Greek life – but to say that you cannot have Greek life because it will lead to rape is profoundly stupid. Maybe UMW ought to get rid of blacks because statistically they are more likely to cause crime? What about getting rid of gays who are more likely to have HIV? I doubt you would be in favor of either of these measures, yet this is exactly what you are advocating for.

    I think you may want to consider bringing your thinking into the 21st century, because this notion that different people, clubs or ideas cannot coexist is beyond juvenile.

    Until then, I recommend you keep your mouth shut to avoid drowning the rest of the school with your diarrhea of the mouth.

  33. PRIVILEGED MALE

    Apparently I attend a misogynistic and hateful University. Yeah yeah… I’m so privileged for being a man, I get it. Rugby players are a bunch of women-hating neanderthals? Gotta love that feminofascism, using stereotypes that support their worldview whenever convenient. Go join the caliphate if you desire so ardently to regulate human behavior.

  34. Professor

    If you are interested in the empirical (look up the word, if you’re unclear on its definition) evidence regarding the connection between Greek Life and sexual assault, here’s a link to one of two studies published in NASPA (National Association of Student Personnel Administrators) confirming the connection: http://www.academia.edu/163846/Foubert_J._D._Newberry_J._T._and_Tatum_J._L._2007_._Behavior_differences_seven_months_later_Effects_of_a_rape_prevention_program_on_first-year_men_who_join_fraternities._NASPA_Journal_44_728-749

    A pertinent paragraph:

    “Among men on college campuses, fraternity men are more likely to commit rape than other college men (Bleeker & Murnen, 2005;Boeringer, 1999). Thus, rape prevention efforts often target fraternity men (Choate, 2003; Larimer, Lydum, Anderson, & Turner; 1999;Foubert & Newberry, 2006). Compared to their peers on college campuses, fraternity men are more likely to believe that women enjoy being physically “roughed up,” that women pretend not to want sex but want to be forced into sex, that men should be controllers of relationships, that sexually liberated women are promiscuous and will probably have sex with anyone, and that women secretly desire to be raped (Boeringer, 1999). Beyond the aforementioned quantitative findings, qualitative research suggests that fraternity culture includes group norms that reinforce within-group attitudes perpetuating sexual coercion against women. These cultural norms have the potential to exert powerful influences on men’s behavior (Boswell & Spade; 1996).”

  35. Student

    In response to “Professor”, the study you found first off is nearly a decade old. Normally I would consider this relative but in today’s terms with the recent uprising of awareness of rape culture, education on sexual assault prevention, and general change in college culture concerning this issue, I think your going to have to find something more recent.
    Also, if you would read the entire article you would see that the point of the study was to see the effect of a sexual assault program when given to fraternity men. As it turns out this program was successful. This was EXACTLY what Greek advocates were proposing. They were all for doing programs of such nature to lower any chance of increased violence.
    There is a part in there that showed statistically that men who joined fraternities were more likely to commit an act of sexual violence than non fraternity men. In truth, this proved my theory that fraternities do not “turn men into rapist” (a quote I heard from a member of FUC).The statistics were taken before they ever entered college. All that it proves is, people that are at a higher risk of committing sexual violence are more likely to join fraternities in the first place. This has nothing to do with the fraternity. These kind of people were at risk way before joining a fraternity. So to counter this fear of, “we don’t want to attract those kind of people,” I remind everyone that we are UMW! WE DON’T ATTRACT THOSE KIND OF PEOPLE! Yes, not all of us are perfect and unfortunately there are still crimes of that nature that happen here but think about it. That’s not the culture we brew here. We are very aware of these problems and progressive in fixing them. Are we really that insecure that we cannot learn to co-exist with groups of people that have Greek letters on their shirt? We preach acceptance but we ban these groups from operating with the same rights as any other group here… That seems just wrong.
    In the end, the Greek culture will continue to grow here at UMW, its up to us if we want to have ANY say in how it is shaped.
    “Professor” I hope you teach your classes better than you make your arguments. 😉

    -Accept us or deny us, we are here, we are growing, like it or not… we are the future.

  36. Really?

    I don’t think UMW needs Greek life or FUC. Equality for all and leave rugby alone. If you don’t play, you won’t get it.

  37. Surrender Dorothy

    I am presuming that most of you attend (or have attended) UMW, which I believe still requires incoming students to take a ‘writing workshop, yet I find it amazing that the majority of the comments in this thread — particularly those, it seems, in support of the author’s point — are rife with grammatical and spelling errors (indeed, perhaps the school can consider this article and accompanying thread to constitute good evidence for the continuing justification of said required course?).

    Perhaps the FUC should spend more time and energy on helping prepare its members for future employment opportunities by focusing on practical skills (spelling, learning parts of speech / sentence structure, etc.) prior to promulgating platitudes of their newly taken up ideological crusades…

  38. Jen Nay Nay

    Dorothy, rugby players and frat members casually misusing the english language is jsut like how they treat sezual assualt

  39. in response to Surrender Dorothy

    …..or you could hop off your high horse and take your unnecessary comments elsewhere. just a thought.

  40. Anonymous

    All you need is love… Bah dah bah dah

  41. Who is Professor?

    Hey professor:
    Great study. Totally irrelevant on this campus. Why won’t you sign your name to that? If you believe in your research and you stand up to support FUC why not say your name? Maybe because FUC are simply bullies. They make assumptions, name names and group people together that are guilty until proven innocent.

    FUC calls themselves by the word “FUC” and the campus, that bashes anything that offends anyone is OK with this?

    I don’t want my mom, my grandmother, my sister seeing the “queen Mary” of all swear words on a banner, whatever. I don’t discriminate against women, neither do my friends or family…. Professor, your post is cowardly. Real scholars create original thought and don’t hide behind studies.

  42. UMW Student

    In response to a lot of the people defending this article…

    First of all, stop rehashing old arguments just to try to bring unnecessary drama to this campus.
    Second, don’t say y’all are innocent. You have been victimizing a group of students on this campus that have done absolutely nothing to you.I remember various members of FUC that, during the town hall debate, started yelling at many of their peers to leave this school just because they like the idea of forming a group/club that only wanted to give people a way to strengthen friendships between their gender, because as it stands there is no way for them to do that. Sometimes guys want to hang out with only guys and sometimes women want to hang out with only women and no club right now promotes this. Also at said debate, while pro-greeks were respectful towards whoever was speaking, there were numerous occasions of FUC members being disrespectful and unprofessional by cheering and scoffing at whatever their opposition had to say.
    Third , what is said in someone’s house is for them and them alone. Do not tarnish someone or even a group because of something they do in the “safety” of their house with their friends.
    Fourth, the UVA article was a complete farce. There was nothing true about it. There are many other articles online in much more credible sites/sources that say so.

    To Professor…
    That article is irrelevant to this discussion because of reasons previously stated in comments above. Also we are UMW. There is no need to compare anything from another school to our UMW. Especially when happened long ago and to a school with a vastly different atmosphere. I would have thought a professor would have been able to find an appropriate article to support their stance. Maybe you were hoping that we wouldn’t read the rest of the article?

    In closing I am a feminist. I want equal rights more then anything. And the only reason I haven’t joined FUC is because in my opinion they aren’t true feminists. They have shown time and again that they wish to be superior to men.

  43. another student

    It wouldn’t be inaccurate to say that FUC might have a PR problem (especially if you look at the discussions on the Facebook page…I know a few feminists who have left FUC because of the behavior on the page.), but that does not mean that FUC is irrelevant, and that does not mean that Miss McKinsey’s statements are any less valuable as commentary on real problems that female students and feminists (both FUC-affiliated and non-FUC affiliated) face.

  44. another student

    UMW student: “They have shown time and again that they wish to be superior to men.”
    I didn’t find that to be true at all when I was affiliated with FUC, especially among the leadership. Of course there are a few radicals here and there that upset the group’s image and overall message (such is the nature of radical voices: the loudest voices drown out the rest), and I found that to be upsetting, which is part of why I left, but I am a feminist and still defend FUC’s purpose and mission.
    I am sympathetic to the moderate leadership who have to deal with these radical/borderline misandrist voices, and I understand that it must be very difficult to figure out how to handle it in a constructive manner.

  45. UMW Student

    I guess I should clarify. Because I have done the exact same thing I was “preaching” against.

    I do not mean all of FUC, but there are a lot of radicals that I could name but out of respect I will not.

    I deeply respect the mission of true feminists on campus, because it is a worthy cause, but FUC is going about it in an very backwards way.

    Also the acronym doesn’t help…At all…I don’t know if that was on purpose or not, but it was a truly bad idea.

  46. Skeptical of your research

    http://www.umw.edu/news/2013/01/22/umw-rugby-players-spend-weekend-in-service/

    Maybe you could have, you know done some homework before writing an op-ed about your experience at a party.

  47. Logic, Grammar, and Spelling Fascist

    Sir:

    It has come to my attention that one of your basic premises, may in fact be completely false. Possibly you labor under the assertion that you are in college. From the logic, spelling, grammar, and punctuation employed by the author and respondents here, I’m not sure you are enrolled in an English-speaking university. The many errors serially, and not exhaustively explained:

    Logic error: Can a tiny subset of a group stand in in legally or morally for a team of 30 or more men? Possibly not.

    “FUC:” Does your Grandmother know you chose this acronym. Surely, this draws the wrong kind of attention.

    “Scene:” Possibly you mean “seen.”

    “Assualt:” Do you own a dictionary?

    “Completely. Misses. The Point.:” Where shall I begin. Are we writing in html now, in argumentative essays? You may wish to consult with your English Department and get your tuition money back.

    “dushebags:” It’s “douche,” from the French for to shower or spritz with water. Mon Dieu!

    I have a brief recommendation to UMW students. Quite possibly you all should stop writing poorly though out essays using questionable logic and word choice. If you want to be “seen” making the “scene” in the real world, put down the vitriol and take up a grammar text. Fat, drunk, and stupid is no way to go through life.

    -The Grammar/Spelling Fascist

  48. UMW

    I believe the issue raised when the Feminist United Club (FUC) conducted themselves in a very unprofessional and disrespectful way at the open debate on Greek Life. While all pro-Greek advocates acted in a professional and respectful manor (maybe that’s something they teach you in those “frats”). Ofcorse the school is going to rally against them. They disrespected so many people, and since then they have managed to somehow show their unprofessional to a good population of the school. You don’t get respect by insulting the very people you wish to gain the support of.
    I would say a good 95% of this school are true feminist! FUC would make up the 5% that arnt.
    I still think Greek Life has a place here. They are willing to work with the school and FUC to enter programs to stop any culture of sexual assault to ever form. Why not take advantage of that great opportunity. Not to mention we could have some Sororities! WAHOOO! Wouldn’t it be cool if woman had the same opportunities as men here…. wait, FUC is to blind to see that part of the equation.

  49. Anonymous

    God, I wish that we had a feminist group that wasn’t a typical bunch of hateful radfem bullies. I became a feminist to seek equality with men and promote actual causes, not to censor and ban certain groups of people by misinforming others with a manipulative, terrible article that cites “yakking” as its one and only source of anti-feminist rhetoric at UMW.

    Oh wait, you also mention the chant that was so sexist and misogynistic that my mainly-female drama club in high school did it before productions. Did you not post the well-known chant because it would completely undermine your point?

  50. patrick

    That’s great that you’re a feminist and all. And that’s great that you embrace your body hair. But can you please walk yourself over to the writing center and fix all that garbage I just read….

  51. Anonymous

    Just because people do not jump to join your cause doesn’t mean they are against you. Maybe your message isn’t being delivered properly. Or maybe you are just being an a-hole about it.

  52. Class of 2015

    The acronym FUC, and all that it implies, was totally intentional. On a Tumblr page the feminists themselves say “This tumblr is for the Feminists United on Campus (FUC… see what we did there?)” If they’re not willing to take themselves seriously, why should anyone else?

  53. Anon

    I would just like to say that I think it is great that somebody is willing to do their best to stop sexual harassment on campus. I was a student at UMW, was sexually harassed many times by members of the “frat” and members of sports teams, and was raped and was forced to go to counseling while I was there. It’s a very sad, ugly truth but there it is. I just hope that some day people will stop arguing over the term “feminist” and come to all realize that we are all fighting for the same cause: sexual assault should not be tolerated. I hope nobody has to go through what I did.

  54. Anon

    Uneducated and ignorant writing like this only hurts the cause. Most people respond to pieces like these with negativity… resulting in fewer people wanting to join someone like Paige.

  55. Lezbo

    This is poorly written. When did the mens team have such allegations brought on to them? Where are the compounding police reports? You want to know who the “predators” are on this campus. The lesbians….. They prey on innocent freshman lesbians. They prey on straight girls. They will even prey on men at the bar to get free drinks…..

  56. Feminist

    I dont go here anymore, but… I have a lot of experience working with UMW as well as many many feminist organizations. As for FUC, I personally would advise people to avoid associating themselves with a group like this. They have a very serious Public Relations problem. From my time working in the field of feminism, I have scene groups like this fail over and over again. In the end, they actually end up slowing the progress we as feminist are trying to make. The organizations that succeed are the ones that don’t make enemies. In stead, make friends.
    Please, FUC, Paige, all members… Stop what you are doing. I work very very hard to further women and you are not helping. I understand, emotions can sometimes get in the way but please please please. Take a look at your tactics and think about the long term repercussions. By not allowing Greek life NOW, you are risking loosing the opportunity to be a part of how it comes together and forms in the future. (It will eventually be at UMW full force, like it or not).. For all you know, by then, FUC may be gone because of the enemies they made. I thank you all for your love and support. I support your cause 100%. Just remember, PR is really… reallllly important.

  57. on Campus

    This discussion and forum that actually started as a slanderous attack have been really uplifting. It is so nice to read various students and alumni saying enough is enough and asking FUC to act reasonable and not try to bully everyone into believing everything they say. I think they should really apologize for attacking groups and assuming the worst. It is wrong to assume that a whole group is one way once they get something in their mind. I also think any professor that is empowering them to put something in print that they have not researched or thought out is not doing their job. I will be personally complaining to administration every time I see FUC in writing. Paige and her attacks and generalizations have totally turned me against a group I previously was fine with and would have even supported with my time and effort. Paige, care to comment on your piece and maybe back off attacking groups. Now would be the time to act like a woman and show some goodwill.

  58. Girard Bucello

    Perhaps I shouldn’t be shocked, but I am. The comments on this article range from the ignorant to the blatantly hateful, and shows just how out of touch so many people are with the issues that affect so many on our campus.

    It is not Feminists United’s job to walk on egg shells for the sake of not offending people, least of all the *minority* of students on campus who support school sponsorship of social fraternities. Nothing that Paige wrote, or that Feminists United said at the town hall on Greek life, is factually incorrect. The claim that instances of rape and sexual violence increase in fraternity settings is true—and an individual’s likelihood of committing a sexual assault increases after having joined a fraternity. This has been extensively documented in scholarly publications (http://bit.ly/1BA0jRF)(http://bit.ly/1vg2cqf)(http://bit.ly/1BA0BIc). Not acknowledging this is absurd at the highest levels. Some have tried to draw a comparison to higher instances of crime among blacks, the difference being that one cannot choose to be black, while one *can* choose to be a member of a fraternity.

    The claim that fraternities conducted themselves with professionalism during the town hall is equally absurd. They backed up none of their claims with statistics, instead offering promises of action on sexual assault (a line that *all* fraternities repeat ad nauseum, regardless of the truth behind their words) and anecdotal evidence. They claimed that they have a First Amendment right to a fraternity when, in fact, no one is stopping them from assembling freely—they simply do not have recognition from the school, nor should they. No one is entitled to a fraternity. Everyone who came to this university did so fully aware that there was no officially sanctioned Greek life. Many students chose this university for precisely that reason. Do NOT insinuate that this is an issue that has broad support. It does not. It was pushed through in backroom discussions and voted on when much of the SGA was not present.

    I’m not even going to address all of the ad hominem attacks here; you could have put some thought into your response, and instead just decided to make a cheap shot that only demonstrates to me that you don’t actually have something of value to add to the discussion. Instead of saying that feminists are ugly and don’t shave, come back with an argument that one might *maybe* be able to call rational and rhetorically sound.

    Oh, and unlike the cowards who post under “anonymous” or, better yet, the names of female pioneers like Amelia Earhart (how very tasteless of you, by the way), I’m using my full name. My real name. Because, unlike you, I’m not ashamed of what I say. I’m not afraid of someone stopping me and challenging me on what I say in real life. I don’t need a computer screen to separate me from the person with whom I disagree. Whatever your opinion of Paige, she, too, has the courage to put her name next to what she believes. That’s far more than can be said of most of you.

  59. You didn't just go there

    “Some have tried to draw a comparison to higher instances of crime among blacks, the difference being that one cannot choose to be black, while one *can* choose to be a member of a fraternity.”

    So it’s not a person’s fault if they commit a crime because they’re black?! That’s a really disgusting position to take, Girard. What you seem to forget is that it’s a choice, and it is one that the individual makes; it doesn’t inherently happen. With that being said, the frats at had plenty of support moving forward before the school’s administration shutdown their campaign over the UVA lie. Additionally, I would avoid discrediting individuals’ movements because they are “a minority” considering all civil rights movements have been pushed through BY MINORITIES.

  60. Girard, please...

    Your argument is as ignorant as they come. IF you were present at the town hall debate, you would have scene the professionalism displayed by all the pro-Greek advocates and the LACK of professionalism displayed by specifically members of Feminist United (ie. yelling, cheering, whistling, laughing, snide comments, and accusations). THAT is when they lost support of the student body.
    Also, if you want to talk about who the MAJORITY of students were siding with.. it was the Greeks. If i recall correctly they had over 1000 signatures on a petition as the opposing side had less than 500. Based off those numbers, this school, and the students WANT Greek life… It was a lie in a unfortunate article that drove the (very anti Greek) president to shutting the voice of the student body down.
    Good job writing your name, (bad job posting a bad link) but as for the rest of us. We are anonymous because we don’t want to be made into FUC’s next victim..
    Paige, I call you to respond to the comments we all know your reading. I call you to apologize to the people you and your club have lied about, hurt, or insulted. We all are speaking up because we have had enough.

  61. Amelia Earhart

    Girard:
    I am back and I just flew over UMW. I have a message for FUC – I Amelia would like FUC to focusing on facts. In fact I’d like them to apologize like real women and learn to see the good in people. I’ll also let you know that I would never name my group FUC – you set the people you claim to be most concerned about back about 20 years. Finally Girard, I wish I had some cojones like you do…it is very brave for you to sign your name to such radical thoughts. Oops, I just crashed, I should not have been texting and flying. Maybe FUC will find me on this god- forbidden island.

  62. In Support of Fascism...

    Apparently the difference between “scene” and “seen” is less obvious to some than others.

    For those of you swimming about in the shallow end of the proverbial pool here, I suggest you avail yourselves of the University’s writing center. (I’m sure you’ll be able to have a dynamic discussion with the author, when you see her there.)

  63. Alumni

    Paige- you need to realize that when you put your neck out about an issue you feel strongly against anticipating disagreement and some anger is protocol. Were you surprised that some asshole yelled out of his car or people bashed you on some forum? If you were surprised, clearly you didn’t think you were doing much of anything with the voice UMW has been so nice to give you. They are so generous that they let your club call itself Fuc? You couldn’t come up with something less abrasive?

    It seems like you stir the pot pretty frequently judging by some of the comments (as well as your acronym) so let me go ahead and say this: get used to sharp tongues. Grow some skin and shake that petty bullshit off; if you’re really committed to your cause that is.
    Sticks and stones.

    As for your argument about umw being feminist friendly you’re completely wrong. You’re talking about a school that has a female majority for the student who have few complaints. If that weren’t the case, basic Logic would determine that the female population would drop. But it hasn’t.

    The options UMW provides for their female students are phenomenal. All female boarding if you are so inclined, a woman’s center, blue light stations every 100 yards, are you serious? What the fuck do you want? UMW’s administration and staff are aware of the adversity women, men and hermaphrodites face at uni and do a great job of accomodating everyone. Open your eyes. Give your school, nay, our school some credit.

    For the majority of you commenting bottom feeders on here, stop sleeping through your English classes. You need them. Paige you may want to heed this advice and attend a couple of McCarthy classes. Your article reads like pig slop, he can help.

    Finally…
    What the fuck is a yikyak?

  64. this post above is awesome ^^^

    I have been just sitting back reading these and laughing. This post above summarized my thoughts as a recent alum. I have watched this FUC group or group FUC or whatever they call themselves bully fellow students, bully administration, and generally act like spoiled little bratty terrorists. I will stand up for UMW as it is, I will defend student groups I don’t agree with and I will not become a victim of those that try to make this campus their playground now and in the future. I find it shocking that given this forum that Paige and her FUC associates can’t come up with an intelligent response to those calling on her to respond. Everyone seemed concerned with the spelling and grammar (yes it is atrocious) but i am proud of the thought process laid out in quite a few of these posts. All I see from FUC is a FUC viewpoint that groups that MIGHT be more prone to violence in the FUTURE should not be part of UMW? Well FUC, I have news for you, the real world is cruel and you have to, you must, learn to work with other people. I think that you should apologize for attacking groups that have good elements – do you realize that when you categorize a group or a team in a certain way you encompass all of their alums, their parents, and there faculty sponsors? My current boyfriend was part of a fraternity, and I have to admit I was skeptical but have seen nothing but good from them. I don’t know as a woman if I want to live in FUC-focused world? I have seen shirts that say FUC FOR YOUR RIGHTS? How is this allowed on the UMW campus that does not allow anything threatening to anyone? I will be writing a letter to administration protesting your name, your organization, your shirts and your bullying. You could apologize with another well-written piece and I won’t complain but you won’t apologize. I cannot wait to see what the UMW leaders are going to do when I and my roommate from Virginia Hall set a meeting, walk in and demand that FUC cease to exist as we find you offensive and simply bullies wearing dresses. You are not leaders in any way, of any group, other than the one you created and you have gone too far. To the men cheering them on – grow some, you don’t know FUC.

  65. Anonymous

    Could someone please explain to me how “FUC for your rights” is in any way a threatening statement?

  66. Student

    Quick thought here.
    “FUC for your rights”, lets break this down… FUC… hmmm, sounds a lot like an other word in the English dictionary. Fuc+k.. get it? That’s what we call here a bad word. It has many meanings, but one is to have sexual intercourse. So in some weird twisted way, your saying “fuc*k for your rights”. Personally, id rather protest, or write a letter to congress or something. Simply put, it sounds like a bad word, and some people dont like bad words. They hear bad words and feel uncomfortable and in some cases threatened. But whatever, not the end of the world.

    Also, I will stand with whoever said an apology should be made from Paige AND FUC. If not, I will be right with that person demanding this group be removed for slander, bullying, lieing, and the outright disrespect of many many men and women on this campus.
    #REVOVEFUC2015

  67. ^^^ I am in agreement

    She should apologize. UMW should get rid of FUC. Enough is enough. I think every student should bring this discussion to their advisors and if they think FUC is offensive and bullies demand action. I’m not telling anyone what to think, but if you feel the group is offensive say so. If you think they are bullies, say so.

    Even better, write out your thoughts… Best, have your parents email administration. Think your mom round think FUC is ridiculous? I bet she will.

  68. To alumni!

    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=yikyak&utm_source=search-action

    I give you yik yak!

    I didn’t know what it was either…

  69. Yikkety Yak, FUC talks back

    Yik yak: now we know where FUC gets their data on what people are really thinking at UMW. I just tuned into this and I feel like FUC are bullies and do nothing to make me want to support their agenda. They twist around facts, yell at people, threaten and just basically employ tactics that should never be on a college campus. Paige, I’m happy to write you a personal letter but you won’t even read it.

    What a horribly written piece of garbage that editorial was. All emotion, almost zero fact. Cast the net wide enough and you might catch something. There are good people in the groups that wanted to start a frat and at the clubs you attacked. To keep any credibility with myself and the 20 people that were talking about this tonight you need to apologize, or all of us are going to administration.

    We don’t want to see the word FUC again ever on campus. Do you understand how offensive this is to many people?

  70. I am asking a serious question here, the timing makes sense now. Since FUC apparently likes to sling poop all over everyone wouldn’t this place some of their senior leaders in VA Hall at just the right time? There is more fact in this assumption than 95% of what they throw out there. She who smelt it, may have dealt it: http://blueandgraypress.com/2012/02/08/virginia-hall-defiled/

    Care to respond to this? Wait, just because you were part of that group in VA Hall you did not dedicate all over the place? But wait, you were a female on campus at that time? Does the logic of throwing every person associated with a group now seem pretty crappy (or actually poopy). If you don’t respond that probably means you were the unipooper. Love the comment “we probably thought it was a male, but…”

  71. Anonymous

    This is a terrible one sided argument , the whole argument about “misogyny” at UMW is based off of irrationality. I personally don’t party or agree with the “party” lifestyle the Greek Life might bring but no one seems to look at the pros of fraternities, people seem more interested in linking fraternities to rape automatically. Anywhere where there’s a party and people are drinking, guy or girl you should make smart decisions to keep you safe but yet feminist are more concerned about what women shouldn’t have to do. If everybody in this world has to use judgement and smart decisions to stay safe on a daily basis why wouldn’t women have to? It’s like feminist expect just because someone is a women they shouldn’t have to use common sense.

  72. Fleur de Lulz

    Came for the butthurt on both sides.

    Left happily amused.

    Glad that even though the paper’s name changed, there’s still so much entertainment from you guys :’^)

  73. Fleur de Poop

    there is butt hurt all over campus due the fact that a group named FUC makes up their own drama and bullies anyone in their way. Can’t wait to see what types of careers, jobs and whiny parents these nice people make.

  74. Bleeding-Heart Hippie Idealist

    Regardless of what you believe, who you stand behind, how much research you have or have not done, how many fucks you do or do not give about any of the above discussion, and how shitty your writing skills are or are not, I have a very simple blanket request: please just try to be kind.

    Any young adult with any level of sociocultural awareness should be finding it difficult not to get swept up in the rising tide of divisive vitriol that’s seeping into every part of our lives. I understand that you’re angry and hurting; we’re all angry and hurting about something. I am too. But here’s the thing: nothing will ever change if we aren’t able to calm down long enough to look each other in the eye and have honest, open-minded discussions, and all that will come of hating on specific people and groups is more hating and hurting. The entire point of a liberal arts education is to encourage intelligent dialogues between differing perspectives, but that’s only possible if people are willing to genuinely listen to anything but their own yelling. You can disagree and argue without throwing shit at the other side, and you can abhor everything they stand for without also hating them as people. Hell, if you can’t find it within you to not hate them, you can even hate the crap out of them–and, get this!–still not be openly or anonymously dickish to them! I’m not saying to shut up when you have something to say; by all means, speak out on behalf of your convictions. Just try to do it in a way that furthers your position and improves society without tearing down anyone else. Expose the corruption and cruelty, fight for justice and truth, and perpetuate goodness and equality wherever possible. Just don’t do it by creating new badness and inequality and injustice and anguish elsewhere. The more animosity you personally put out into the world, the more it multiplies around you. The best thing we can each individually do to stop the cycle of immature, oftentimes painful drama is just to choose love over hate as often as possible, even when those around us are viciously insistent in their hate. It sounds crazy [and perhaps comically sentimental], and I suppose that’s because it is; if you’ve ever been privy to the torrid waste land that is the infamous Yik Yak, you understand that even a small liberal arts school filled with relatively diverse, theoretically un-jaded young people will never be a scene from Lennon’s Imagine. That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try.

    I could have posted this comment on any number of places and under any number of conversation threads, but I think that says more about how much we all need to think about what I’m saying than about my sappiness and inability to stay on-topic. I chose UMW because it felt to me like a loving place, a [relative] oasis of compassion and acceptance in a world overflowing with cruelty and bitterness. Please do your part to help it live up to that impossible dream.

  75. Kristin

    These comments are very enlightening. I like that there are feminists who can see that FUC is going about things in the entirely wrong way. I also like that not everyone assumes all feminists are bad, or that all men are animals. I feel like society’s portrayal of feminists is a bunch of men-cursing witches, which some of these comments make FUC sound very similar to…

  76. World Class UMW Education

    Oh cry about it, ya babies. Someone was MURDERED, as in their life taken away…that says more about the men on campus than the feminists-who-posted-a-sign-that-made-you-feel-bad. That is, if the situation is even as bipolar as all you idiots make it seem.

    If signs about domestic violence — a problem almost completely caused by men — make you feel bad, don’t be a neanderthal! Then you won’t have anything to worry about. I highly doubt a bunch of college girls standing up for themselves is enough to bother a campus with real men on it.

  77. David

    I just learned about this case and my only response — between this school and University of Virginia—is that Virginia is a sickening toilet of moral filth. The attitudes towards women expressed in some of these comments show me everything I need to know. I’m repulsed, and I’m sad that people in Virginia raise their children to hate women with such ferocious intensity and call this “men’s rights’ — it isn’t men’s rights, it is pathology and the men who endorse murder and violence against women are sociopaths.

    If you send your daughter to a school in Virginia she will most likely be murdered and/or raped and no one will care. Repulsive on every level

  78. David

    Oh, and yeah I do think that every single person who chanted that inducement to murder is reponsible for inciting murder and needs to be charged thusly.

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