Nothing against Kate Upton, she is beautiful and actually quite intelligent. But she does not belong in my college. In my dorm. In my lounge.
Earlier today I passed by the communal lounge to find the one and only Sports Illustrated model gracing the bland and outdated wall of Caroline Hall.
And then I cried.
How could such blatant sexual objectification exist within the confines of academia? How could the 100 boys that live in this dorm disrespect the 15 girls residing here by issuing this nonverbal statement of gender inequality?
This was more than a picture. This was a mentality. An attitude that expressed what women are meant to be. Nothing. Nothing but an image and a body.
And it was in a communal space meant to allow males, females, and all genders in between to feel comfortable.
How am I ever going to sit in that lounge again? How will I ever look any of those boys in the eyes again knowing that they are looking back at me as nothing more than an object?
I casually brought up the topic of the poster.
They asked if I would like a picture of Ryan Gosling on the wall. I said no. No question. That is awkward and uncomfortable. No. No thank you. I like Ryan Gosling, I think he is handsome, but I also think a whole heck of a lot more about him than can ever be expressed in a shirtless image of him with a coy smile.
I just lost some friends today.
But I gained a mission.
I’m no longer going to be a silent feminist. I am going to actively raise my voice to let others know that gender equality is both a goal worth fighting for and a future that is drawing near. I may not hold protests, but I will share my opinions and discuss the discrepancies between genders and what can be done to combat such differences.
Kate Upton, the next time you’d like to attend college, please bring a sweater.