The Wellesley Sleepwalker & Free-Range Kids

Folks, here’s a piece by me that’s slightly off topic in that it’s not about kids — per se. But it is about hyper-sensitivity, in this case, to the statue of a male sleepwalker on the Wellesley College campus.

The connection here is this: Free-Range fights the spread of excessive fear. And fear grows on the assumption of fragility, the assumption that  mere EXPOSURE to anything upsetting or imperfect  — an idea, a germ, a disappointment, a scrape, a statue — is potentially devastating.

Free-Range Kids says we are stronger than that. We demean kids and adults when we assume they can’t handle everyday life, be it walking to school, playing on a merry-go-round, or encountering an odd statue. – L. 

Fear and Loathing at Wellesley

A life-like statue of a guy sleepwalking in his underwear awakens a protest by campus feminists.

By LENORE SKENAZY

A realistic-looking statue of a sleepwalking schlub in his underpants has caused an outrage at Wellesley, a women’s college in Massachusetts near Boston. The students are so disturbed that they want him—I mean, it—gone.

Grab the smelling salts, ladies. This is not a prowler, it’s a piece of art.

That distinction doesn’t seem to matter to the 700 angry and aggrieved students, alumni and others who in recent days have signed a petition demanding the removal of artist Tony Matelli’s “Sleepwalker.” They say that, while inanimate, the male image is nonetheless a “trigger”—a catalyst capable of stirring up anything from memories of sexual assault to fear of strangers.

“Sleepwalker” on the campus of Wellesley College.Getty Images

“Wellesley should be a safe place for their students, not a triggering one,” wrote one petition-signer, as if the statue actually made the campus dangerous. That’s a brand-new way of looking at—and trying to legislate—the world. So I checked in with Robert Shibley, senior vice president at the Foundation for Individual Rights in Education, about the Wellesley panic. “It’s the idea that any kind of discomfort is a form of assault,” he noted.

Once we equate making people feel bad with actually attacking them, free expression is basically obsolete, since anything a person does, makes or says could be interpreted as abuse.

READ THE REST HERE.

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56 Responses to The Wellesley Sleepwalker & Free-Range Kids

  1. sue February 12, 2014 at 1:00 pm #

    i’ve said it before and i’ll say it again. books such as “the giver”, “1984” and “brave new world” were written as cautionary tales, they were NOT meant to be instruction manuals.

  2. pentamom February 12, 2014 at 1:09 pm #

    FWIW, it’s actually a matter of dispute whether Huxley was offering a warning, or a vision. He was a weird guy.

    But your point is well made, nonetheless.

  3. CLamb February 12, 2014 at 1:17 pm #

    Maybe it would be acceptable to them if they put up a statue of a woman with an axe chasing him? This seems like a good place to experiment with people’s reactions.

  4. ifsogirl February 12, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

    As a survivor of childhood sexual abuse, date rape, sposal abuse and marital rape I can tell you I HAVE TRIGGERS. But if something in public triggers me I don’t blame whomever put it there. I have issues with masks, I don’t rage on about how unsafe Halloween makes me feel, I use the tools I was taught, maybe some ativan, and I move on in my world.

    I have a fear of strangers, new places, going, any movue depicting rape in any way, somewhere new alone is terrible for me, but if I want to live in this world, not be held back by things that happened in my “before” life, I have to face what may trigger me and learn tobdeal with it.

    There have been many times I’ve been triggered in public, something I saw, heard, smelled or something as simple as someone walking too close to me. It is MY right to learn to be stronger and how to control my panic. It is not MY right to make everyone else responsible for what may trigger me.

  5. Andrea February 12, 2014 at 1:28 pm #

    Excellent piece, Lenore.

    I wonder if these young women study “Piss Christ” or Robert Mapplethorpe in their art history courses, and if they scoff (like everybody in my modern art class did) about people taking offense to such art.

  6. Kate Fall February 12, 2014 at 1:40 pm #

    Lenore, after reading the comments to your piece, I almost wish you hadn’t written it. Look, it’s a little scary to see a figure of a man at night in an unexpected place when you’re by yourself, but I’m sure the students got used to it eventually. Unfortunately, the commenters to your piece used it explain how women are dumb, feminism is evil, and “irrational women is redundant.” It’s become a flourishing forum for attacking equal rights and “explaining” how, except for the few women who are in are Armed Forces (somehow they got accepted), all women have a natural victim mentality, so really, we need to stop listening to their complaints. It’s a nice article, but Lord, don’t read the comments.

  7. Ben February 12, 2014 at 1:49 pm #

    I’m itching to petition AMC to approve an official zombie walk around that campus. Is that wrong of me?

  8. ND February 12, 2014 at 1:51 pm #

    Even if one were to accept the idea that Wellesley women should be allowed their aversion to nearly nude male statues (they did choose to attend a women’s college for a reason, after all), there’s a level of inconsistency that bothers me. Wellesley allows male students from other colleges and universities to attend classes via cross-registration and exchange programmes. In addition, trans men are allowed to continue attending and sharing the same dormitory and bathroom facilities even if they’re indistinguishable from non-trans men until their clothes come off. Yet no one seems to be suggesting that these living, breathing, flesh and blood men be removed from campus to protect the emotions and healing of Wellesley women who’ve been sexually assaulted.

    If there was some consistency in their arguments I’d at least be able to respect them. The artist does have a nearly nude female statue that could have been put up in that case. However, the lack of concern over actual men makes it hard to see anything other than a group of students trying to censor a piece of art.

  9. Shawn Levasseur February 12, 2014 at 2:04 pm #

    My frequently used saying: “If hurting someone’s feelings is a crime, we’d ALL be doing hard time”

  10. lollipoplover February 12, 2014 at 2:07 pm #

    Life has become immeasurably better since I have been forced to stop taking it seriously.”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson

    I remember in college making impromptu snow sculptures in the quad after a big storm. The 9 foot Snow Penis took us about 20 minutes at 2 in the morning but was a fond memory and not many were offended by it except the religious zealot on our floor. I told her I helped roll the balls and we didn’t speak much after that.
    The petition thing- just remember there’s a bigger one trying to get Justin Beiber out of the country- is a bit extreme for these college students. There are better causes than limiting freedom of expression and use of tighty whiteys in sculpture in this country, I swear. Jump on a different change.org cause and someone put a hat on him, he looks cold.

  11. SKL February 12, 2014 at 2:08 pm #

    Thank God for the little bits of lingering sanity still to be found on our continent!

    If you’ve been raped, being on the same campus with an actual man could be a trigger. Reading a poem in the literature book could be a trigger. That’s what shrinks are for.

    I really dislike that kind of art – not because it’s scary, but because to my sense of aesthetics, it isn’t *art* – but then again, neither is a lot of stuff that wears that label. Regardless, that is MY problem.

    At least he has underwear on.

    I loved the quote, “that which doesn’t kill you makes you weaker.” So sad and so prevalent nowadays.

  12. SOA February 12, 2014 at 2:21 pm #

    I think the statue is nifty. It might kinda startle me if I did not know about it and would think it really was a dude out sleep walking if I came upon it in the dark or something. Or a zombie haha. But when it never moved I think I could figure out it was not real. Then after that I would just stop even paying attention to it.

    People are weird.

  13. lollipoplover February 12, 2014 at 2:36 pm #

    I wonder if the statue would be less offensive if it were more Ryan Gosling and less Paul Giamatti.

  14. QuicoT February 12, 2014 at 2:41 pm #

    Thanks Ifsogirl. Your candor and maturity are a real inspiration.

  15. steve February 12, 2014 at 2:55 pm #

    The Boston Globe article was titled:

    ‘Artist says Wellesley College statue represents man who is ‘hopelessly lost’

    Interestingly, the artist also said, “I’ve also done women statues – I’ve done a female Sleepwalker. This just happens to be male. It has nothing to do with this being a women’s college whatsoever.”

    Now I ask you – Do you believe that? That deciding to put up a male on a female college campus was not really considered? Seriously?
    A clueless artist who didn’t even think about how the women my respond?

    And on the subject of being triggered. Almost everyone might be triggered by anything. You can’t remove everything that might trigger a person. Some people would probably be triggered just by stepping onto that particular college campus.

  16. Michelle February 12, 2014 at 3:10 pm #

    I was at Wellesley College on Saturday, so of course we had to find this statue. It was a little bit creepy, but also amazing, we couldn’t believe it wasn’t a real person. The details, right down to the tiny hairs on his back, were so lifelike.

    People are always looking for something to be angry about, chill out people, we only get one life, let’s laugh a little more and not make a big deal out of so many things that are not meant to cause any harm.

  17. Michael F February 12, 2014 at 3:40 pm #

    Living in Wellesley I can understand some of the fear on this piece, the campus is wooded and has some secluded areas. On occasion the police log notes that people (men) are reported as being on campus exposing themselves. My first thought was, this is weird, but after recalling some of the past police reports I can understand where at night you might think WTH?

    It might have been a better idea to keep the statue closer to the art museum. But that’s just me.

  18. Kate February 12, 2014 at 3:45 pm #

    The tone of your piece does not reflect my experience as an art student at Wellesley in the late 90’s. Nor do I believe that you have been fair to generalize the values of an institution based on the comments of 700 people on an online survey, the majority of whom do not appear to be current students. I would recommend that readers visit the “Discussion” area of the change.org petition which strikes me as a more balanced snapshot of student discourse surrounding Matelli’s installation. https://www.change.org/petitions/president-h-kim-bottomly-move-the-sleepwalker-inside-the-davis-museum/responses/10205

  19. BL February 12, 2014 at 4:20 pm #

    I thought triggers were things that made bullets fly out of guns at high velocity.

    This doesn’t look like it could do that.

  20. Papilio February 12, 2014 at 4:23 pm #

    @Steve: “Seriously? A clueless artist who didn’t even think about how the women my respond?”
    You mean, with the supernatural paranoid kind of imagination it takes to see that thing from their perspective?

    @SKL: “At least he has underwear on.”
    With this temperature I doubt there would have been much more to see…

    @lollipoplover: The 9 foot Snow Penis reminds me of a similar sized snowman people had made one winter. It was right in front of the coffeeshop (where they do NOT sell coffee), so they had given it a well-proportioned, lit up joint… :-D

  21. Leppi February 12, 2014 at 4:33 pm #

    Imagine if “Manneken Pis” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Manneken_Pis) was setup on Boston Common or in Central Park. Mayhem, Sodom & Gomorrah or maybe even the end of the world as we know it

  22. Mom of Four February 12, 2014 at 8:11 pm #

    This statue is clever and it makes me smile. My husband’s college roommate really did sleepwalk in his underwear. Too funny. All those overly sensitive college girls need to get a sense of humor and a worthwhile target for the focus of their youthful outrage.

  23. Reziac February 12, 2014 at 8:37 pm #

    Ifsogirl says, “It is MY right to learn to be stronger and how to control my panic.”

    That’s a really good point. If society ‘protects’ you from ever encountering a trigger, how are you ever going to learn to be stronger? Eliminating triggers denies your right to improve, which is a form of ‘pursuit of happiness’.

    It’s a great deal like making everything so safe for children that they never learn to cope with life.

  24. Reziac February 12, 2014 at 8:49 pm #

    Okay, now that I’ve read a bunch of the comments… most of ‘em are dead-on. But the one that’s probably the most telling (about how nowadays everything has to be vetted for Deeper Meanings In Case It Might Offend) … this is exactly what would have happened to it at my university in the 70s, too:

    “At Mount Holyoke in the mid-80’s, we would have reveled in having a fully-formed undies-clad sleepwalker dropped in the snow on our campus to break up the winter doldrums. He’d have been given a name, a beer, different outfits every day; as one of my friends commented, we’d have petitioned to have the underwear removed, not the entire statue! There are men who will exploit and take advantage, but this sweetly sad guy isn’t one of them, women of Wellesley College. (Posted by Helen Hamel, Ray’s wife.)”

  25. Peter February 12, 2014 at 9:05 pm #

    At Mount Holyoke in the mid-80′s […] He’d have been given a name, a beer, different outfits every day […]

    This is actually kind of interesting.

    Here we have a statue of a man who is “hopelessly lost.” In the 1980s, we’d have helped him out. We’d have made him part of our community.

    2014? We’d make the authorities take him away from our sight.

  26. bmj2k February 12, 2014 at 9:53 pm #

    I realize I’m in the minority today, but “art” has lost its meaning if this is art.

  27. anonymous this time February 12, 2014 at 10:47 pm #

    I’m not enormously enthusiastic about this guy in his underwear. But I thought it was pretty interesting to see him covered in snow.

    If part of the “art” was to “install” him in unexpected places, like showers, laundry rooms, closets, bathrooms, etc. then perhaps I could see this as a trigger. But if he’s in a fixed place, braving the elements, I say look away if you don’t like him.

    That’s what I’m doing.

  28. SOA February 12, 2014 at 11:08 pm #

    They could just have fun with it and put him in funny costumes and stuff and maybe do things like put a wig and a dress and handbag on him and make him in drag. Stuff like that. That is what I would do.

  29. Mark Roulo February 12, 2014 at 11:13 pm #

    “I thought triggers were things that made bullets fly out of guns at high velocity.”

    You are thinking of gun powder.

  30. Mark Roulo February 12, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

    “I realize I’m in the minority today, but ‘art’ has lost its meaning if this is art.”

    I don’t think you are in the minority, but modern art can get … odd.

    I was at the MOMA (in NYC) last year and they had a (fake) bag of kitty litter as one of the art works. Sadly, it is no longer on display, but the museum does have a page for it:

     
     
     
     http://www.moma.org/collection/object.php?object_id=81486

  31. Amy February 12, 2014 at 11:16 pm #

    We’ll, it’s just plain gross to have to look at that. But I suppose it falls under free speech.

  32. Nadine February 12, 2014 at 11:27 pm #

    See thats art in action!!! Briljant! I volunteerd at a childrens performance art festival and this is exactly what its about. Monitoring your first reaction and then figure if its true and just. Being brought off balance. That’s why a peanut butter floor becomes art http://www.geekosystem.com/peanut-butter-platform/. Not the darn thing itself. But the theatre and all strong emotions make it so. Children understand that usually perfectly (unless they feel unfree and monitored in their answers and start being politically correct, searching for what you want to hear and as a child guide you hear a lot of those).

    When art brings to the surface what isnt normally shown. Its art… and good art. Even when its something we dont want to be confronted with or just plain hurts.

  33. Beth February 13, 2014 at 2:58 am #

    “can understand some of the fear on this piece, the campus is wooded and has some secluded areas. On occasion the police log notes that people (men) are reported as being on campus exposing themselves. My first thought was, this is weird, but after recalling some of the past police reports I can understand where at night you might think WTH?”

    But…would the FIRST time any student saw this really be at night? I don’t know the campus, but it looks like it’s out in the open, and since most classes occur in the daytime it seems like there’d be ample opportunity to know it was there before being “triggered” by it at night.

  34. Beth February 13, 2014 at 8:12 am #

    Here’s the thing that strikes me… I think the vast majority of people objecting to the thing don’t really think this statue makes the campus emotionally unsafe or whatever, I think they just don’t like it. Frankly, I don’t blame them, I don’t care for it either. I do “get it”, I just don’t love looking at it. If I woke up one day and discovered the powers that be had installed it in the lobby of my apartment, I wouldn’t be thrilled, and I’d look for a way to have it removed.

    Most of these people don’t think it shouldn’t be made, or displayed, they just don’t want it in their backyard all the time. So how do they express that, and have a hope of removing an eyesore from the place they live, without resorting to exaggerated arguments about safe space?

    People make everything about what danger or hurt someone might experience because they think it is the only kind of argument that is accepted as valid. Are they right?

  35. Christine Hancock February 13, 2014 at 9:01 am #

    If that’s art, then it’s a little weird. I don’t like it and I think it’s an eyesore, but also fodder for some amazing and hilarious art pranks.

    That said. If the college is attracting women so fragile that a stationary statue of a man in his underwear could potentially trigger PTSD symptoms in their students, then they are not an institution of higher learning, they are a women’s mental health hospital.

  36. Aimee February 13, 2014 at 10:50 am #

    Personally I find it kind of creepy, but I like the ideas of dressing it in funny clothes every day, etc.

    Couldn’t the artist at least have put him in boxer briefs? The tightie whities is the scariest part of all. Sheesh…

  37. Dave February 13, 2014 at 10:59 am #

    Once we equate making people feel bad with actually attacking them, free expression is basically obsolete, since anything a person does, makes or says could be interpreted as abuse.

    This statement says it all. Once again facts don’t matter only feels do.

  38. GW February 13, 2014 at 2:17 pm #

    I was a student at Smith in the mid-90s and I suspect the reaction on campus then would have been akin to the comment citing Mount Holyoke from Helen Hamel. Indeed, Tyler House probably would’ve made the statue their mascot.

    I remember the Mapplethorpe controversy because my mother was working for the Corcoran at the time. Those objecting the loudest seemed to be politicians with an agenda. Hmm.

  39. Eleanor February 13, 2014 at 6:45 pm #

    Thank you!!

  40. Nicole R. February 13, 2014 at 7:21 pm #

    Personally, I just don’t like the sculpture, and wouldn’t really want it in my backyard either. I think it probably would have been better received in a museum, where people could choose to go see it or not.

    But…

    I agree that “Once we equate making people feel bad with actually attacking them, free expression is basically obsolete, since anything a person does, makes or says could be interpreted as abuse.” I do think it’s going too far to try to get rid of the statue by rolling it down such a slipery slope.

    And…

    I actually like the “Lets’s dress him up and have some fun” plan best of all.

  41. Jill February 14, 2014 at 7:48 am #

    Lenore, I’m gonna have to unsubscribe to you after this one. I’ve been following you for years.
    I don’t care much either way about this statue, but I don’t like the nasty tone regarding feminists.
    And I can’t believe that you can listen to blurred lines without being seriousky creeped out by the lyrics. Have you ever read them? They are verbatim what a date rapist sounds like.
    More and more as i read the daily emails you send, I wonder if there is anything you think we SHOULD worry about.
    Goodbye.

  42. Captain America February 14, 2014 at 10:00 am #

    The art is functioning EXACTLY as contemporary art mores would dictate: it’s a shocker and really looks out of place!

    I don’t know jack about the college. I think it’s humorous, recalling all the times in college that I’d see classmates and sometimes myself fumbling into early morning class.

    And of course, haven’t we each dreamed of accidentally going to school or work naked?

    Lighten up, ladies. Stop viewing the world through the screwy race-class-gender goggles.

  43. Steve February 14, 2014 at 11:27 am #

    Re:
    “I realize I’m in the minority today, but ‘art’ has lost its meaning if this is art.”

    ——

    Somewhere along the way, most people acquire a belief that Art should be something everyone always likes, and if it’s not liked, then it’s not Art. Or they go farther than that and think: it’s not art if it’s not in the form I’m used to seeing.

    But think of it this way:

    Consider these categories: Art, Books, Games.

    Would you ever say, “…books have lost their meaning if this is a book.”

    or… “…Games have lost their meaning if this is a game.”

    Of course not, because nobody believes everyone should love all books or games. Nobody believes all games must be played on a board, or that an auto repair manual is not a book just because it doesn’t read like War & Peace.

    ————-

    Re:
    “I remember the Mapplethorpe controversy because my mother was working for the Corcoran at the time. Those objecting the loudest seemed to be politicians with an agenda. Hmm.”

    And you think Mapplethorpe had no agenda? Hmmm.

    Everyone has an agenda.

  44. Amanda Matthews February 14, 2014 at 12:44 pm #

    I find it scary that their reaction to a man standing like this, in his underwear, in the snow, is fear for themselves rather than concern for HIS safety.

    They might see a naked man. He might get hypothermia, frost bite, might wander into the road, etc. Which is more concerning?

  45. Lisa February 14, 2014 at 3:07 pm #

    Interesting read, although it seems a bit unfair to portray Wellesley women as needing to “grab the smelling salts.” The petition does not reflect the majority opinion on Wellesley campus, which concludes that the statue is an interesting, thought-provoking piece of art. There was merely a game of telephone in which no one actually knew whether or not people were triggered. Also,the petition was more so intended to increase transparency between Wellesley students and staff. The petition was not so much so intending to remove the “only man on campus.” Lastly, sexist media coverage such as this portray hard-working Wellesley women who already suffer from major grade deflation and tough courses as “Victorian maidens.”

  46. Andrea February 14, 2014 at 9:26 pm #

    On the topic of whether art should please or disturb, a lot of serious, classic works of art were considered deeply disturbing in their time. Manet’s “Luncheon on the Grass”, for example:

    http://voices.yahoo.com/a-scandal-bohemia-shocking-debut-manets-280931.html?cat=7

    The very style of impressionism turned the art world upside-down back in the day.

  47. Kaetlyn February 14, 2014 at 11:42 pm #

    I’m shocked that this piece has elicited such an uproar. I graduated from Wellesley in 2001. I was an art major, and we studied much more provocative works than this one in our art history classes. I don’t think this sculpture would have elicited this kind of response from the student body 13 years ago. For a class project a friend and I once hid two of the statues on campus, dressed up like them (painted ourselves white), and posed in their places for a day. I was kind of hanging off of the roof of a building in the academic quad. We definitely startled people, but no one protested. Anyway, we thought we were hilarious. For me, the reaction the students are having to this sleepwalker piece today, in a place I knew so well a decade ago, speaks to the progressively more extreme bubble wrapping of our youth. And it makes me a little sad–what has happened to the tough, independent, resilient Wellesley woman?

  48. Donna February 15, 2014 at 11:04 am #

    Back in the 50s my university contracted with an artist to create 5 sculptures to place around campus. The second was an iron horse that the student body immediately hated for reasons I have never heard explained. Within days they painted it and set up a bonfire under it by burning mattresses, tires and hay. To avoid its complete destruction, the university removed it. An agriculture professor asked to have it and it has lived in his corn field 30 miles outside of town since. The thing is now legend and must students will make a pilgrimage to see the Iron Horse at least once during their enrollment. There was a big movement to move it back to the university in the 90s and the professor’s son objected and won so the horse remains in its corn field. In fact, the son sold the corn field to the university a few years ago — all except the land on which the Iron Horse sits and an easement to it which he still owns.

    Basically saying this is nothing new. For whatever reason, art brings out strong emotions in people who then act ridiculously.

  49. SKL February 16, 2014 at 9:57 am #

    Well, there is something new though – the catch term “rape culture.” The idea that anyone who doesn’t advocate for women’s complete freedom from practical considerations is a rape apologist and slut shamer.

    Last June there was a topic on another forum that related to how a 15yo girl was dressed. You could see too many details under her shirt (and she got harassed in public for it). I commented that while the harasser was wrong, someone who cares about her should have told her to cover up better. To this day I have people shoving that comment in my face as a bad, terrible, mean, misogynist, slut shaming, rape culture promoting comment. Sigh. Apparently women won’t be respected or safe until they can walk naked and not be looked at, jump on a guy and not be touched, ….

    Meanwhile, I plan to tell my kids about reality and send them out into a world that includes males.

  50. ebohlman February 16, 2014 at 10:52 am #

    pentamom: Huxley wrote a followup called Brave New World Revisited that made it clear he was talking about a dystopia.

  51. SOA February 17, 2014 at 12:47 am #

    I agree with you wholeheartedly SKL. I have been bashed on boards with lots of uber feminists because I dare say things like women should play it smart and don’t accept drinks from strangers, don’t go out drinking alone but have a friend you trust to watch out for you to make sure you don’t go off with some random guy, Don’t pass out drunk in empty rooms, etc.

    Apparently that is attacking women. Funny I am a woman and I have always used my brain to play it smart and make wise decisions and so far at least it has served me well.

  52. ifsogirl February 17, 2014 at 12:45 pm #

    First I’d like to thank all of the commenters kind comments here.

    SKL – I agree with you 100% about women taking some responsibility for their own safety. We should not have to worry that simply being a woman in public means we are constantly at risk of being raped. In fact we don’t live in that kind of society now in North America, we should feel blessed we don’t live in some other countries. But taking precautions for your safety isn’t a Women’s Only issue.

    Ask anyone male or female how they feel walking at night alone. I’m going to warrant a guess that everyone would feel more on guard depending on what kind of neighbourhood they were in. The difference is we are teaching girls and women that they shouldn’t have to be careful, that everyone else should just respect them and leave them alone. In a perfect world yes, but since when have we lived in a perfect world?

    This of course needs to be coupled with everyone teaching their children, not just their boys, that it is wrong to rape period. There is no right reason for it, there is no excuse, it is just not acceptable.

  53. SKL February 17, 2014 at 4:51 pm #

    But really, are boys being taught that it is OK to rape? Have they ever been taught that? I know my brothers, who are now around 50, were 100% clear that it was 100% wrong to disrespect a woman physically. And I am certain that my dad wasn’t raised to believe it was OK to impose anything physical on a woman (including his own wife) without her clear consent. I really don’t think respect for women in the physical sense is a new idea. Yes, there have always been rapists, and there always will be, but it isn’t because society is confused about whether sexual violence against women is ever OK.

  54. Gravy February 19, 2014 at 10:08 am #

    Lenore, Are you going to address the little 10 year old girl who was abducted by a stranger and killed in Springfield, MO? She was walking to her friends house. You and your followers claim that the risk of abductions by strangers isn’t high enough to take heed. You slam “helicopter” parents because they see the risk of abduction and murder for their children as too high. You are basically encouraging parents to make their child the one that gets abducted. I hope that we find out that her parents followed your teachings and the media slams you for encouraging parents to be neglectful.

  55. Scott Gallant February 19, 2014 at 10:38 pm #

    Please sign the petition to end Feminist hypocrisy!

    https://www.change.org/petitions/h-kim-bottomly-dissuade-petitioners-of-sleepwalker-statue-from-participating-in-future-slut-walks

  56. BMS February 25, 2014 at 8:35 am #

    Thanks, women of Wellesley, for setting back women’s lib 25 years. Yes, I’m a woman. I’m a woman who is in a field predominated by men (engineering). Yes, some men are a$$holes. Yes, some men do bad things. But standing up for my rights is a lot different than screaming for someone to protect me from the scary, evil… ugly statue? Grow up ladies. Or do what we MIT alums would have done – hack the statue by putting a different outrageous outfit on it every night for a month. I would start with a tutu and go from there…