Re: Fwd: Women's Group Debates Snow Penis

From: Ray Recchia (
Date: Thu 27 Feb 2003 - 02:28:35 GMT

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    An amusing article and perhaps of interest to those at Harvard, but I don't think you can justify its presence on this list without some extreme stretching.

    Ray Recchia

    At 05:42 PM 2/26/2003 -0500, you wrote:
    >Originally published on Wednesday, February 26, 2003 in the News section
    >of The Harvard Crimson.
    >Women's Group Debates Snow Penis
    >Crimson Staff Writer
    >The destroyers of the nine foot snow phallus explained their motivations
    >to the Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS) at a meeting last night,
    >receiving a mixed reaction from the feminist group.
    >The sculpture’s destroyers, Amy E. Keel ’04 and her roommate Mary C.
    >Cardinale ’03, said they leveled the ice penis in order to spare others
    >from being offended by it.
    >“I think that women or men who are walking to class should not be
    >subjected to a penis,” Keel said. “It was a structure put up to assert
    >male dominance.”
    >Cardinale said that she thought the sculpture was “lewd” and not
    >The 20 students at the meeting debated the free speech rights of the
    >builders—and destroyers—of the giant penis and discussed how affronted
    >onlookers could have responded to its construction.
    >While some RUS members criticized the statue—which was erected in
    >Tercentenary Theater by members of the men’s crew team on Feb. 11—others
    >were less sure about its inappropriateness.
    >“I didn’t really think of it that much,” Ellenor J. Honig ’04 said. “There
    >are things to me that are so much worse.”
    >Fred O. Smith ’04 said he thought other people might have been upset when
    >the sculpture was torn down because it took a great deal of work to construct.
    >“I wonder how much people’s upsetness is due to how much time they put in
    >it,” Smith said. “I can think about it both ways.”
    >However, Smith said that if Keel and Cardinale were threatened as they
    >took the sculpture down, then that would raise the issue of “male domination.”
    >RUS members also discussed whether the First Amendment gave the sculptors
    >the right to construct the snow phallus.
    >“It wasn’t anyone’s private property; it was snow,” said Keel. “Taking
    >down a not impeding anyone’s free speech.”
    >RUS Co-President Ilana J. Sichel ’05 said she believed the most effective
    >way to protest the sculpture would have been to put up signs with
    >differing opinions.
    >“I don’t think we have a right to take down things that offend us,” Sichel
    >said. “We have to put up posters to the contrary.”
    >The group also threw out possible actions that could have been carried out
    >in protest of the snow phallus’ construction.
    >Some who were present said they had thought about building a snow vagina,
    >but quickly dismissed that type of artistic protest because the two
    >symbols would be construed differently.
    >“It’s a fundamental misunderstanding or ignorance what an erect penis
    >means as opposed to a vagina,” said RUS Vice President Rebeccah G. Watson ’04.
    >Honig argued that the group would not have taken the destruction of a snow
    >vagina well— just as the snow phallus builders were upset by Keel and
    >Cardinale’s nighttime castration of their sculpture.
    >“I feel like we’d be having the same discussion,” Honig said.
    >Copyright © 2001, The Harvard Crimson Inc. All rights reserved.
    >This was distributed via the memetics list associated with the
    >Journal of Memetics - Evolutionary Models of Information Transmission
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