by Meg Young
Everyone can agree that rape is not a joke, right? Apparently not, based on the popularity of the blog Barstool Sports.
At first glance, the blog appears to be a collection of comedic sports commentaries interspersed with predictable photos of scantily clad women, or “smokeshows,” to use the vernacular. However, this archive of good, clean misogynistic fun has a darker side. Many of the postings make jokes about rape and sexual assault, such as this commentary about the acquittal of a man accused of raping a woman wearing tight jeans: “[E]ven though I never condone rape if you’re a size 6 and you’re wearing skinny jeans you kind of deserve to be raped right?”
Now, Barstool is hosting the “Barstool Blackout Tour,” a series of sponsored dance parties on or near college campuses across the country. Think that sounds a little dicey? Women shouldn’t worry, according to the blog: “Just to make friends with the feminists I’d like to reiterate that we don’t condone rape of any kind at our Blackout Parties in mid January. However if a chick passes out that’s a grey area though.”
Your humble blogger is not the only one shaking with indignation. When Barstool scheduled the Northeastern University Blackout Party at the House of Blues in Boston, a group of Northeastern students called Knock Out Barstool began to rally students in the Boston area to boycott and protest the event scheduled for this Thursday, Feb. 2.
In an letter published in Northeastern’s Huntington News, students and members of Knock Out Barstool wrote, “We demand Northeastern University and its administration stand for women and denounce Barstool Sports and the NU Blackout Party. These organizations do not represent the values of our community nor our institution.”
Much to their (and my) dismay, Northeastern University has not come out directly against the parties, other than to tweet it doesn’t officially endorse them.
Visit Knock Out Barstool’s website, and if you’re in the Boston area, stand in solidarity with Northeastern students protesting this event outside the House of Blues in Boston at 7:30 p.m. on Thursday.
Meg Young is a sophomore at Tufts University, where she studies anthropology and community health. She became interested in women’s reproductive health during her time as an intern at Our Bodies Ourselves in 2009.