Nearly naked man vs dead babies: Guess which campus display was censored?

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Backdrop on the above (click to enlarge) from the Boston Globe, February 5:

A realistic-looking statue of a man sleepwalking in his underwear near the center of Wellesley College has created a stir among the women on campus, especially as more than 100 students at the all-women’s college signed a petition asking administrators to remove it.

The statue, called Sleepwalker, is part of an art exhibit featuring sculptor Tony Matelli….

“[T]his highly lifelike sculpture has, within just a few hours of its outdoor installation, become a source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for many members of our campus community,” says the petition…. “[I]t has already become a source of undue stress for many Wellesley College students, the majority of whom live, study, and work in this space.”

video-undefined-1B404A0A00000578-751_637x367Surprisingly, notable abortion proponents are defending the statue.

Explained Amanda Marcotte on Slate, “College is a time for taking everything too far.” Certainly Sleepwalker is that.

Added Jill Filipovic at The Guardian:

At the heart of the debate is the question of what a college should be. Is it preparation for the real world? …

College is supposed to be physically safe. But it’s not supposed to be intellectually safe. Shielding students from uncomfortable moments does them no favors.

Sexual assault is a serious offense from which many women suffer major physical and psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress reactions that may be triggered by particular sights, sounds or events. When Wellesley students say the statue is “triggering,” that’s what they mean. Those feelings are valid and those reactions are real.

But here is the sad truth: the world is not a particularly safe place for women. It should be, but it’s not. Everyone has a right to physical safety. Emotional and psychological safety, though, isn’t quite as simple a calculus…. Do women have the right to live free of the intentional infliction of emotional and psychological violence? Yes. Do we have the right to move through public space without being harassed or assaulted? Yes. Do we have the right to move through public space without having our PTSD triggered by a source with no intention of triggering us? No, we don’t. That’s an impossible standard, and a dangerous one….

Our schools would be poorer if all potentially triggering material – hell, if all offensive, sexist, blatantly feminist unapproved material – were removed from them, and if students could not engage with troubling material.

I wonder when Marcotte and Filipovic will take up the cause of Bama Students for Life regarding what the two would surely consider “blatantly feminist unapproved material” that the University of Alabama recently removed. Click to enlarge…

BamaStudentsForLifeDisplay (1)

School officials deemed the group’s pro-life display, which included pictures of three mothers who died from abortions and two photos of young abortion victims, “offensive” and “graphic,” according to administrator Donna Lake, who added in a secretly recorded video, “We have to keep it happy for everybody.”

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1376425910.416386Happy happy happy? Somebody has been watching too much Duck Dynasty.

The display was removed on February 6, just one day 48 hours short of its reserved run from January 8 through February 7.

“You guys were lucky to get it up there as long as you did,” said Lake on the video.

Actually, school administrators were unlucky and unsmart not simply to grit their intolerant teeth for just a few more hours. The information about abortion they intended to suppress has now exploded onto the national public scene and mushroomed into a PR nightmare for them.

They also picked the wrong group to mess with. Only three weeks ago Bama Students for Life won Students for Life of America’s Group of the Year award, so these kids are not ones to walk away from this injustice.

The group has retained Alliance Defending Freedom as legal counsel, sent the university a formal letter of complaint requesting an apology and another display opportunity, and scheduled two days of public events on February 19 and 20 to spotlight the school’s denial of their First Amendment rights.

They have already won.

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37 thoughts on “Nearly naked man vs dead babies: Guess which campus display was censored?”

  1. Plenty of sad and stupid here.  
     
    I feel sorry for the artist.  He is obviously very skilled… the statue is convincingly life-like.  It is sad that a person with so much talent cannot find anything good or true or beautiful to do with that talent.  
     
    I feel sorry for whomever decided this would be an edify use of that bit of campus lawn.
     
    I feel sorry for the young women of Wellesley College, who are unable to see that this statue is just stupid — no more and no less.  If they look upon the stupid and see sexual violence, then what happens when they look upon real violence (like abortion)? They will call that “freedom.”  Get some common sense while you are at college!
     
    I feel sorry for the students at schools like U. of Alabama, where real ideas and controversy are suppressed.
     
    I feel sorry for our current culture, in which banality is protected as “free speech” — and real truth suppressed as “offensive.”

       13 likes

  2. I think a prolifer should make a sign for the statue to hold.
     
    It could read:    Time to wake up and admit to the humanity of the unborn.

       10 likes

  3. Let’s not do anything constructive about sexual assault.  Instead, let’s promote abortion, and let’s whitewash our environment so as not to be reminded that our world remains a dangerous place.  Yep, that’ll improve things for everybody.

       10 likes

  4. That previous comment was supposed to be the voices of the students who want the statue removed. I’m actually pretty impressed with its craftsmanship.

       4 likes

  5. If I saw that statue of the man in his underwear I would freak out.  So life like.  I pray that someday campus’ will be allowed to share the full truth about abortion.

       5 likes

  6. “Sexual assault is a serious offense from which many women suffer major physical and psychological trauma, including post-traumatic stress reactions that may be triggered by particular sights, sounds or events. When Wellesley students say the statue is “triggering,” that’s what they mean. Those feelings are valid and those reactions are real.”
     
    Well, they should learn that in real life no one cares about your PTSD. I’m not being mean, it’s just true. Your boss isn’t going to let you take an extra break because the delivery guy reminded you of your attacker, your coworkers are not going to have any sympathy if you can’t stand the smell of their cologne because it’s what your abuser wore. You can’t avoid all triggers in real life and no one will remove things that bother you, so the sooner you learn to deal with them the better. You can’t cleanse your environment all the time. 
     
    They should have left both displays up. If college is a place to have boundaries pushed then censoring certain people’s views is against that. 

       9 likes

  7. File those quotes from Marcotte and Filipovic and use liberally (with credit) every time pro-life displays are censored.

       12 likes

  8. You know, every college is different, but these policies seems really inconsistent. College is a place to push boundaries… but not too far and only the approved boundaries where we’ve installed the sign “push.”

    I agree with DLPL that the real world is not going to care about your trauma. Anyway, college is too cloistered anyway. It’s an entirely artificial environment. I am hugely not  a fan. I think I’m going to push my kids to commute and pursue life outside of a campus. Where else do you live in such a homogeneous environment with only kids your age where everything is catered to your learning (or ‘learning’ in some cases) and your fun experience? It’s just kind of meh.

    But props the artist! What talent!! I actually thought the story was going to be about some dude who froze to death or something based on the picture. And the girls who are triggered by that need to get help. To me it looks like a dumb frat guy who lost a bet or something.

    Not to say that sexual trauma isn’t real or being triggered isn’t. But like DLPL said, you have got to learn to control it because life is going to be a landmine of triggers and no one will care or give you special treatment because something looks or smells or feels like when you got attacked. 

       3 likes

  9. I don’t know what to think about the statue.  Amazing work… so authentically life-like.  But a guy, sleepwalking in his underwear?  In the snow?
     
    I put this in the category of “Awesomely Bad.”  It is a stunningly brilliant execution, but of something that should never have been started in the first place.

       5 likes

  10. “Not to say that sexual trauma isn’t real or being triggered isn’t. But like DLPL said, you have got to learn to control it because life is going to be a landmine of triggers and no one will care or give you special treatment because something looks or smells or feels like when you got attacked. ”
     
    Yeah I didn’t mean to sound heartless, I know how much PTSD sucks and how damaging sexual assault is. But really, you’re giving these young ladies a really skewed view of the world if you let them think that you can force your environment and other people to avoid things that trigger. 
     
    “I put this in the category of “Awesomely Bad.”  It is a stunningly brilliant execution, but of something that should never have been started in the first place.”
     
    I’m just wondering what the artist made it for. S/he is obviously really talented, I’m wondering what is her/his reasoning behind the subject matter. 

       2 likes

  11. A well-sculpted snowman, sleepwalking in the snow, wearing red boxer shorts — that would be something funny!  Beautiful, even.  Worthy.  
     
     
    A sleepy snowman would not be creepy, or something that would remind touchy young feminists about sexual assault.
     
    Meanwhile, at Alabama:  A pro-life poster deserves its share a time in the display case, just as much as the atheist poster and the anarchist poster and Catholic student center poster and so forth.  Every message that invites us to change the culture is going to offend somebody…. so that is no reason to kill the message.  The whole point is to stimulate discussion among the students.

       3 likes

  12. Forgive me my naïveté, but I thought college was a place to gain the knowledge needed to pursue a career in a persons intended field.

    With the sleepwalker statue, it’s distracting from the girl’s academic studies. The reason they pay to go to college.

    I understand wanting to reach an audience with a political or human rights agenda, but do not understand the role colleges are trying to play in America. If the point of college is to push boundaries and have some grand cultural experience, well, I certainly don’t need to pay to send my child to that!

       6 likes

  13. DLPL, yeah I know what you meant. It does suck. But, I think it’s an entitlement mentality (to use that dreaded Republican buzzword). It’s this idea that we can make the world what we want it to be because we have feelings or something. 

    I mean, sure, it’d be nice. But life doesn’t work that way. We can change ourselves but not other people. And uh. something tells me this can’t possibly be the only sexual assault memory triggering thing on a college campus. But whatever. 

    And for the prolife people, that was really dumb of the administrator to pull it a day early. 
     

       2 likes

  14. If Wellesley had been the school to pull the anti-abortion display, then this comparison would be relevant.

       4 likes

  15. Thankfully, I have no PTSD to trigger, but I very much dislike the brilliantly crafted statue. Generally, sleepwalkers do not put their arms out in front of them grappling like a dumb zombie. Let this freaky, thought-provoking dude be a traveling piece of art, or place it somewhere people have to make an effort to go see it. At the least, do we really have to be reminded about the ugly, vulnerable, confused, and virtually unconscious ways we have traveled through life every single day? If I had to look at this disgusting guy in his undies every day while paying thousands of dollars a semester, I’d be pissed, just sayin …

       3 likes

  16. The sleepwalker is art, the anti-choice display was less than fully factual propaganda.
     
    What would you expect a sleepwalker to wear Del, a business suit?
     
     

       1 likes

  17. Not if I was sleepwalking, no. Luckily I don’t sleepwalk.
    But I have had jobs where I wore business suits. Bought my first one at 16.
    How about you?

       1 likes

  18. What a waste of good talent.  There is so much beautiful imagery in the world to replicate.  Like Del said, lots of sad and stupid.  No one wants to look at some old dude in his whitey tighty’s.

    Simply one more example to cite just how goofed up we humans are.

       2 likes

  19. Hey old white guys in their briefs are beautiful too!!!!! Offensive! Oppression!!
     
     
    Okay now I can’t stop laughing. 

       8 likes

  20. Not a great lover of art then Ed H?
    There have been versions of some old dude in his whitey tighty’s in most eras.
    What we see here is merely the contemporary version.

       3 likes

  21. I saw the news about Bama Students for Life!
     
    This is how the culture changes.  We lose and we lose, and every time that we lose — we win.  The story of that simple poster display went viral and millions of people heard about it.  

       2 likes

  22. “The sleepwalker is art, the anti-choice display was less than fully factual propaganda.”
    I’d ask you to explain that last part except that I know it would be no use.
    The display was removed precisely because of its inconvenient facts.
    The sleepwalker is art, the anti-choice display was less than fully factual propaganda. – See more at: http://www.jillstanek.com/2014/02/nearly-naked-man-vs-dead-babies-guess-which-campus-display-was-censored/#sthash.c0mC1Tow.dpuf

       4 likes

  23. A pair of argyle socks held up by sock suspenders would complete the ensemble. – whatever rocks your boat ;-)

    I’d ask you to explain that last part except that I know it would be no use. – well your asking is of use bmmg39, as I explained it at the time, on that thread – 

    Since abortion is safer than pregnancy and delivery, to make the claim ‘not safe’ is misleading at the very least.
    If they wish to claim ‘not safe’ they should demonstrate in comparison to what. Eating a ham sandwich could be declared ‘not safe’.
    Otherwise they may as well start an anti-crossing-the-road group because it’s ‘not safe’.
     

       2 likes

  24. DLPL I laughed so hard at that. Thank you so much. 
    Reality…. um. Abortion is not safer than pregnancy and delivery. Sorry. Maybe on your home planet that’s the case, but not here on earth. ;)

    Women deserve to know that abortion carries the serious risk of complications and death. 

       4 likes

  25. “Since abortion is safer than pregnancy and delivery, to make the claim ‘not safe’ is misleading at the very least. ”

    Tonya Reaves would disagree “reality.”  Oops she is dead from a botched abortion.   Two lives sacrificed by your gods at PP.   Feeling the “safety” yet “reality?”

       3 likes

  26. Not knowing, or choosing to ignore, the truth, the data and the evidence LibertyBelle, does not extinguish the fact that abortion is safer than pregnancy and delivery.
     
    ‘patients’ bmmg39? I think you misunderstand.
     
    You have provided nothing which negates my statement “thomas r.”

       1 likes

  27. “Not knowing, or choosing to ignore, the truth, the data and the evidence LibertyBelle, does not extinguish the fact that abortion is safer than pregnancy and delivery.”
     
    Well, you can’t really know that when abortion complications are not required to  be reported as abortion complications (there’s been reports, not sure how reliable, that sometimes they are reported as “pregnancy related” with no admission of abortion being performed). But anyway, like I told you before, I doubt that abortion is any more or less dangerous for the woman than any other minor surgical procedure, but it’s a fact that a human dies every single time one is performed correctly. 
     
    And no, I know the human fetuses are not considered patients, because people only care about the wishes of the woman. It’s not inaccurate to state that there’s always death involved in abortion though. 

       2 likes

  28. You see, now this is interesting.
    I know the human fetuses are not considered patients, because people only care about the wishes of the woman. It’s not inaccurate to state that there’s always death involved in abortion though.  – sounds rational, worthy of a moments thought.
    Whereas at least half of all patients die during abortion – eyeroll, cross the street.
    Is there a message there?
     
     

       0 likes

  29. “Is there a message there?”
     
    Yes. The message is that some people deliberately view unborn babies as only as important as their mother considers them. Pro-life ob-gyns care about both people, as well as pro-choice ob-gyns when the mother wishes to carry to term. But when Mom doesn’t want the baby, the baby’s health means nothing to such people. It’s a very sad state of affairs. People’s lives shouldn’t be dependent on their parent’s love or lack thereof. 

       3 likes

  30. Dude, I was talking about the way anti-choicers speak. The language they use. How calm, rational language is much more likely to be listened to than the chanty ranty overblown rhetoric slogan stuff. Just trying to help.

       2 likes

  31. Lol that’s how all movements are. People feel passionately and use emotional language to express themselves. I don’t because I’m dead inside (haha! I’m actually an overemotional person, I just temper my language with y’all to try and get across to you because I think the pro-life is that important). But yeah I completely missed your point.
     
    Pro-choicers do the exact same thing, you know. You do it yourself on occasion!

       4 likes

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