At Swarthmore College, the first day of Coming Out Week each fall dawns reliably, the first light falling on sexually explicit messages chalked on campus sidewalks by gay student groups the night before. It is a tradition, organizers say, meant to facilitate free expression among gay students and encourage all students to question the reigning “heteronormative” culture....Well, at least they're having a dialogue.
Among the most controversial chalkings were a “cartoonish” depiction of a female with a “strap-on” device engaged in a**l s*x with the caption, “A**l S*x is for Everyone,” and a drawing of a vagina on the patio of the college’s dining hall that was intentionally washed away, said Tatiana Cozzarelli, a junior at Swarthmore and one of the organizers of the National Coming Out Week activities...
“There’s not one message of the chalkings. But some of them challenge heteronormativity and make straight people think about their sexuality in a way they often haven’t in the past.”...
Students counter-chalked following the original chalkings, and after a rain, gay students chalked again, Westphal said — an escalation of a “chalk talk” that hasn’t been seen in previous years. Cozzarelli said many gay students were disappointed with the counter-chalking, feeling that they had one week per year to express their voices, “not to create a dialogue of voices of people who aren’t normally silenced on top of the chalkings of people who are silenced.” One of the counter-chalkings, “Why don’t you shut the f**k up already?” was particularly upsetting, Cozzarelli said, as it “contributed to this norm of silencing queer people.”
IN THE COMMENTS: Ron says something especially funny.
Palladian finds reason to exclaim "Geez, aren't there any gay boys at Swarthmore?" and says:
May I, once again, register my extreme irritation at the term "heteronormative"? Not only is it an ugly "word", but it's expressing a stupid concept. Of course heterosexuality is "normative"! If these silly queer club kidz (who, no doubt, consider themselves members of the "Reality-based" community) spent less time chalking strap-ons and taking Peace and Gender studies courses and more time studying biology, they'd understand that reproduction is a biological imperative and is naturally the primary focus of all life. There's nothing discriminatory about this, and nothing that can or should be changed. It doesn't invalidate the people who aren't geared toward the opposite sex.Ernst brings up Tom Wolfe's "I Am Charlotte Simmons":
What any marginally intelligent person with an "activist" streak should be focused on is constructive changes to public policy, not "challenging heteronormativity" or silly pseudo-psychological street theater that does little but annoy and disgust people who have more important things to think about. And if you can't stop doing this sort of thing, don't be so damned serious about it for God's sake! Becoming self-righteous about someone defacing your chalk pussy drawing makes you look both humorless, naive and, above all, stupid.
As I recall the story was that gay students chalked explicit drawings, and the campus maintenance workers erased it because they believed it was anti-gay. Of course the campus gay groups demanded an apology for the insensitive and opporessive erasure of chalk drawings.Ha ha. Perfect!