More than 2,000 people plan to participate in a protest against campus carry by bringing dildos to the first day of fall semester classes next year, on Aug. 24.
UT alumna Jessica Jin organized the Facebook event “Campus (Dildo) Carry” on Friday. She said on the event page that students should protest campus carry by “strapping gigantic swinging dildos to our backpacks.”
Jin said she was inspired to create the Facebook event after listening to a radio discussion about the school shootings Oct. 9 at Texas Southern University, Northern Arizona University and an elementary in Upland, California. She said she felt a lot of frustration toward the people who continued to defend gun ownership while families mourned the loss of their children.
“I did little research on the rules surrounding dildos in classrooms,” Jin said. “When I discovered that it is indeed against UT policy to wave dildos around campus, I just couldn’t help myself.”
Jin said that although Texas has elected to allow concealed weapons on campus, there is a state penal code and a University rule which ban displaying or distributing obscene materials. The crime is a misdemeanor that can be punishable by up to a $500 fine.
Campus carry was signed into law on June 1 and allows license holders to carry a concealed handgun throughout university campuses. The law goes into effect Aug. 1, 2016.
The law, however, allows public universities to designate certain areas of campus gun-free zones, but not the entire campus. In August, UT President Gregory Fenves formed a working group to recommend implementation policies for the campus carry law by early December.
Using the hashtag #CocksNotGlocks, Jin said the state’s campus carry law and Texas penal code means people would receive a citation for taking a dildo to class before getting in trouble for bringing a gun.
Jin said support for the event has caught on quickly because it resonates with people, but the satirical use of dildos has also sparked more serious conversations on topics such as the perception of safety, the intersection of guns and sexuality and campus
“There’s a lot of arguing going on, but the consensus is: We’re all just trying to not get killed,” Jin said.
Jin said she chose dildos because the dildo has provided commentary on what society does and doesn’t consider to be obscene. She said the narratives surrounding guns and sexuality are intertwined and have the power to affect one another.
“Some shootings in this past year can even be traced straight back to sexual repression,” Jin said. “Dildos and guns are in it together for the long haul.”
Allison Peregory, chairman of the Young Conservatives of Texas UT Chapter and student representative of Students for Concealed Carry, said she believes the protest is childish, bizarre and highlights the ignorance of far left politics.
“I don’t know what [people] plan to do with a dildo against an assailant,” Peregory said. “But as a woman, and I know other Texas women agree with me, we’re going to take concealed carry over a dildo to protect us any day.”
Jasmin Sheth, Plan II and public health senior, said she decided to participate in the event and said it’s ironic that American society is okay with young people being exposed to violence through media but not okay with them seeing nudity.
“It’s strange that we place a taboo on our bodies and sexuality and prioritize guns,” Sheth said. “As a society, we become less empathetic.”
Jin said if the nation continues in the direction it is headed then everyone will eventually have to carry in order to protect any semblance of freedom or equality.
“I need this proliferation of dildos to offer people a visual representation of what it would be like if we all carried guns. It should look ridiculous to you. That is the point,” Jin said. “We’re going to need a lot of dildos.”