Ohio: Students stand up against university sponsorship of misogyny
Sixty protesters chanted, “Shut it down! No rapists paid to come to town!” at Ohio State University (OSU), May 11. Outraged at the invitation of Tucker Max, a woman hating, rape promoting ‘comedian,’ students blew whistles, blared sirens and hung banners saying “OSU funded rape culture.”
Protesters chanted and stomped outside the auditorium throughout the event. Several demonstrators in the auditorium held signs and blared whistles to disrupt Tucker Max’s speech. They were forcibly removed by campus security. Protesters tried charging into the auditorium to shut down the event, but were thwarted by security and right-wing students. Tucker Max lowlifes hurled homophobic and sexist insults at the protesters, shouting, “Rape is funny!” A few even spat and threw punches at protesters in the lobby.
After the Tucker Max 'talk', Women and Allies Rising in Resistance (WARR) marched to the busiest intersection of Columbus, all the while shouting “We won’t be raped! We won’t be beat! Off of the sidewalks into the streets!” Protesters walked into the middle of the intersection, disrupting traffic for a half hour while proudly holding banners denouncing Tucker Max and rape culture at Ohio State.
The Ohio Union Activities Board (OUAB), responsible for holding events at Ohio State University, invited Max. Student activity fees charged to every student at OSU fund the OUAB. Tucker Max writes about binge drinking and sexual exploits, and says. “Ladies, there is no such thing as deserving respect,” and, “There is no insult too mean or crude for her and basic human rights do not apply to her.”
Women and Allies Rising in Resistance led the protest. WARR is demanding a sexual survivors’ fund on campus to cover high-cost medical bills after sexual assaults. Even with insurance, the medical bill for a sexual assault victim can reach thousands of dollars, and Ohio State has one of the highest rates of campus sexual assault in the country. Ohio State consistently tells students there is no money for sexual assault survivors, but turns around and gives thousands to Tucker Max.
WARR continued its action the next day with a seven-hour sit-in at the OUAB office demanding the same amount of money paid to Tucker Max, be donated to the sexual assault survivors fund. WARR also demanded the same amount be put toward anti-homophobic programming as a result of the homophobic slurs being chanted by the attendees at the Tucker Max event.
Stephanie Diebold said, “WARR believes that Tucker Max being paid to speak with OSU dollars is problematic due to his work endorsing violence against women and a culture of rape. He has quotes that include, ‘all women are whores.’ It is not OK for OSU to financially endorse a man that is openly misogynist and encourages violence against women.”
The struggle for a woman’s right to be free from misogyny and assault will continue with a Take Back the Night event on May 14. Charlie Frederick, a protester and member of OSU Free the Planet! said “Protesting rape-promoters like Tucker Max is but one of many strategies that we have in our toolbox, along with direct action to secure funds for rape victims-survivors and answering crisis calls at an abuse hotline. The main key is that we are pro-active in confronting oppression and abuse wherever and whenever we see it – on campus, at a party, or in our workplace. The AIDS movement taught us was that silence equals death; by making my outrage known and joining the protest I chose life – a safer and more just life without sexism and patriarchy. We need to stand up and fight back!”