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    Misogynistic comments should not be tolerated

    Issue date: 4/17/09 Section: Opinion
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    To the Editor:



    Thursday night I almost pulled an all-nighter. I stayed in the library from 8 p.m. to 6:30 a.m. studying for an upcoming general chemistry test the next day. By happenstance, I went down to the ground floor of the library to buy a pop when I spotted the 24-hour security guard standing by the bathroom hallway entrance. "Nothing wrong with taking a short break," I said in my mind. Just seconds after, two female students came out of the door and he catcalled at them, "Young ladies, young ladies." Text fails to convey the distinct perversion I heard in the intonation of his voice. I won't repeat it here, but an inappropriate comment was made to them by this security guard. And the female students, perhaps being desensitized to such behavior toward them, tolerated the comments and kept going about their business. At this point, I picked up my pop and continued studying. Although I got through the material, every few moments I would begin to worry about the safety of these two students. Why? Because they came to the library to study - to do what I was doing. And yet they were sexually harassed in their attempt by a perverted security guard. I am offended for them, and my respect level for this man in uniform sunk to an irrecoverable low.

    One day in Fribley, I sat and ate with two of my first-year female friends. After returning from the bathroom, one of them said that a dishwasher had made an inappropriate comment to her when she turned her dishes in. My friend had been violated and objectified. My two female friends walked up the Fribley steps to depart without me. I personally had a one-on-one conversation with that staff member and informed him that my friend did not appreciate his comment.

    Such behavior by this security guard and dishwasher are intolerable. Despite what TV shows feed us, women are not objects. This standard must be upheld on our campus. Since this library incident, I have sent e-mails to university officials and this letter to The Observer in hopes that they will be punished for their vile behavior. It is my attempt at defending my fellow students against these (now) commonplace affronts to their humanness. I end charging the reader to examine his or her own role in the perpetuation of this behavior by neglecting to report what they observe as inappropriate behavior toward female students.



    Sean M. Hobson

    Undergraduate student
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