FYI, mocking sexual assault won’t get you laid

An open letter to the person who replaced the “Sex and Consent” flyers in the bathroom stalls

This morning, Indiana University students noticed that flyers located in bathroom stalls issued by IU’s “It’s On Us” campaign were replaced by a similarly formatted sign with a rather different opinion on the idea of consent, and how to obtain it.

The original "Sex and Consent" flyers explain what consent it and how to acquire it. According to the new, spelling-error-laden flyer, consent is “a generic buzzword that we use to shove our own personal brand of femism down your throat…And its also something you loose the moment that one chick from the party you had last night relizes she has to explain to her boyfriend why she had sex with nearly 5 guys last night. Oh, and if you think for a second that your say in the whole thing matters, well lets just say you are in for a surprise."

Though it may have been difficult to get through that excerpt without dwelling on the anonymous author’s inability to write beyond the level of a sixth grader, it should be clear that there is a far greater issue at hand.

This scorned fellow, who apparently can’t get laid without having to assault someone, was able to easily spread a very dangerous message in a manner that could be easily overlooked by those just passing through the restroom.

Instead of seeing the usual anti-sexual violence message plastered to the inside of a stall, an impressionable young woman may have been affronted by the notion that the assault she encountered at a party the previous weekend was her fault and that she's an “attention whore” who needs “extra sympathy and decide[s] to cry raep [rape]” because she didn’t consent to the man’s physical advances toward her.

IU sophomore Marissa Gentry, a survivor of sexual assault, said she felt "a mix of disgust, rage, and sadness" when she heard about the flyer. Having experienced it firsthand, she said she knows how hard it can be to find comfort and someone to talk to.

"Knowing that someone may have finally decided to seek out help only to find these despicable posters makes me really sad because I don’t want the work of this one person or group to dissuade someone from receiving the help that they need. It’s detrimental to both the victims and accused.

The fact that some sexual assault cases are faked is an issue that needs to be addressed, but that’s done through constructive activism and open dialogue- not hiding behind hateful, un-constructive lies. Only cowards do that shit," Gentry said.

The purpose of IU’s participation in the It’s On Us campaign is to educate students on consent and to “encourage everyone to make a personal commitment to step up and help prevent sexual assault."

The university has been involved in the campaign since 2014, but with White House administrators like Education Secretary Betsy Devos now actively removing legislation that protects victims of sexual assault, it is essential that IU doubles down on its commitment to the cause and continues to vocalize its utter intolerance of sexual violence.

At the absolute minimum, these phony flyers must be torn down and replaced with the original content. Clearly, the idea of women being in control of their own bodies and having the right to say “no” to sex is a concept that is still being lost on some of the “gentlemen” who attend IU, and that is unacceptable.

To the person who created these flyers: this is no way to forward your romantic or professional future. You absolutely deserve to end up alone and to have your career destroyed if you support sexual violence.

And hopefully you have no plans to pursue a career in a writing-related field, because if that’s the case, you have more problems on your hands than just being a rapist.

Rape and sexual assault are not something to be mocked. It is never the victim’s fault. The fault lies solely with the individual who feels they are entitled to physical pleasure from another person and takes it with little regard or respect to that person’s wishes.

It is of the utmost importance that the students and staff of Indiana University come together to condemn the actions of the person who made this flyer, and all those like him, and that the victims of sexual assault on this campus are provided with more love and support than ever in the face of such ignorance and cruelty.