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I, like many of my fellow Texas progressives, love a good protest. And as a long time theater performer and producerI especially love a protest with bells, whistles, metaphor, and most importantly, a strong narrative. So when I heard about the Campus Dildo Carry protestscheduled to coincide with the August 1, start of concealed carry on Texas college campuses and the heartbreaking 50th anniversary of the University of Texas at Austin Tower shooting, I was all in.
The protest contained performance art, a can-do spirit, a keen sense of timing, and more than a fair share of humor. I mean, CocksNotGlocks? Jessica Jin, a UT graduate and artist, decided to put this little shindig together with lots of time to plan. Her question is simple: if folks can bring guns to campus, why not dildos?
Jin has noted the odd contrast of state laws that allow guns on campus but prohibit the public display of dildos — so obscene! A deadly weapon? A sex toy? Not on your life. We often think of protesting as using our voices in anger instead of in joy. But joy, pleasure, play? They are all really, really good for you — physically, emotionally and spiritually.
I love this protest for its outrageous spirit. Protesting is hard work, and often we come together over heavy topics. But this event? The protest itself, as Jin has imagined it, is creative and playful. I imagine the collegiate landscape dotted with a variety of toys in a rainbow of colors, with perhaps the errant buzz. People might make new friends, even get some of that much-needed comprehensive sex ed all while exercising their constitutional right to free speech and assembly.
Real threats. Scary threats. I am confounded, but perhaps not surprised, by the tenor of the online conversations about the protest. Some commenters get what Jin is after — a performance art piece on the juxtaposition of gun and dildo, weapon and toy, threat and pleasure — but others, mostly those who support campus carry, bring an almost comic literalness to their interpretation of the event.
Aside from the tut-tut, slut-slutting about what kind of a woman would suggest such a protestthe Facebook is rife with posts telling Jin how absolutely wrong she is about safety and the need for a gun, instead of a sex toy, with which to fight off assailants. She knows! I see this all the time in the work I do with my storytelling series, BedPost Confessions ; People are afraid, ashamed, to take pleasure in food, in their bodies, in their work, even in, yeah, sex.
An activism of peace and pleasure is so, so needed. The Campus Dildo Carry protest, and the reactionary opposition to it, shows us just how unsure we are of pleasure, how steeped we are in fear.
A literal object of sexuality and play is verbotenwhile a literal object of death is welcomed. Sex toys are deed for fun sexual encounters. Guns are deed to cause damage, whether in self-defense, in hunting or animus. But sexual politics in Texas is strange like that.
This is, after all, the state where it was once illegal to own more than six dildos. Though why anyone would want to bring a gun to a dildo fight is beyond me. Julie Gillis is a performer and producer focused on community and social justice. She is a founder and producer of Austin's BedPost Confessions, Texas's singular storytelling series on sexuality, and un Spoken, a story-sharing event for emotional justice.
Most Recent in Education: 1 Reation Letter. Merwin, Honorary Texan. Getting Cocky on Campus Carry. UT-Austin students will carry phallic sex toys when the fall semester begins, as part of an anti-campus carry protest using the hashtag CocksNotGlocks. Chris Piascik I, like many of my fellow Texas Sex with sluts Balmorhea, love a good protest. For planning a rally around sex toys. Do you think free access to journalism like this is important? The Texas Observer is known for its fiercely independent, uncompromising work—which we are pleased to provide to the public at no charge in this space.
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Getting Cocky on Campus Carry