Dear Mom


Dear Whitman,

We were going to write an article this week responding to a question about partying and having fun on campus in situations with drinking. We don’t feel like writing that article right now (sorry to our editor). So, instead of responding to a question, we have some questions of our own.

First of all, what the f***? What the f*** in this moment, and in every moment when someone’s bodily autonomy is violated. We expect more from you. As students. As humans!

From the town hall, the number gathered to demand more information from the administration, it is clear that the druggings, both recent and from last semester, have left our campus scared, saddened and angered. Bonds of trust and compassion have been ruptured in a community-jarring way and the outcry reflects that.  

To those who might be inclined to say “this is not my problem,” we offer you this: if you’re participating in the culture that creates these incidents and condones the behavior that promotes rape culture, it is your problem. Please recognize that we all share a collective responsibility to confront this. In the vein of holding ourselves and our community accountable, fraternities we are also looking at you! Your version of masculinity is dangerous: are you being critical of it? Not just in a talking-about-it-to-seem-hip way; are you really being critical of it? If portions of your masculinity is based in benign traditions and archaic rules that some 20-year-old invented fifty years ago to make his friends pay to hang out with him, what gives? What are you, at core, standing for? Don’t say brotherhood or I’ll vomit. But I digress. As your mom, I’m not paying for or condoning this s*** anymore.

Some other questions we have that we want to leave you with: how can we work to change campus culture and the culture of every space we participate in to make them more inclusive and safe for all bodies? How can we actively work to heal from the wounds that the events of this year have illuminated—wounds that are reopened with alarming frequency, but have always been there nonetheless.

We’re saddened and frustrated. But we’re also here in love and solidarity with those working to make change for the better,