All the controversy spawned from one asinine male on his bike on the campus of Ball State University. According to a campus police report, at approximately 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, a white male rode by and slapped at least three different women on the buttocks. Two of these women chose to report the incident to campus police, and the department issued a public safety notice via email to BSU students and faculty.
This spurred a whole succession of events, most notably the creation of a Facebook page titled "The Ball State Ass Slapper," which got in excess of 5,000 fans in one day. In the Info section of the page, the creator wrote the following:
"The author of this page in NO WAY condones the objectification of or violence towards women or men. Jokes about rape will NOT be tolerated. The purpose of this page is simply to mock the fact that the University is considering this an 'Emergency Situation.'"
Allow me to clarify several points:
First, the creator of the page did not identify him/herself as anything beyond NOT being "the infamous ass slapper." The only contact information given is an email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. This person must feel great being able to start such a movement. Why are you hiding behind the internet? Why not identify yourself?
Also, as you can see in this copy of the police's public safety notice (it is from a collegehumor.com post, though it is far from humorous), there is NO mention of it being an "Emergency Situation," which trumps the whole basis for the creation of the Facebook page, does it not? The fact that the sending address is "Emergency Broadcast" simply means the police sent the message to their "public safety notice" list of faculty and students. Get it right.
The Ball State Daily News wrote that "case reports indicate the man will be charged with battery" in an opinion column article titled "Our View: Campus battery is nothing to laugh about," which gives a good idea of how they feel. There has also been a Facebook group created in opposition of the original group.
If it had stopped there, this would be just another pestilence at which we can shake our heads and hope does not happen again. However, what we have now is the discussion of a so-called "Ass Slapping Game." There are 45 comments so far, from the creator of the page and BSU students, male and female alike. There are talks of a points system, where people earn 1 point if a girl shows appreciation for having been slapped, 2 points if she is disgusted, and 10 points if BSU puts out another "emergency email," as one imbicile suggested.
Hm...so how many points do you get if, after you ride by and slap the girl, you or she get hit by a car and suffer serious injuries? Are you the winner?? Ever consider that scenario?
But it doesn't stop there, folks. These people are planning on making t-shirts to sell at $10 a pop (so girls can indicate their compliance to have a guarantee of being sexually harrased), and the latest suggestions say they should give proceeds to a sexual assault center. Though the charity would be appreciated, the way in which the money is collected and the potential harm it can cause is not remotely close to appropriate.
And whatever happened to the idea that women are entitled to decide what will happen to their bodies? Be alert, ladies of BSU. That may not be your choice. In all this discussion, it seems females will be the victims of males' actions. After all, none of the females who have commented have volunteered to join the ranks of the harrassers.
So here are suggested actions YOU can take to put an end to this obnoxiousness:
1). Visit "The Ball State Ass Slapper" Facebook Page, scroll down to middle of it, and click "Report Page." At least this way, the developers of Facebook will simply remove the page altogether.
2). Contact the campus police to inform them if you see any more of these incidents. No one should have the right to commit this act and simply ride off with a smile.
3). Encourage your friends NOT to join this ridiculous parade of the mindless: do NOT join the group, and do NOT purchase any t-shirts. If you wish to donate to a sexual abuse victims group, do so in a way that does not contradict their goals.
And finally, April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month. Spread the word about this and the true meaning of feminism, instead of encouraging further discussion of this violation of women's lives.
Photo Credit: Facebook Group: We Oppose Members if The Ball State Ass Slapper Group. It is Not A Joke!