A couple nights ago, a novelty Twitter account appeared on the OU Twitter scene.
OU Crushes, an account where students anonymously submit 140-character posts about their crushes, was suspended today on charges of sexual harassment. It’s easy to see why. Many of the tweets included full names and many of them were graphic in nature.
When some students took to Twitter to support the decision to suspend OU Crushes, they were quickly ridiculed and labeled wet blankets by fellow students.
When OU Crushes finally went back on line, they tweeted about their suspension, making sure to put sexual harassment in quotes. It’s not real sexual harassment, of course, their quotes said.
Folks, Imma admit it. At first, I was really into the idea of an OU Crushes. Mostly because I wanted to know who had a crush on me. And I think there is a world where OU Crushes is only cute, but we don’t live in that world.
There is a reason we want anonymity when we say things like “i would love to motorboat ____ but apparently she only goes for Jewish frat boy.” It’s because these things shouldn’t be said in the real world. Can you imagine a group of guys shouting that at a girl on the street? That would be sexual harassment. Anonymity and the Internet do not make it alright.
This is how rape culture is perpetuated. It’s perpetuated when we provide spaces that make it alright to publicly sexualize and objectify people. And then, when students speak up about it, they are labeled mean-spirited.
We need to stop thinking in this way–in this “don’t ruin the fun for everyone else way.” If one person is hurt by “fun,” then it shouldn’t be considered fun.