Krysten Baitz, Contributing Writer
Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about the shirts I see on our campus. I’ve heard of shirts that read, “Get p*ssy, don’t be one,” as well as, “If you can’t come in her, come honor.” Read it aloud if you’re not quite understanding that one. I was at the dining hall one morning when I saw someone wearing a shirt that read, “Tighter than your little sister,” and was initially in too much shock to even register that I should say something. And when I did think about speaking up, I was worried, scared even, that I would be publicly embarrassed by the guy wearing it or maybe even face some form of retaliation when in town or at a party the following weekend.
But now, I’m not going to allow silence to be an option because I’m tired of feeling threatened at my college, to which I pay a lot of money each year to attend. Because I’m tired of letting people perpetuate misogyny or prejudice against women. Because I’m really, really, really sick of feeling like I’m not worth as much as the guy sitting next to me in class.
I just want to say something to the fraternity members, unrecognized and recognized, wearing these shirts in public, on our campus, in our dining halls, in our classrooms: think about it. Would you be proud to go to a family party in that shirt? Would you be okay with your sister seeing you with that phrase on your back? You’re showing your letters and your pride in your organization alongside your brothers. But when you’re wearing a shirt that blatantly disrespects women, you’re giving the rest of us a really bad impression. And I, for one, feel unsafe when you’re around in shirts like that.
Do you believe in the basic principle that men and women should be equal? If yes, then please, I beg you, stop wearing those shirts. And better yet, encourage your organization to stop making them. I live for the day when I can walk around this campus and not feel like less of a person because of the shirt someone is wearing. I know Oneonta is better than this, so please prove me right.