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For those of you who weren’t lucky enough to have heard the news already, there’s a statue of a balding white dude in his tighty-whities at Wellesley. It’s part of an art exhibition by Tony Matelli that will be hosted at the college until mid-June. The statue is placed at a high-traffic area on campus — right near the main sidewalk connecting the student center and the academic quad — and suffice to say, it’s garnered quite a bit of attention.
Students at Wellesley have started a Change.org petition urging President Bottomly and the Davis Museum to remove the statue; they claim that it is a “source of apprehension, fear, and triggering thoughts regarding sexual assault for some members of our campus community” that has “already become a source of undue stress for a number of Wellesley College students.”
The whole ordeal has drawn an unprecedented amount of media attention from all over — within one day of the statue’s erection, we’ve been featured on the Boston Globe, Washington Post, USA Today, CBS News, Time, Buzzfeed, The New Republic, New York Magazine, Business Insider, The Daily Mail…and my personal favorite, PerezHilton.com, which so eloquently referred to Wellesley as “an all GIRLS school!” (caps included) and advised students to “cover [their] eyes, ladies!”
It seemed odd to me that all these news outlets were talking about Wellesley and its crazed, ultra-feminist student body while the only prominent representation of the student body voice remains manifested in that Change.org petition, which has been signed by only 1/5 of the student population. Now granted, I spent most of my day yesterday eating frozen dumplings and watching Star Trek Voyager reruns in my room (hey, snow days don’t come often around these parts), and didn’t get a chance to see the statue in person until fairly recently. But as a board-certified Armchair Keyboard Warrior, I feel compelled to insert my two cents on an issue that matters to me only peripherally.
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