After a simultaneously shocking and devastating electoral turnout last week, America’s political culture and collective mental/emotional well-being have been thrown into a cycle of tumult largely unprecedented in the recent history recallable for college age students. Yet, even more jarring than the election’s specific turnout, however, was the expansively negative, threatening, and bigoted rhetoric and various hate crimes that broke out across the country, including our own communities in Philadelphia.
For copious groups, this election’s success has only continued to cultivate the atmosphere of fear, unsafety, and intolerance that Trumps’ campaign was founded upon, manifested into ugly acts of hatred, racism, sexism, and homophobia, even localized to Penn’s campus this past weekend.
Yet, not even in just the last week has this intolerance been active – indeed, throughout the campaign cycle, a divisive and frustrating rhetoric against women and victims of domestic abuse has been a critical discursive platform of the Trump campaign. Mockingly referring to menstruation, belittling the abilities of women along the way as a result of their gender, and reinforcing sexist domestic expectations of women including his own wives line the speeches of his campaign trail. Yet, even further, he has minimized the struggles of sexual violence victims, as well as having been accused on multiple accounts of having committed such acts himself, not to mention the release of a video containing his own explicit discussion of grabbing women by their genitals and making various sexual advances without consent in direct advocacy for sexual harassment against women.
In this vein of fighting sexism and providing support networks for abuse victims, the University of Pennsylvania’s OAX Society is hosting their annual philanthropy event, Big Man on Campus, this Wednesday, November 16that the Roxxy, beginning at 8 PM. This event, comprised of Junior and Senior boys competing in various dance and swimsuit competitions, works to raise money for Women Against Abuse.
Women Against Abuse is Philadelphia’s only emergency shelter for victims of domestic violence, serving over 12,000 Philadelphia residents to date. The OAX Society, over the course of its BMOC history, has raised annually more than $9,000, all of which has gone to the charity since 1992.
Despite the frequency of this campaign’s references to general qualms about sexism and various policies and gaffes that have brought these issues of victim-blaming, fear, and sexual violence to the forefront, many still remain unaware of the proximity of this issue to home and its sheer commonality. According to a 2010 study by the National Center for Injury Prevention and Control, more than 1 in 3 women in the United States have experienced some form of domestic violence or domestic abuse.
In light of the recent attacks against copious marginalized groups and victim groups in the United States, BMOC is a great opportunity to donate to an important cause to help become positive agents for change, to refuse to stand by passively as more groups suffer from hateful speech and minimization by those who fail to try to understand.
To purchase tickets for Wednesday’s event, go to https://www.squadup.com/events/oax-presents-let-me-bmoc-you-rock. Those unable to attend the event who are still interested in donating may make a check out directly to Women Against Abuse – for more information, reach out to (official OAX email?).