Penn students call Trump an 'advocate of rape culture'

Maria Biery
The Statesman

  • We Are Watching, a student group at the University of Pennsylvania, protested Donald Trump with a large art display featuring women baring their genitals.
  • Members of the group also urged students to "register to vote against Donald Trump."
  • On the final day of voter registration, a group of University of Pennsylvania students protested the candidacy of famous Wharton alumni and presidential nominee Donald Trump with artwork displaying women appearing to reveal their genitals.

    “In order to prevent a corrupt, hateful person from becoming the U.S. President, we urge you to register to vote against Donald Trump.”   

    The student group, We Are Watching, stated its belief that Trump’s rhetoric makes him “an active advocate of rape culture” in a flyer that accompanied the artwork.

    The protest, “Your Body, Your Vote,” appeared Tuesday on Penn’s College Green following the Washington Post’s leak of a 2005 audio clip between then Access Hollywood co-host Billy Bush and Donald Trump.

    “I’ve got to use some Tic Tacs, just in case I start kissing her. You know I’m automatically attracted to beautiful—I just start kissing them. It’s like a magnet. Just kiss. I don’t even wait,” Trump states in the audio.

    “And when you’re a star, they let you do it,” he adds. “You can do anything.”

    The anti-Trump group asserts that the posters represent the “danger that Trump’s candidacy poses to our bodies.”

    “Supporting a Donald Trump presidency is a personal attack on the bodies of women,” senior protester Rhea Singh told the Huffington Post.

    We Are Watching rejected Trump’s apology for his statements in 2005, and urged people to register to vote against the candidate.

    “October 11 is the final day for Pennsylvania residents to register to vote,” the group’s flyer reminds readers. “In order to prevent a corrupt, hateful person from becoming the U.S. President, we urge you to register to vote against Donald Trump.”

    The group had members on site to register passersby who were not yet registered to vote.

    This isn’t the first time We Are Watching has sparked discussion about rape culture on campus. In September, the group republished an email sent out by off-campus fraternity, OZ, that they felt was a clear indicator of the existence of rape culture on Penn’s campus. Hundreds of copies of the email were plastered around campus.

    Nor is this the first time that Donald Trump has been denounced by his alma mater. In July, the Wharton community told Trump, “You do not represent us” in an open letter that had 3,937 signatures, and in September, faculty and alumni urged President Amy Gutmann to publicly denounce the candidate.

    [RELATED: Wharton students, faculty repudiate Trump in open letter]

    Amanda Silberling, an organizer of the protest, hoped the display would “show that many students at Penn, Trump’s alma mater, do not support his hateful behavior and rhetoric.”

    This article was originally published in The Statesman, a conservative student newspaper affiliated with the Leadership Institute's Campus Leadership Program. Its articles are republished on Campus Reform with permission.

    Follow The Statesman on Twitter: @StatesmanofPenn





    Maria Biery

    The UPenn Statesman

    The Statesman

    The Statesman is the University of Pennsylvania's alternative media publication. Founded in 2013 by a group of Penn freshman, the publication is a bulwark for balanced political and social discourse on campus. It strives to restore critical, thought-provoking commentary to Penn's political conscience. 

    The Statesman believes in freedom of the press, freedom of speech, and valuing thoughts and ideas for their substantive merits rather than what is socially popular. In other words, it does not apologize for strongly held, well-argued opinions.

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