UT students plan to carry dildos to protest campus carry law

The state legislature had to step in to assert the right of college students in Texas to carry concealed firearms on campus, but no such intervention will be needed for those who wish to carry sex toys next year in protest of that decision.

Next August 24, the first day of fall semester classes at the University of Texas at Austin, thousands of students say they plan to affix dildos to their backpacks in an effort to highlight the fact that the state will soon allow students to carry weapons, but not obscene materials, on campus, according to The Daily Texan.

The protest, organized as a Facebook event by UT alumna Jessica Jin, had attracted over 7,000 interested participants by Tuesday morning, though it is unclear how many actual students will be involved insofar as alum, non-students, and even people outside of Texas are encouraged to participate as a show of solidarity.

“I did little research on the rules surrounding dildos in classrooms,” Jin told The Daily Texan. “When I discovered that it is indeed against UT policy to wave dildos around campus, I just couldn’t help myself.”

SB 11, also known as the Campus Carry Law, was signed by Republican Gov. Greg Abbott in June and will take effect on Aug. 1, 2016. The law prohibits public colleges and universities in the state from adopting rules preventing licensed individuals from carrying concealed handguns on campus, with limited exceptions such as dormitories.

At the same time, though, Jin points out that UT’s rules governing prohibited expression state that “No person or organization will distribute or display on the campus any writing or visual image, or engage in any public performance, that is obscene.” Under Texas law, obscene devices are defined to include dildos and other products “designed or marketed as useful primarily for the stimulation of human genital organs.”

“The State of Texas has decided that it is not at all obnoxious to allow deadly concealed weapons in classrooms, however it DOES have strict rules about free sexual expression, to protect your innocence,” Jin wrote on the Facebook event page. “You would receive a citation for taking a DILDO to class before you would get in trouble for taking a gun to class. Heaven forbid the penis.”

School administrators may be sucking the irony out of the protest before it even gets underway, though, according to The San Antonio Express-News, which reports that officials appear disinclined to penalize students who choose to participate.

“University of Texas students are free to express themselves peacefully on all issues and this appears to be an example of political speech,” UT-Austin spokesman Gary Susswein told The Express-News. “We ask that the conversations around this issue always remain civil and urge students to be part of the ongoing discussion about how to implement the campus carry law at UT-Austin.”

Jin told The Daily Texan that she sees other parallels between firearms and sex toys, as well, asserting that “some shootings in this past year can even be traced straight back to sexual repression.”

Conversely, Allison Peregory, chairman of the Young Conservatives of Texas UT Chapter and student representative of Students for Concealed Carry, mocked the protest as an ineffectual way to address the issue.

“I don’t know what [people] plan to do with a dildo against an assailant,” she mused, “but as a woman, and I know other Texas women agree with me, we’re going to take concealed carry over a dildo to protect us any day.”

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