Move-in signs should move out

While Orientation Week aims to welcome new students to Queen’s, the dozens of inappropriate move-in day banners that haunt the University District are hardly welcoming.

I first arrived at Queen’s after the official move-in day, avoiding the numerous signs and banners thanking my dad for bringing me — his daughter — to Queen’s.

I feel lucky I missed them, as it would have only added to my pressing anxiety surrounding the move to a new city which, without the comfort of home, friends and family, was daunting enough.

It wasn’t until my third year at Queen’s that I was in town for move-in day. My neighbours were partying on their front lawn adorned with the typical setup — loud speakers, beer pong tables and alcohol — against the backdrop of signs that read “Daughter drop off,”“Thanks dads!” and even “Drop off Mom, too!”

And they weren’t the only ones.

Too many people in the neighbourhood took the time, effort and money to spray paint inappropriate messages on sheets and hang them from their windows and balconies with pride.

Forgive me for failing to see the humour in making women feel unwelcome, unsafe and objectified upon arriving at a school that most worked very hard to get into.

The signs themselves are deeply misogynistic, sexist and upsetting. Phrases like, “Dad, drop your daughter off here!” are unsettlingly entitled and possessive.

However, the larger issue at hand is how these types of actions contribute to a certain cultural climate.

It’s the kind of culture that makes me fear for my safety when walking through the student ghetto alone during any party-heavy season. Even when I walk home after a typical night studying at CoGro, I’m on high alert, walking with my keys between my fingers as an extra precaution.

It’s a culture that makes unwanted touching and grabbing in nightclubs too common a story among me and my girlfriends.

It normalizes the kind of behaviour that can be found in rape culture. Sexual harassment and assault is a reality for far too many people, especially for women.

I’m still confused as to how creating such obviously offensive signs is such a common practic, not only at Queen’s, but at universities across the country.

Being female shouldn’t warrant automatic objectification. We deserve better and the Queen’s community can do better. 

Ashley is The Journal’s Graphics Editor. She’s a third-year Gender Studies major.


Campus, gender issues, Safety

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