Friday, October 10, 2014

Bathroom Stall Adventures

Last year for the College Town Film Festival I connected a visiting artist with an Ohio University professor. The artist, a writer with a film made about her,  was to visit the professor's class. However, she had a bout of self-doubt, "I'm not a college graduate so why should I talk to college students in an English course?" She hid in the bathroom.

That bathroom happened to be in the English building, Ellis Hall, the home of the "feminist bathroom." After reading the many supportive messages inked onto the stall walls, she went to the class and confessed what had happened. The class then took a field trip to see the bathroom wisdoms for themselves.

This year in support of the College Town Film Festival, coming October 15-18, I was dropping off materials in Ellis Hall when I found myself (unaware of where I had stumbled) in the said bathroom. My stall alerted me to check out the Sexual Assault Prevention (SAP) program across the road in the McKee House. One of the films coming on Friday, October 17 at 7:00 pm at the Athena, is "How to Loose Your Virginity," so SAP seemed like a good place to drop off a few programs.

from the Feminist Stall in Ellis Hall at OU

I trekked over, passed out a few programs, and learned all kinds of interesting things. I asked how the center was funded. It is through a grant which was applied for, "about five years ago." I applaud OU for having someone (Susanne Dietzel was mentioned) put this kind of resource into place as it shows forward thinking considering the press on sexual assaults on campuses nationwide. This afternoon, I'm headed to the Fuck Rpe Culture rally (4:00 pm Jeff Hill).  If the name of the group offends you, read this. 

Graffiti is where the disenfranchised can find a voice. If a mark on the wall of a stall can make a positive difference, I bet you can too.