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Cocks Not Glocks, Or How To Fight Absurdity With Absurdity

“Wear your dildo until they take the guns off our campuses!”

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Roy Wood Jr. from the Daily Show with Trevor Noah leads University of Texas at Austin Students in a "Cocks Not Glocks" chant on August 24, 2016.
Doyin Oyeniyi/Texas Monthly

Backpacks aren’t an unfamiliar sight on college campuses. Backpacks with dildos strapped to them? That could raise some eyebrows. But on Wednesday, the first day of class at the University of Texas at Austin, hundreds of students armed with sex toys gathered on the west side of the Tower to protest UT’s campus carry policy, which went into effect August 1.

The protest was the brainchild of Jessica Jin, who first heard the news that campus carry was coming to UT last October. She responded with a joke, calling the politicians who’d passed the bill “dildos.” After a bit more research, Jin discovered that with the campus carry law in place, in most cases guns would be more legal to carry than dildos. That seemed ridiculous to Jin.

“Texas is so sensitive about [dildos] that they’ve written laws crushing that here and there, however, they continue to write laws that advocate violence, perpetuate violence, condone violence, and is apologetic for violence.” Jin said.

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In joking protest, Jin created the Facebook event Cocks Not Glocks: Campus (DILDO) Carry, inviting a few hundred Facebook friends to strap dildos onto their backpacks in protest. The event quickly blew up, and over the course of the ten months since Jin first created the event, it’s gained national attention. On the day of the protest, about 10,000 people said that they were attending the event on Facebook, and Jin had managed to collect about 4,500 donated dildos and vibrators from companies such as Smile Makers and Shane’s World to hand out to students who wanted to participate. The protest was simple: students would show up, then go about their days with dildos strapped to their bags to make a point.

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The protest joined forces with other campus organizations, namely Students Against Campus Carry and Gun-Free UT—a group made up of faculty, staff, students, alumni, and even parents opposing the campus carry law. On Tuesday, the evening before classes began, Cocks Not Glocks held a pre-rally on the West Mall of the campus to pass out sex toys so that students showed up to class prepared.

At noon on Wednesday, the group joined a rally in which dozens of Gun-Free UT members stood on the steps of the Tower to give speeches as Cocks Not Glocks passed out sex toys to students who happened to be passing through between classes. In addition to university professors, speakers included candidate for state representative Gina Hinojosa, Austin City Council Member Kathie Tovo, and Ana Lopez, the vice president of Students Against Campus Carry.

The rally’s overall message was one of persistence—something that anti-campus carry groups have maintained even after a recent blow to the movement. On Monday, a federal judge denied three UT professors’ request for a preliminary injunction on the law. The lawsuit claims that allowing guns on campus will ultimately infringe on the right to free speech. The university and the state argued that any “incidental impact” from the law wouldn’t infringe on First Amendment rights.

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Mia Carter, an English professor and one of the plaintiffs of the lawsuit, took the stage during the rally to explain that guns “restrict and deter open and robust classroom debate,” and that they would continue on with the lawsuit. After all, as some rally signs read, they were “armed with reason.”

But Rebecca Johnston, a doctoral candidate and teaching assistant at the university, said that even with reason and facts conversations about campus carry have been frustrating. In her experience, which she detailed for crowds at the pre-rally on Tuesday, the common rebuttal has been some variation of “I’m a responsible gun owner.” To Johnston, these subjective arguments are contrary to the kind of engaged and open conversations TAs and professors try to foster in classrooms. She compared those interactions to “talking to a brick wall.”

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One of the arguments that gun rights and campus-carry advocates have leaned on is the idea that “good guys with guns” can help in situations of mass shootings. But statistics show that even trained police officers have low shooting accuracy. In a Time report on bystanders shot during police shootings, reporter Nate Rawlings wrote:

According to a 2008 RAND Corporation study evaluating the New York Police Department’s firearm training, between 1998 and 2006, the average hit rate during gunfights was just 18 percent. When suspects did not return fire, police officers hit their targets 30 percent of the time.

As Rawlings noted in the piece, “firing accurately in a stressful situation is extremely hard,” yet students should expect to rely on the heroics of citizens who’ve presumably received less gun training than law enforcement.

“It’s absurd,” Jin said. “You’re telling this to people who live on statistics and research and analysis—they’re trying to feed this to us and we don’t buy it. And I feel like a lot of women and people of color and the LGBTQ community, they’re especially out for this, because they’ve had this narrative of what safety means pushed on them. We walk down the street and they’re like, ‘if you had dick between your legs, like a real dick, or a gun, you won’t be harassed.’”

Jin’s approach of “fighting absurdity with absurdity” has garnered a bevy of reactions. Despite a robust on-campus turnout, some people have posted pictures of their guns on the Cocks Not Glocks event page. Jin has also had to field threats and offensive comments, including the assertion that women carrying dildos around campus are inviting harm.

“In general, and especially if you have a dildo, you’re gonna get raped,” Jin cited as a common refrain she’s heard. “And the only thing to stop that from happening is if you have a gun. And you’re gonna wish you had a gun.”

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According to Jin, comments like that not only tell women how to respond to their own realities, but only continue to encourage violence rather than seeking long-term solutions. “It’s saying, ‘We don’t want to do anything about the reasons why people feel so much fear all the time, but we will leave you to your own devices by putting a gun in your hands,’” she said. “You’re on your own.”

So in this protest, dildos add another dimension to a culture in which women are told to accept sexual violence as a real possibility. “You’re normalizing sex culture the same way that people are constantly trying to normalize gun culture,” Jin said. “You’re feeding it right back to them. You’re reminding them of what it feels like to feel a little bit uncomfortable.”

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Even with this “loud” initial response to Cocks Not Glocks, Jin already anticipates that eventually few students will display the dildos on campus. Carrying around a sex toy is uncomfortable. When Jin walked into a Target with a dildo strapped to her backpack, she self-consciously tucked it behind her back, worried there might be children around.

“But I wonder if gun owners feel that kind of self-consciousness when they go to public spaces where there are children around. Are they scared about misfire in an emergency situation?” Jin asked. “Are they like ‘this could be on me?’ Is that kind of awareness around? Is that kind of attitude still there? We’re just basically trying to challenge society to challenge itself. Hopefully that’s helpful.”

On Wednesday, after the Gun-Free UT rally ended around two in the afternoon, protesters moved in front of the Tower to film a segment with Roy Wood Jr. from the Daily Show. After leading the protesters in a “cocks not glocks” chant and brandishing a toy gun covered up with dildo as an example of how students could “legally” bring their sex toys to campus, Wood led the group down the steps of the Main Mall with a brass band accompanying them. The perfect absurd ending to an absurd protest of what the bulk of protestors that day would call an absurd law.

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  • OldBlindBob

    These geniuses are promoting rape culture.

    • Linda Nichols

      These geniuses have the same freedom of expression that you enjoy. Are you threatening something?

      • OldBlindBob

        Nope. They are certainly free to be as stupid as they like.

        • Jed

          works for you.

        • Seems like you have multiple issues.

          • OldBlindBob

            You have just one: Idiocy.

    • JanetMermaid

      Because a woman who is not carrying a gun is likely to be raped? Do you realize how retarded and inept you make MEN sound? They have to have guns around them as a deterrent otherwise they’re incapable of controlling their own dicks?

      • OldBlindBob

        Well, if you think the presence of a gun promotes violence, then the presence of a fake dick must promote rape.

        • Jed

          whoever upvoted this should have his mouse confiscated.

          that is the stupidest thing i have read since the last trump quote.

          • OldBlindBob

            If you plan to do the confiscation in person, you better hope he doesn’t have a gun … or a dick. And by the way, you’re an imbecile.

          • I am guessing that the 6th grade were the best 3 years of your life.

        • I guess yiu have a gun to offset your tinny little pee pee

          • OldBlindBob

            Your wife doesn’t think so.

          • Don’t have one. Try again
            Don”t you gun nuts ever give up? I guess you rather demean women.

          • OldBlindBob

            Don’t you anti-gun morons ever think of anything original? If you’re gonna hurl tired and irrelevant insults, be prepared for the industry-approved comeback. You demean humanity.

          • How many people have you shot, as a civilian?

          • I am not anti gun. Just anti idiots like yous eem to de having guns in the first place.

  • Charlie Primero

    Gun nuts think Haruka Weiser would not have been raped and murdered on the U.T. campus last year if she had been carrying a weapon to defend herself.

    Insane! No way this tiny girl could have fought off that guy.

    http://www.mystatesman.com/news/news/haruka-weiser-victim-of-strangulation-sources-say/nq4dn/

    • jpchiesa

      What’s insane would be to think your emotionally driven hyperbole would be considered rational, critical thought. In fact I’m going to call you a sexist chauvinist who perpetuates the myth that women aren’t capable of defending themselves using the tools that are available to them, and I’m not talking about whistles. “Tiny girl”? You could not have been more condescending to women. I doubt Ms. Weiner would have been better off protected by the likes of big strong you, because to paraphrase Jack London, ‘Weak of body weak of mind are soon eliminated’ and since you vilify people that realize that as once was said long ago, ‘God didn’t make men equal, Samuel Colt did.’ and felt that Haruka, with a firearm and training, would have stood a better chance at surviving her attacker than she did with the alternative that you provided… which is what? Harsh repartee like you wrote? I, like the Dalai Lama, abhor violence. But I agree with what he said, which was “When faced with evil that may cause you great harm or end your life, you are justified in using any tool at your means to protect your life.”

      • Kozmo

        This is a silly argument. She was grabbed from behind, and had no chance to defend herself with or without a weapon (a weapon that could have easily been taken away and used against her). The best protection UT students can provide for themselves is be more aware of their surroundings, not travel alone at night in isolated areas where there could be lurkers — esp. females — and again, esp. you females, take out those ear buds and put away that iPhone and pay attention to where you are and who’s around you. I see so many totally oblivious students wandering around like zombies on campus at all hours — if I were a predator, I’d find those the easiest pickings and targets of all.

        • jpchiesa

          Koz;
          You dismissively call my argument as silly then proceed to use what I wrote to support your assertion! I wrote “with training” You apparently are ignorant what this means. As a Concealed Carry instructor one aspect of training was that a firearm is not “the magic talisman of greyskull” and that Situational Awareness is an integral part of avoiding becoming a victim. What is “silly” is to think that the one plus million licensed Conceal Carry holders, who according to Texas Department of Public Safety statistics published on their website, commit fewer felonies than the police guarding the state of Texas, that the minute they step on a university campus will become irresponsible “gunslingers”. That “in a heated classroom argument”, they will draw their gun and start shooring! That’s not silly, it’s ludicrously idiotic!

  • Texas Take

    Ahh, Austin! What a breath of fresh air you deliver for our stink hole, Teabilly Taliban controlled state! Keep up the great work as it is important for our country and the world to know that not all Texan knuckles drag on the ground.

    • John Shepherd

      No doubt she is, right along with Gov. Richards!

  • rakohlin

    I love UT. Demonstrates one need not be intelligent to be accepted to the 40 acres; as long as you parents have the money. BTW, campus carry law requires that firearms be concealed on campus. I see many sex toys being freely displayed in these pictures, yet I see no one being arrested, as is claimed will happen.

    • DefendAmerica

      These days, you must be an illegal alien to gain admittance, while denying a smarter American his or her slot.

  • The people any of this makes sense to are dangerous.

  • Rickey Benson

    I guess they have a right to be as stupid as they want to be. So, by all means open carry as many fake dicks as you want. But, this handgun carry law isn’t about the assclowns who would rather defend themselves with nothing in their hands except a fake penis. It provides a means for others to protect themselves. Don’t intend to risk my life trying to protect left wing assclowns.

    • DefendAmerica

      I made a comment about O bama dropping off his latest shipment of M U s L i M “r e f u g e e s” onto the campus and seeing if the group could play nice with nothing to protect themselves.

      But it GOT CENSORED. IMagine that.

  • four clicks

    Since all of you hoplophobes are so concerned about saving students from death and injury, would you please tell me where your next “ban alcohol” rally will be held.

  • Kozmo

    I thought this entire episode reduced a very serious issue to a parade of contrived “Austin weirdness” that undercut the message terribly. Not well conceived at all, organizers and bandwagon jumpers.

  • Kozmo

    Then again, you can also be dismissed from school for a marijuana offense, which is as ridiculous as the unenforced under-age drinking laws.

    Frats are the biggest menace on campus, with their elitist privilege and arrogance toward the rest of us and their dependable output of pledge alcohol poisoning and date rape.

  • Matt Hill

    This law is opposed by University of Texas System Chancellor William McRaven. “I’ve spent my whole life around guns. I grew up in Texas hunting. I spent 37 years in the military. I like guns, but I just don’t think having them on campus is the right place,” McRaven told CNN.

    I can hear the gun worshippers now, “Oh yeah right, just another “academic know-nothing”… Texas System Chancellor William H. McRaven, is a retired U.S. Navy four-star admiral who orchestrated the raid that got bin Laden…

    Concealed carry is opposed by campus police chiefs. 9 out of 10 police chiefs think the best way to deal with guns on campus is to prohibit them. Only 5 percent of police chiefs think allowing concealed carry on campus would prevent shootings.

    Concealed carry on campus is also opposed by 95 percent of university presidents, 94 percent of university faculty and 79 percent of college students.

    College campuses also tend have a high level of alcohol and drug use which can lead to “impaired judgment about whether to shoot a gun.”

    As is often the case with the gun manufacture’s money and the NRA pumping it wide open into our government, what the majority of people actually want never enters the equation.

    • Matt Hill

      What if… What if there was an actual mass shooter loose on campus? Run the scenario, the shooting starts, would it be safe to assume that those with weapons will pull them, the police arrive on the scene as well as campus police, there is shots being fired and multiple armed “suspects” at that point with weapons drawn… What could go wrong? Think it could never happen, guess again…

      The Police Officers Shooting Recently in Dallas:

      Dallas Officials Say Open Carry Makes Situations More Confusing, Not More Secure

      “When you have gunfire going on, you usually go with the person that’s got a gun,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings said.

      Authorities estimate that between 20 and 30 of the protesters marched with AR-15s and other military-style rifles slung behind their backs. But what may have been intended as an innocuous assertion of their rights in Texas became much more problematic when a gunman opened fire on police officers, leaving law enforcement scrambling to figure out how to respond.

      “When you have gunfire going on, you usually go with the person that’s got a gun,” Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings (D) said in an interview with “Face the Nation” on CBS. “And so our police grabbed some of those individuals, took them to police headquarters, and worked it out and figured out they were not the shooters.”

      I get it that this was open carry, but again my point, if there is a campus shooting you are suggesting all those conceal carry students will not pull their weapon, now you are open carry.

      “It’s increasingly challenging when people have AR-15s slung over and shootings occur in a crowd and they begin running and we don’t know if they’re the shooter or not,” Dallas Police Chief David Brown said in a press conference.

      Regardless of the intentions of the open carry crowd, such displays do not actually make scenarios safer for everyone, Brown said.

      “There’s been the presumption that a good guy with a gun is the best way to resolve some of these things,” he said. “Well, we don’t know who the good guy is versus who the bad guy is if everybody starts shooting.”

      That is reality, as is not, as in introducing guns on a college campus will decrease the odds of even accidental shootings. That’s “bril-yunt,” when the evidence clearly indicates that the more guns, whether by nation or by state in this country, equals more gun violence, more gun suicides, more gun accidents… But hey, let’s just ignore all that it’s only our kids we are talking about here.

      • DefendAmerica

        BLM/Black Panthers/Communists/George Soros was behind the shootings.

        Cops were told to NOT wear protective clothing in advance. There’s always money behind the gun-grabbing scenarios. Communists and NWO want your guns.

    • Rickey Benson

      Let’s get one thing straight. Mr. McRaven has a right to have an opinion. And he has a right to express it. Notwithstanding that, the LAW says I have a right to carry a concealed handgun on campus provided I have a license to carry. I do have a license and I do carry a concealed 9MM handgun. It is my legal right. I carry a concealed handgun to protect myself and not some fake penis carrying Libturd Assclown. In the event there is an active shooter on campus, I will use my gun to protect myself only. You, and you know who you are, are on your own sunshine. If you don’t think a shooting on campus can happen and people die, I have news for you. It already has.

  • Patriot #14,375,321

    If all of these little snowflakes hadn’t been sheltered and raised by the former anti-war hippies of the 60’s and 70’s they might be better prepared for the real world. Utopia simply isn’t an option on this planet, no matter how much the liberals will it to be. There are evil people, and there are mentally ill people, and there always will be. Our contemporary society has promoted “tolerance” to the end that these people are now much more prevalent in society. We used to diagnose, intern, and treat the mentally ill. Those who recovered were allowed to rejoin society. Now we drug those we diagnose, and ignore (or worse – normalize) the rest. Prison used to be feared as a very harsh and austere existence, often accompanied by hard labor and strict control. Now it’s closer to a 3-star resort with all the amenities, like good food, recreation, entertainment, and even free education. Except for not being able to freely come and go, it’s better than a lot of the inmates had on the outside. It’s a revolving door of evil people being loosed on society only to return after they get caught again. This is our reality.

    If young people were taught this reality, and truly understood that they are first and foremost responsible for themselves, they just might understand that personal protection is a God-given right for everyone. They can still choose to not defend themselves, but they absolutely HAVE NO RIGHT to force others to do the same! The Founding Fathers understood this reality and codified into the 1st Amendment to the Constitution that the “right to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.” (That literally means no permits or licenses, no caliber or capacity restrictions, no “gun-free” zones, etc.) They understood that evil people exist and intend to harm or exploit others. They understood that all people are not equal in size, strength, and physical abilities. Whether you like it or not, a handgun is the best invention ever that truly provides equality of protection. A handgun enables a slight 5′, 95lb woman to prevent a 6’6″, 350lb thug from raping and killing her should she choose to defend herself. And no, simply having the handgun does not guarantee the outcome, but it damn sure helps to even the odds. I’ll bet poor Haruka Weiser, if given a second chance (much like her killer will be given after his lengthy and fair trial with all the defense our legal system can provide), would have wanted to at least have a fighting chance. She got no trial, no defense, and suffered what would aptly be termed “cruel and unusual punishment” followed by an immediate, violent, and painful death sentence (not the humane and painless chemical euthanasia reserved for the worst of our worst criminals).

    Guns don’t kill people. They are an inanimate object, just like a knife or baseball bat. Irrational fear of guns (hoplophobia) is evidenced by the ignorant masses who abhor personal responsibility and seek their fabled Utopia, all while trying to deny other, more rational people, their God-given right of self protection. I don’t care if you fear or hate guns, but you will not disarm me. I refuse to spend the last moments of my life, dying at the hands or deeds of an evil person, without at least having the chance to fight back.

    Teach your children about guns. How to respect them. How to handle them. How to be responsible with them. And how to use them proficiently. Then, maybe when they go to college, or out into the real world, they won’t be defending themselves with a fake penis if, God forbid, some evil person decides they wish to harm them.

    An armed society is a polite society. If everyone had the option to be lethal if threatened, then very very few people would threaten them! And talk about discourse and freedom of speech, and armed society would listen to alternative points of view as opposed to shouting down and vilifying anyone they disagree with, i.e. the typical liberal debate. There would be almost no road rage incidents or fist fights or domestic violence. There would be no “knockout game”! People wouldn’t cut in line or cuss you out or shop lift. People wouldn’t break into your home or steal or vandalize your property. People would actually respect one another. Now that sounds more like Utopia to me…

    • Patriot #14,375,321

      Oops, I meant 2nd Amendment! But it is needed to protect the 1st!!!