Campus carry, the controversial law passed in the last Texas legislative session, has attracted its share of detractors: Perhaps most headline-worthy, economics professor emeritus Daniel Hamermesh announced that when the law goes into effect next fall, he plans to resign his position rather than teach students who may be armed. He may not be alone, either. UT Russian history professor Joan Neuberger has led a fight against the law’s implementation, and other professors at other Texas universities have expressed similar sentiments and concerns. But where the professors are putting their jobs on the line, students—led by recent UT grad Jessica Jin—are putting something else out there: Namely, big ol’ dildos.
Yup. Jin—who dubbed her protest #CocksNotGlocks—became a viral Internet sensation for highlighting the fact that guns will be legal on Texas campuses, but sex toys are not. Speaking to the Houston Chronicle, Jin explained her interest in bringing that disparity to light. “When I discovered that it is indeed against UT policy to wave dildos around campus, I just couldn’t help myself,” she told the paper. (Texas law and the UT rules both ban obscene content in public.)
There’s something inherently funny about the juxtaposition of guns and sex toys, which is probably why more than 5,000 people have thus far signed up to walk around campus brandishing a dildo on August 24, 2016, when campus carry will be in effect at the university. But, of course, not everybody thinks this is funny. Jin told the Chronicle that, mixed in with the support, there have been more than a few death threats.
“It has been absolutely fascinating that some folks seemingly feel threatened or angered at the thought of people carrying dildos around with them. They’re incredibly offended! So much outrage! They’re calling for my head,” she told the paper. “People want me dead for a dildo.”
People on the Internet threaten all sorts of things, obviously, and most of them can’t be taken seriously. (Although recent events in Oregon should serve as a warning not to ignore all online threats of violence.) It’s harder to be dismissive of threats issued by people who are mad specifically because you’re mocking their guns, though.
Weirdly, this isn’t the first time that people on the gun-control side of the debate have invoked sex toys in making their point. An ad last year from gun control group Evolve centered gun safety for children on the idea that, “If they find it, they’ll play with it.”
It’s admittedly pretty strange that guns and dildos are apparently such natural bedfellows, but it’s definitely a fascinating exercise in cultural button-pushing. At the very least, come next August, it’ll certainly make for a sight to see on the UT campus.