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In light of the recent explosion of the "war on women" in the media and politics, Obama's decision to speak at Barnard's 2012 commencement has spurred a heated, negative reaction by some individuals on Columbia's campus using the same misogynistic rhetoric that has incensed many across the country. These blatant demonstrations of sexism and misogyny are unacceptable and point to the undeniable importance of bringing women's issues to the forefront of the national debate and the Barnard-Columbia community.

Jezebel recently published an article on this issue:

"Barnard, Columbia at War Over Obama, Feminazis, and Cum Dumpsters

It's understandable that Columbia students are upset that President Obama will deliver a commencement speech at their sister college, Barnard, especially since the Ivy League university is his alma mater. But the degree of their ire — as evidenced via hundreds of comments on BWOG, Columbia's student-run blog — has both warranted a New York Times article and enraged Barnard students who feel the real issue — the incredibly misogynistic reaction — is being brushed off by the administration.

The Times piece referred to the hundreds of "harsh comments" as indicative of a "schoolyard brawl" over a longtime rivalry: are Barnard's classes easier, as Columbia students often douchily claim, or is the women's college underrated? In the article, Debora L. Spar, Barnard's president, said the relationship with Columbia could be complicated and tense, but she brushed off the online commentary as what "probably is 19-year-olds writing at 4:30 in the morning." Lee C. Bollinger, the president of Columbia University, said the harsher comments "reflect the views of hardly more than just a few people," and that general disappointment was "completely understandable."

Right! As we said, it is "understandable," sure. But why didn't the Times article actually quote any of the "completely understandable" comments? Barnard sophomore Anna Bahr sent us some choice selections from two recent BWOG posts on the subject:

- "While you guys were perfecting your deepthroating techniques and experimenting with scissoring and anal play, we were learning Calculus (usually by sophomore year of high school)."

- "Barnard is full of academically inferior students that are able to use OUR campus, take OUR classes, and are stereotypically easy to get in bed. We feel like we worked our asses off to get here, and it's annoying as f*** that Barnard can get the milk for free, so to speak."

- "this is why we hate you cum dumpsters."

- "It's feminazi's like you that give us women a bad name. If your reading comprehension skills were on par with say, a seventh grader, then maybe you would have realized your inference that I was criticizing women was completely invalid – I find fault with Barnard students and Barnard students only. I have absolutely nothing but respect for Columbia women as I AM ONE."

- "Not only are you sexist as your initial reaction was to blame men, but all your gender studies bullshit have made you completely paranoid. Try using your Daddy's hard-earned cash in a respectable way if you want to be an ACTUAL role model for Women. That's why I study Math and Chemistry rather than Home Economics. Unlike Barnyard financial leeches, I have NO intention of pursuing an Mrs. Degree. I came here to make myself successful, not try to plead at the knees of a Columbia boy to marry her. pathetic"

- "Moral of the story is that ugly, feeble Barnard women need to shut their jizz holes and just be happy that Columbia let Barnyard pretend it was affiliated for this long."

- "This is a really shitty way to cap off our years at Columbia. The biggest marker of our time spent here will be overshadowed by the women across the street."

- "Why would we want to lower the implied standard of our education by saying that Barnard is part of Columbia?"

Bahr said that she's frustrated by the way the administrations at both Barnard and Columbia trivialized the Internet ranting. "It is, frankly, a little shocking that President Spar would attribute references to her students as 'cum dumpsters' and 'sandwich makers' to bored kids without acknowledging the blatantly offensive, misogynistic tone accompanying it," she wrote..." [Read the rest here.]


We are frustrated by both administrations' lack of serious recognition of the issue and by their absent condemnations of such inexcusable comments. We call on them to act, along with members of the student body and their respective student governments, to address the problems of sexism that we have seen and continue to see on campus. We urge you to show your support and solidarity against the sexism and prejudice that fragment the strength of our community as well as our commitment to mutual respect.  Act now and demonstrate your unwillingness to tolerate hatred.

Today: Caroline is counting on you

Caroline Kim needs your help with “Barnard College and Columbia University: STAND IN SOLIDARITY WITH THE WOMEN OF BARNARD AND COLUMBIA AGAINST MISOGYNY”. Join Caroline and 1,535 supporters today.