Emergency Phone at Tulane

Emergency Phone at TulaneWell, I am back to the blog following a Mardi Gras break.  I was on my bike all weekend, but out late, tired, and often a touch too intoxicated to blog.  I lost a tooth to some parade beads and took a nasty fall on Decatur Street that left me with a concussion, but all in all, it was a fantastic time.  If you haven’t done Mardi Gras in New Orleans, you are missing out.  Bring your bike–it made the whole event much more fun to navigate, plus it’s fun to decorate both bike and rider.  I spent Mardi Gras day tooling around in a prom dress.  Now that’s a fun way to ride a bike.

But Mardi Gras wasn’t just fun.  New Orleans is a dangerous city, and this past week was no exception.  Shots were fired, people died, and innumerable unreported tragedies surely took place.  My students and I spent our class time today talking about the rape that happened up near campus, in Audubon Park.  Tulane has been the site of many stranger and acquaintance rapes recently, and I asked my students what they think should be done about it.  Several mentioned that we need more security on campus–emergency phones, lighting, campus police, video cameras.  I understand this desire, but of course all the police in the world won’t change the culture of rape and normalized violent masculinity that holds sway here.  There’s got to be a way to address the root causes of violence against women, to address the sexual assaults and rapes that happen every weekend on this liquored-up campus where we hear about the rapes perpetrated by men who don’t go to Tulane, but there’s a general silence when it comes to rapes that happen within the Tulane community.  As I rode my bike home today I passed this emergency phone and noticed it for the first time.  All the emergency phones in the world won’t stop the violence on this campus or in this town.  We’ve got to denormalize both interpersonal and socio-structural violence in New Orleans.  We’ve got to stop individualizing disorder and start cleaning this place up.

4 thoughts on “Emergency Phone at Tulane

  1. Sounds like a mixed bag of emotion Kate. I am sorry you were physically hurt and also suffered associated sadness for woman who pay the price.

    Do you really put your safety first as you roll in NOLA? Please do. JMHO


  2. yesterday’s convesation left me thinking as well. It’s a really upsetting thing to think that we can’t fight at the roots of our culture. I was even more upset, however, at the weight that even we educated feminist students put on outsider rape rather than the tons of aquaintance rape that happens at tulane. is the the booze cultre of nola and non-native kids’ inability to respond to it, is the the frat male-dom mindset, is it a lack of resonse and education? Sigh…

    I will say, though, that I was glad to see that everyone in class felt free enough to ask honest questions. That is the start to any real discourse.

  3. Thank you, Judy–and yes, I put safety first. It’s always a tough call, though, how much to let fear determine what we will and won’t do.

    And yes–SO happy, V., to see all of us asking honest questions and challenging ourselves to justify feminist sacred cows. That’s a rare moment in a women’s studies class, I’ve got to say.

  4. Ive seen thi in the news and it saddens me that violence everywhere impacts so many people. Hope your tooth is okay and this post, def. makes the reader embrace in your thoughts and concerns, and relate to similar issues that could be happening around the town we happen to be in. be safe and keep riding

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