‘Rapist list’ appears at University of Chicago, is quickly taken down by Tumblr


(Image courtesy of Jezebel)

This weekend as first-years arrived at the University of Chicago for their freshman orientation, an anonymous group, identified only as “Concerned Citizens,” published on Tumblr a list of “people known to commit varying levels of gender-based violence” at UChicago. A similar list quickly popped up in university bathrooms. According to Jezebel, “Those flyers list the names of six current and former UChicago students; all appear to be men and do/did go to the college.” The Concerned Citizens explained their goal on Tumblr: “Keeping the community safe—since the University won’t.” UChicago’s list is the latest in a series that have appeared at U.S. colleges over the years, including Brown University some 20 years ago and Columbia University last spring

According to one UChicago student, Tumblr removed the page less than 24 hours after it went up, shortly after it appeared on the “Overheard at UChicago” Facebook page. Marybeth Seitz-Brown, a former organizer with No Red Tape at Columbia, where another “rapist list” went viral last spring, told me, “How frustrating it is that there are white supremacist Tumblrs, Tumblrs dedicated to posting creepshots and photos of people without their consent, Tumblrs dedicated to harassing women, Tumblrs that encourage eating disorders, and all kinds of awful, hateful content out there that gets left up for years and years, but THIS blog was taken down within hours? I’m sorry to survivors who didn’t get a chance to name their abusers, assailants, and perpetrators, and I’m so disappointed in Tumblr staff for enabling oppressive blogs but policing survivors.”

Olivia Ortiz, a survivor activist and Title IX complainant against UChicago noted, “Even in feminist communities, you have this pervasive doubting of survivors. I’ve seen a lot of comments on Jezebel echoing this sentiment, and it’s disappointing to say the least. Even Tumblr took the [White House’s] It’s On Us pledge. But now they’re censoring survivors’ voices.”

IMG_4962Dana Bolger is a founding co-director of Know Your IX and guest contributor to Feministing. She tweets at @danabolger.

New Haven, CT

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and the co-founder of Know Your IX, the national youth-led organization working to end gender violence in schools. She's testified before Congress on Title IX policy and legislative reform, and her writing has appeared in a number of outlets, including The New York Times, Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She's also a student at Yale Law School, and you can find her on Twitter at @danabolger.

Dana Bolger is a Senior Editor at Feministing and a student at Yale Law School.

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