This article will use the word Womyn instead of Women. It is a one letter difference that symbolizes our agency and power to self-definition. It reclaims a term meant to define and constrain us. It highlights the separation of our existence from men. And at this moment, it importantly empowers all Womyn.
This article will not capitalize the names that do not deserve respect. I will not capitalize the names of those who wish to capitalize off of others. These typed words will elevate those that have courageously continued to live and will let them rise above those that have tirelessly silenced the brave.
It wasn’t justice when brendan gibbons was “separated” from the university. It was an insult and a message imparted upon us by dave brandon and the institution behind him.
It was insulting, like salt(in) our wounds. Justice has a timepiece ticking alongside it. It cannot be delivered too late — after heartbreak and devastation have exploded and ashes have already settled. After our hearts begin to beat again with the slashes that were created. Justice and pardons cannot be given away as if they were “charitable” yet worn out summer clothes. For we are already entering fall, and short-sleeves do not keep strong arms warm. The timing of the “separation” was done at an insulting date. It was done years too late for the victim, but at a convenient time for the institution. Even the idea of a possible “separation” is insulting. I will continue to write it in quotes, because it is an offensive and painful notion that brendan gibbons can be “separated” from the lives he has affected.
It was a message as in mixed message
as in f****d up message
as in you don’t matter message
as in your life doesn’t matter message
as in Womyn’s safety doesn’t matter message
as in Womyn’s sexuality is for the taking message
as in Womyn’s livelihood doesn’t have value message
as in Womyn’s existence is there for men’s pleasure message
as in Womyn are beneath the worth of filled football seats message
as in Womyn should be silenced so more trophies can be won message
as in covering up rape is not reason enough for a director’s expulsion message
as in Womyn are there to respond (un)willingly to the needs of football players message.
These insults and messages have been laid upon all of the students at the university. They have filled our backpacks and weighed us down. They have taught others and me the way Womyn are viewed by those more powerful. And they have taught me the value dave brandon and his institution imparts onto Womyn.
As this student body rapidly mobilizes to expel you, dave brandon … I hope it doesn’t.
Even though I desperately want you gone, dave brandon, I do not want you gone for the reasons others are chanting and petitioning. I do not want you to believe that you have disappointed us for risking more football wins and good games. I do not want you to think that it was football that mattered when it is the courageous lives of Womyn that mattered. I do not want your last steps on this corrupted field to be weighed down with the thoughts of how you let the game of football down.
I want you, dave brandon and this institution that stands behind you, to be forced away by the battle cry of Womyn erupting beyond the size of the big house. I want you to be permanently imprinted by the relentless strength and force that Womyn carry in their fingertips. I want you to never forget that your messages will not cripple our existence, because you, dave brandon, and you, this institution that upholds him, do not define Womyn.
Maja Tosic can be reached at email@example.com.