Sometimes, a vandal is just a vandal
Published: Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Updated: Thursday, October 18, 2012 14:10
A couple of weeks ago, my dorm floor was reprimanded and required to have a lengthy group discussion.
Our crime? One of “bias.”
Specifically, there were too many penises drawn on the whiteboards on our doors in dry-erase marker.
Mind you, this “crime of bias,” as the school calls it, wasn’t racially or religiously motivated: nobody drew a swastika or anything. We were told that drawing male genitalia is a sign of either “repressed homosexuality or homophobia.”
Indeed, those who draw male genitalia in erasable marker are either closet homosexuals who are content to sketch their own erotica or cross-burning, robe-donning Klansmen, who’ve recently traded their loyal affinity for the swastika or cross in exchange for a crudely drawn penis.
Frankly, this ludicrous assertion is more optimistic than anything.
I guess the local Vermont chapter of the Ku Klux Klan and the gay community can finally get along: they now have something in common.
And drawing male genitalia is also, apparently, an “expression of male dominance.”
If you weren’t paying attention in anthropology class, the advent of the dry-erase marker and complementary whiteboard afforded man an outlet through which to satisfy his primal, territorial urges, much in the manner that a dog uses a tree to satisfy his.
Again, this psycho-sexual babble is more optimistic than not; it seems that the whiteboard and marker served as a substitute for man’s inherent desire to sexually subordinate women. Feminist organizations like Code Pink might benefit from handing out whiteboards instead of their grotesque vagina costumes to promote “awareness.”
This sort of thinking ignores a significant consequence of the crime: it harms others’ property. If you vandalize someone’s property nowadays, you’re more likely to be called a homosexual, a homophobe or a misogynist than you are a vandal.
This is a significant problem in America today. We focus more on group rights than we do on individuals’. There is more of an emphasis on the undertones of a crime than on the actual crime. In this case, the importance and sanctity of one’s property came second to the undertones of perceived group rights violations.
We’re losing our ability to address issues as they are, unable to abstain from giving an unqualified psychological diagnosis. While we can call vandals gay and homophobic, we might benefit from addressing them as they really are: first-years with a crude sense of humor.
For UVM’s self-proclaimed psychologists, this answer is not quite convoluted enough. Every vandalized whiteboard is, to them, a Rorschach inkblot test.
To this, I quote Freud: “sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.”