SAINT PETER— In preparation for the upcoming Building Bridges Conference, Hidden in Plain Sight: Recognizing and Rejecting Rape Culture, committee members have concluded that too much time has been spent correcting each others’ offensive language. The only logical step, they have decided, is to never speak again, for fear of offending any group, person, or creature.
With the use of various gestures and a make-shift game of charades, Junior Rick Anders explained his reasoning for taking the pledge to never speak again.
“Our meetings were taking forever because it took everyone several minutes to think of even one sentence that would be only kind of offensive. Finally, someone just suggested giving up language for good. It made sense,” Anders mimed.
Before this change, the group began each meeting by listing “No-No Words” on the whiteboard. However, the list quickly grew to become a bound book filled with hundreds of taboo words, including “Pumpkin” (starts with the same letter as ‘patriarchy’) and “LOL” (acronyms like this, and LBGTQA, do not include every identity).
To take the pledge, the group decided it would be best to draw interpretive pictures of themselves instead of signing their names because names are limiting.
“I’ve given up my former name because ‘Rick’ sounds kind of like ‘rock’, which reminds me that there are many different types of rocks in the world, and some rocks have higher value than others, which makes me sad. And angry, I think,” Anders acted out.
The group proved that even words one wouldn’t expect are definitely offensive.
“Track and Field races? I don’t think so,” Anders gestured.
The group feels they have made great strides in the fight against injustice in the world. Though their change has been successful thus far, they are beginning to run into some issues. At the first silent planning meeting, the committee soon realized that a wide array of body language and gestural movement is definitely offensive to those with limited movement.
The students are unsure of next step, although they know it wouldn’t be taking an actual step because they might invade someone’s personal space, which would be extremely offensive. What they do know is that they are extremely upset about it and are ready to protest until a change is made.
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