Special Reports

University Of Pennsylvania Students Speak Up Against Rape Culture, Print Fliers In Response To Sexist Email


A party invite has sparked outrage from University of Pennsylvania students. The email, which was addressed to "ladies," was sent out to several students and contained a disturbing example of predatory sexism.

Philly Voice reported that the creepy email, with the subject line "Wild Wednesday," was distributed to an undisclosed list of recipients on Aug. 31. The invitation included a poem that encourages female students to "please wear something tight."

One freshman received the email and passed it to junior Amanda Silberling. Silberling then organized a group of students to print and distribute it around the University of Pennsylvania campus.

The fliers were taped to the school's iconic "LOVE" statue. The group also placed it on bulletin boards to warn freshman girls.

"It's the second week of classes, so a lot of the frats on campus try to throw as many parties as they can," Silberling told the publication. "Sometimes their tactics for getting people to go to these parties can be really aggressive. In this case, a frat sent an email to incoming freshman girls. We don't know how they got the list."

Initially, the group wanted to send feminist literature to the account that sent the email. However, they decided that this issue should be made public. "We've since learned that similar emails have been sent to freshman girls in the past," she added.

BuzzFeed noted that about 600 fliers of the email with the phrase "this is what rape culture looks like" were posted around the campus. Some, especially those placed in public places, were taken down but those posted in dorm buildings and on poles around the campus were still there.

"The text of the email was offensive and has no place at Penn," the school said in a statement. "As the University has made clear in its policies and protocols, sexual harassment and sexual assault are unacceptable and will not be tolerated on campus. Challenging offensive speech, as these students did, is important and wholly consistent with the University's ongoing efforts and the national conversation about preventing and responding to sexual misconduct."

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