Students Protest University of Southern California and Kappa Sigma Fraternity for Inaction Following Misogynist, Racist E-mail
On Monday, over 100 University of Southern California students marched in protest of the school’s inaction in response to a misogynist e-mail said to have originated among members of the school’s Kappa Sigma fraternity.
The e-mail, a lengthy guide to living the “Cocksman” lifestyle, followed a brief introduction with the following statement before moving on to its tenets: “I will refer to females as ‘targets’. They aren’t actual people like us men. Consequently, giving them a certain name or distinction is pointless.”
From there, the piece introduces the vocabulary of the cocksman: a “pie” is a vagina and a “gullet” refers to the oral cavity. The e-mail describes the different “types” of “pie,” assigning flavors to women of different ethnic backgrounds, and essentially prohibits sex with women of Middle Eastern heritage as a matter of patriotism. It also casually suggests that it is easier to get women of lower socioeconomic status to have sex if one employs alcohol.
The use of alcohol to persuade women to have sex, in fact, has its own name: “loop n’ drop.” This technique carries the glib warning that too much alcohol may result in “instances of litigation and lawsuits. Terms like ‘sexual assault’ seem to be used in this case.” It couldn’t possibly get any worse after this point, but it does, with the introduction of the acronym “R.D.A. (Raw Dog Assassin),” which describes a man who refuses to wear condoms, a practice that is dismissed as only resulting in a few extra visits to the clinic, “but a quick penicillin shot really isn’t that bad (trust me).”
When USC’s Daily Trojan reported on the e-mail, they spoke with Mitchell Wilson, executive director of Kappa Sigma Fraternity, who stated he was appalled by the message.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“The content [of the e-mail] is contrary to everything [Kappa Sigma stands] for and we are not going to allow individuals to attempt to tarnish our name in any form or fashion,Ã¢â‚¬Â said Wilson. Ã¢â‚¬Å“We will pursue this as far as we can.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Wilson also told the Trojan that the organization has been discussing the matter and trying to find a way to go through internet service providers to track the source of the e-mail.
But Pat Lauer, president of USCÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s Interfraternity Council, isn’t sure the e-mail originated at USC, or even the Ksig.
Ã¢â‚¬Å“We have been told and understand that this e-mail was forwarded from another source outside this community, but there have been so many contradicting facts being uncovered,Ã¢â‚¬Â Lauer told the student paper. Ã¢â‚¬Å“At this point we are going to wait for Kappa SigmaÃ¢â‚¬â„¢s nationals to conduct their investigation before making any conclusive statements.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Not much later, the doubt became a full disavowal, as illustrated by this message from Jaclyn Matthews, executive vice president of USC’s Panhellenic Council:
The email did not originate at USC and the student who forwarded the email to USC’s Kappa Sigma is not a registered member of our Greek community. We have drafted an official response (attached) that asserts the facts of the situation and intends to clear the horrible misconceptions of USC’s Greek community proliferated by the email.
Not too much later, an account surfaced on a LiveJournal community naming not only the alleged author [name has been redacted, see bottom of post for details], but implicating Mitchell Wilson, the aforementioned executive director of Kappa Sigma and possibly the president of USC’s Kappa Sigma chapter.
According to this account, Wilson, another man from Kappa Sigma believed to be its USC president and the alleged author of the account, came over to the poster’s apartment to beg her roommate, whom the alleged author had asked to proof-read the e-mail and who may be the source of the leak, to refrain from speaking to the Trojan. The poster goes on:
They then said they were concocting a cover story that said the email was not written by a USC student, but obtained from somewhere outside USC (Harvard), and intended as satire.
Then yesterday the DT [Daily trojan] article came out. I was absolutely furious because Mitchell Wilson, IFC [Interfraternity Council], Kappa Sig — basically everyone lies about the email’s origins (“If there is such a member.”) Bullshit, they were all in my fucking apartment together two days ago! (and the email was signed by Elliot like 5 different ways, which people seem to keep forgetting).
Meanwhile, I have heard that Elliot has been expelled from Kappa Sig — but obviously only because it was made public and embarrassed the frat. The email was sent back in January. If they actually cared about the content of the email, they would’ve expelled him then, not now. I also heard he’s going through SJACS [Student Judicial Affairs and Community Standards] proceedings, but considering a prior frat related experience that my roommate and I had, I don’t necessarily trust those people to do anything of value.
The lack of action on the part of Kappa Sigma national and USC drove students to congregate in protest on Monday, chanting slogans such as, Ã¢â‚¬Å“Our bodies, our lives; our campus, our rights.Ã¢â‚¬Â
Having blown up into a national story, the Los Angeles Times reported on the protest, noting Michael L. Jackson, vice president for Student Affairs at USC, finally took the microphone toward the end to condemn the e-mail anew, encourage the students to keep speaking out and promise that USC is “willing to work with anyone who has better ideas for improving what we do.”
We applaud the students who protested. Men and women should be concerned with the climate created by an e-mail of such a disruptive nature. There is nothing “satirical” or “funny” about an e-mail that supports such an appalling philosophy and it would do USC well to take a bigger interest in protecting the well-being of its students than in saving face in light of the national media’s attention.
And for no particular reason whatsoever, we want to suggest all female students read (or reread) the following play by Aristophanes. The link goes straight to the free version available from the Gutenberg Project. But if you are short on time, a quick skim over the Wikipedia entry may more than do the trick.
We’d support that, too. In fact, we’d join you.
Pie photo in header collage by Miss Sydney Marie.
* Initially, this post contained the name of the alleged author first published by Gawker Media’s Jezebel.com on March 10, 2011. On April 27, the alleged author contacted Sex and the 405 via e-mail and requested his name be removed based on having been “fully exonerated by my University and the California Court System.” He sent the March 17 open letter by Michael L. Jackson, Vice President of USC Student Affairs, mentioned in this post, but could not provide information from the California court system because offering any documentation regarding the civil dispute would result in a breach of settlement. The alleged author of the e-mail also informed Sex and the 405 that he is “currently in legal proceedings with the Jezebel author for libel and defamation claims.” Given that there is a structure in place to hold him accountable for his actions, we have decided to remove his full name from this post.