Processing and Exposing Rape Through Art

Untitled, no author; art piece featured in Lantern article (1985)

“One of three women will be raped in their lifetime. For the rapist, life goes on as it did before. For the [survivors], life will never be the same” (Moore, 1). This is the opening line of a Lantern piece covering the art exhibit, “Rape”, to help survivors (both artists and viewers) cope with their past experiences with sexual violence. The exhibit featured 20 artists’ personal work with various mediums (Moore, 6). Some of the artists were interviewed, where a few cited that they were not able to talk about the rape for quite some time, let alone make art about it. One survivor, Helen Mangseldorf states, “To make art about rape was near impossible at first, just as it was always impossible to face my feelings about it”(Moore, 6). Others cited  similar feelings of shame, denial, and fear.

While all the art had a common theme of the commonality and devastation of rape, there were different themes to convey the overarching message. Some did more individualized art, such as self-portraits; others made pieces that highlighted the political systems that subjugate women, and use their bodies as a battleground, as seen in the piece below, Central American Rape, 1983 (Moore, 7).   Others made pieces that signified the recovery process of rape. The exhibit gave “a voice to their silent agony”, provided “survivors psychological exercise”, and it “raised people’s awareness of  rape as a continuing problem of society” (Moore, 7). After the exhibit of OSU, the exhibit went on a two-year national tour.

Art work featured in the Lantern and the Exhibit “Rape” (1985)

Art work featured in the Lantern and the Exhibit “Rape” (1985)

Art work featured in the Lantern and the Exhibit “Rape” (1985)


Works Cited 

Moore, Barbara Easton. “Art Exhibit Exposes Rape.” The Lantern [Columbus] 14 Nov. 1985: 1+. Print.

The Stigmatization of Men

“Men Vulnerable to sexual assault” 1997 Lantern article reports on the often overlooked issue of men raping other men. Michael Scarce, the then coordinator of Rape Education and Prevention Program (REPP) speaks through his own experience with same-sex rape and the issues around male on male rape through his book,  Male on Male Rape: The Hidden Toil of Stigma and Shame.

He says, in the  article, that rape among men is about power struggle,

Lantern article clip, featuring the cover of Michael Scarce’s book (1997)

where “the majority of same-sex rapes are committed by men who identify as heterosexual” (Branco, 9). WAR’s report on rape is cited, where 1 in 10 men will be sexually assaulted in their lifetime. Scarce asserts that most men do not report being raped, because of stigma in relation to society’s homophobia. Scarce also highlights that research is lacking in this area, so he wanted to contribute with his book.



Works Cited

Branco, Julie. “Men Vulnerable to Sexual Assault: Male-on-Male Rape Seen as a Power Struggle.” The Lantern [Columbus] 4 June 1997, sec. 2: 9. Print.

‘An Africentric Perspective on Rape Prevention’

Quote from Lantern article (1991)

In April of 1991, the Rape Education and Prevention Program (REPP) conducted a workshop named “Stop Rape, Stop Racism: An Africentric Perspective on Rape Prevention at Hale Hall. The workshop focused on “identifying rape and its social and cultural implications” and self-defense strategies (Dracopoulos, 3).

The Lantern article, “Rape program centers on race” reports that although women of color share similar fears of sexual violence as their white counterparts (as evidenced in surveys conducted in the community), few women of color are showing up to workshops created to combat the fear. Not only are women of color are less likely to show up to prevention workshops, they are less likely to report sexual assault, due to stigma from the community and distrust in police. Thus, this workshop was tailored to Black women, and men in the first half, to encourage participation. The article references rape’s historical roots, particularity in slavery, and how this subject is more nuanced for women of color because of these historical implications.


Works Cited

Dracopoulos, Effie. “Rape Program Centers On Race.” The Lantern [Columbus] 15 Apr. 1991: 3. Print.

Sexual Harassment Among Faculty, Staff, and Students

In one Lantern article, “Sexual harassment poses threat to women on college campuses” (1991) emphasizes the overlooked issue of sexual harassment of women in particular, at all positions of OSU (Lowe, 1-2). The article reports that in 1990, there were 30 formal complaints of sexual harassment filed at the Office of Affirmative Action, on top of 69 phone calls to the office requesting “information or advice on sexual harassment but did not file a formal report” (Lowe, 1). Willa N. Young, program coordinator of Women’s Student Service is cited throughout the article. She says that sexual harassment can occur across job position lines (i.e. instructors harassing students, faculty harassing staff), but the individuals who are practicing sexual harassment are usually men, where women are the one’s being sexually harassed; this is because sexual harassment is rooted in sexism (Lowe, 1). Young also states that certain categories of women are more vulnerable to sexual harassment than others, such as minority women. She references the  Anita Hill and Clarence Thomas  hearings, also pointing out how negative reactions are common when women speak out against sexual harassment, which is also a major reason why most women do not file a formal complaint at OSU’s Office of Affirmative Action (Lowe, 2).

In the very same newspaper printed next to “Sexual harassment poses threat to women on college campuses”, was an article titled, “Two Organizations examine OSU Women’s Issues in Depth”. The two organizations cited were the Women’s Grassroots Network and President’s Commission on Women, that held forums and meetings in discussing the issues women’s face on campus, with a major one being sexual harassment continually referenced in both group’s meetings, but also issues such as “…career advancement, equity for women of color on campus, dependent care, tenure and promotion, dual career families and retention” (Low, 1). The grassroots network consisted of about 500 faculty, staff and administrative members, and the commission consisted of 23 members appointed by then President Gee (Low, 1-2). One member of the commission spoke about the need for a “new, comprehensive sexual harassment policy on campus” because she believed “…policies [were] widely misunderstood” (Low, 1). Both groups gave recommendations to administration.

Also next to both of the aforementioned articles was the “police beat” shown below…Coincidence or not ?

“Police Beat” featured in Lantern Newspaper (Giorgini 1991, 2)


Works Cited

Giorgini, William. “Police Beat.” The Lantern [Columbus] 29 Oct. 1991: 2. Print.

Lowe, Lori. “Two Organizations Examine OSU Women’s Issues.” The Lantern[Columbus] 29 Oct. 1991: 1-2. Print.

Low, Julie M. “Sexual Harassment Poses Threat to Women On College Campuses.”The Lantern [Columbus] 29 Oct. 1991: 1-2. Print.


Silencing Rape

In the August 1998 issue of The Lantern, there were four pieces that covered rape on OSU campus. 3 of the 4 mentioned frat houses and Greek life a part of the issue of rape on campus. The article “Area Rape Risk may be understated by statistics”, reported that 6 rapes in fraternity houses  were reported from January of 1997 to August of 1998, but the statistics are misleading because many cases go unreported.¹ A study by the Journal of Interpersonal Violence was cited in the article, which collected information from 32 college campuses and found that 58% of  survivors of rape incidences on campus report to anyone, while only 5% report rape to police. Michael Scare, then coordinator of Rape Education and Prevention Program (REPP), said relatively high rates of rape within Greek Life can be partly attributed to the fact any systems on campus that hold high privilege of any kind can often avoid accountability in order to maintain a certain reputation.¹


Statistics featured in the Lantern (1998)¹

What’s more, the emphasis on brotherhood can lead to upholding the “silence code” when rape occurs. There were varying opinions in the piece, but one member of a frat reaffirmed the pervasiveness of the silence code , “It’s not fair that 40 other guys get blamed for one guy’s actions…the smart thing to do is to be silent. You wouldn’t want to trash the kid’s reputation”.¹ Other members of frats denied the silence code, one member said the system “encourages honesty”, and others said the publicity was skewed against them because of their high profile.¹

An article underneath the aforementioned article and adjacent to the statistics graphic above, was titled “Rape Discussions held among campus officials”. This piece reported that “15 officials from various Ohio State departments gathered to talk about sexual assault on campus August 10” and met the same day the article was printed, to discuss improvements in “existing programs and policies for faculty and students”.² The focus was on information on crisis management, prevention, and education. They also discussed information dissemination modes, including University College, residence life, Greek life,  and orientation for freshman, who seem to be most vulnerable (this is only now being implemented for freshman recently).²

An editorial, “Silence code hurts efforts to curb rape” in the August 1998 issue criticized the silence code of Greek life, stating “being a ‘brother’ shouldn’t include ignoring [rape] when your supposed ‘sisters’ are being physically assaulted”.³ The editorial also criticizes Deborah Shipper, Michael Scarce successor, for initially withholding the file on fraternity rapes “over fear that she would anger Greek leaders”; the article asserts, it shows how powerful the code of silence is. The article more broadly criticized OSU administration and “good PR” efforts through silencing rape. One way OSU does this is by not including off-campus rapes in the reports, which downplays the numbers and puts students at risk.³


Works Cited

1.Stevens, Elizabeth, and Alison Rasmus. “Area Rape May Be Understated by Statistics.” The Lantern [Columbus] 29 Aug. 1998: 1-2. Print.

2. Stevens, Elizabeth, and Alison Rasmus. “Rape Discussions Held Among Campus Officals.” The Lantern [Columbus] 29 Aug. 1998: 1. Print.

3.Editorial. “Silence Code Hurts Efforts to Curb Rape.” The Lantern [Columbus] 24 Aug. 1998: 4. Print.

“Big Ten” Playboy: Eroticizing Women

Starting in 1977, Playboy visited Ohio State periodically to recruit women to pose for the magazine in pictorials of college women. 1991 was one such year, where OSU was the last stop in the Big Ten pictorial. However, there were protests, although fairly small, all around the nation against Playboy‘s visit. The University of Michigan had the largest demonstration of about 200 people (Harrell, 1). One student from the Feminist Women’s Union reports criticism of the portrayals of women in Playboy to the Michigan Daily, “They’re trying to eroticize women college students and thereby trivialize us” (Harrell, 1). Another student from Indiana University who went to the try outs disagreed saying, “I don’t think it is degrading at all. I went more for fun.” One spokesman for Playboy responds to the protests by using feminism as his argument, “…I think all people want to make up their own mind for their own ideals…seems to go against the fabric of American Feminism” (Harrell, 1). He said that applicants must be 18 or older, and they can choose whether they want to pose in street clothes, bathing suit, semi-nude or nude.

Groups from Big Ten schools, saw the situation from a very different approach. Indiana University picketed the photographers headquarters. In Madison University of  Wisconsin, flyers were disseminated of an altered playboy ad saying, “Playboy‘s photographer is here and masturbating” (Harrell, 2) At the University of Illinois, a group called Men Against Sexual violence protested outside of the photographer’s hotel, demonstrating with the idea that Playboy promotes sexual violence on campus and in broader society.


Works Cited

Harrell, Todd. “Playboy Heads to Campus Amid Protests.” The Lantern [Columbus] 6 May 1991: 1-2. Print.

Bridal Fairs, Heteronormativity, and Sexual Violence


Lantern article featuring story on demonstrations against Bridal Fairs at OSU (1972)


Although perhaps not obviously or directly related to sexual violence at OSU, bridal fairs sponsored (interestingly enough)  by the Women’s Self-Government Association (WSGA) were once an annual affair in the 60s and early 70s.¹ These bridal fairs included booths selling china, jewelry, silverware, and other upscale home goods; also featured at bridal fairs were fashion shows that students would often model for. Through bridal fairs, OSU actively reinforced heteronormative gender roles, sexualized women, and questioned their place as academics within the university. Inadvertently, OSU had made women more vulnerable to sexual violence, as these fairs reinforced the subjugation of women in male-dominated spaces, through pushing the agenda of encouraging patriarchal relationships.¹


Man wears dress in protest against bridal fairs (1973)

However, student activism was responsible for the end of bridal fairs. In 1972, Columbus-OSU Women’s Liberation and Gay Activists Alliance (GAA) demonstrated against the bridal fairs in the ballroom they were held in.² The activists within these organizations would cross dress in order to challenge gender roles and heteronormativity the bridal show seemed to represent to them. Their main arguments seemed to be around the “commodity of marriage” and its exclusivity.²  The demonstration methods were creative, which included a three-tier wedding cake supported by toilet paper rolls and covered in monopoly money that was brought in by a tea cart. Three women in the protest dressed up as either a traditionally masculine man with a cigar, a bride with money plastered in her veil and the words “Buy me” on her cheek, and a traditional housewife; all were in handcuffs.

Man wears dress in protest against bridal fairs (1973)

The two groups also held a “bridal procession”, which included shouting protests and throwing rice. One of the group members won a cookware set in a raffle, to which he returned to the merchant for cash and promised to put it towards GAA funds.²

A similar demonstration was conducted the following yearly bridal show.³ That same year, 1973, the Bridal Shows were voted out by the WSGA in the face of opposition.





Works Cited

1. Richey, Anna. Troublemakers: Feminist Anti Rape Activism in Columbus, Ohio. Thesis. The Ohio State University, 2016. Columbus: Ohio State U, 2016. Print

2. Johnson, Leola. “Bridal Fair Protesters Include Bearded Bride.” The Lantern[Columbus] 4 Feb. 1972: 1. Print.

3. Chavin, Bonnie. “..protesters Conduct Anti-Bridal March.” The Lantern [Columbus] 14 Feb. 1973: 1. Print.

Remembering WAR

Women Against Rape (WAR) served the OSU community for over two decades. The group was quite radical and dedicated to the work in combating sexual violence on campus and beyond. Although WAR had its issues, such as “internal division and homophobia, pressure to find funding during a hostile political climate and the alienation of rape survivors”, there were several successes in pushing for resources and activism around ending sexual violence on campus (Richey, 2016). The last straw for the organization was the rape of a woman,who was working the hotline, by an intruder  within the rape crisis center. There was a divide in whether or not she should report the crime–she ultimately did not.

Below is a timeline of some major events that occurred during WAR’s time.



Works Cited

Richey, Anna. Troublemakers: Feminist Anti Rape Activism in Columbus, Ohio. Thesis. The Ohio State University, 2016. Columbus: Ohio State U, 2016. Print.

A Call for a Rape Crisis Center

In October of 1992, a 28-year old man was charged with the rape of a resident of Stradley Hall.¹ In November of 1992, just days after the Stradley Hall case and hours before a reported rape off-campus, a sit-in at Bricker Hall of about 60 students was conducted to demand the implementation of a Rape Crisis center at OSU hospital.² The students presented a series of other demands with deadlines to former President E. Gordon Gee, including mandatory rape education in all UVC classes, mandatory rape education for all faculty and staff, and a written condemnation for sexual assault signed by Gee.²

The demands for the Rape Crisis Center at OSU hospital was in response to the Stradley hall rape case, where the survivor was taken to OSU hospital instead of the two other hospitals, Grant and Riverside, that had a Rape Crisis Center. Students were concerned that OSU hospital was not properly equipped to help the survivor³.The students emphasized in their demands that until a Rape Crisis Center is established at OSU hospital, rape survivors should be not be taken there and UVC students should be warned of this.² Likewise, students cited being disappointed with some of the programs the then assistant director reported in an article that announced the Stradley Hall case. One being, a program “Can We Talk”, which was “designed to help women learn how to communicate with men without giving off the wrong signals”. One student criticized this program’s description  as a ‘Blame-the-Victim’ statement, and called for campus police to be trained to be able to treat survivors in a dignified manner.³


Works Cited

1. Krantz, Andrew B., and Christine Motellaro. “OSU Student Raped Inside Stradley Hall.” The Lantern [Columbus] 29 Oct. 1992: 1. Print.

2. Motellaro, Christine. “Students Demand Rape Crisis Center.” The Lantern [Columbus] 3 Nov. 1992: 1-2. Print.

3. Maurer, Lynn M. “Letters: Rape Prevention.” The Lantern [Columbus] 6 Nov. 1992: 7. Print.


Early Escort Services on Campus

A quote featured in the Lantern article, “Despite Attacks, Students Still Walking Alone”

The Lantern article, “Despite Attacks, Students Still Walk Alone” reported  ten campus area rapes and 12 campus muggings in the Autumn quarter of 1985 alone.¹ The article was about the low utilization rates of the three campus escorting services specifically for women to be escorted by men, a service available as early as 1982.² It is a service not provided by all dormitories, either, and no formal services were provided for students living off-campus.

There are several interesting perspectives accounted for in the Lantern piece. The first point of view showcased is one of an OSU police officer, who is frustrated that students do not utilize the services. He says, “Because there are still going to be people who are taking advantage, and still people who are going to be gullible or careless, or a combination of these features that will allow people to take advantage of them”.¹ The anonymous officer also stated he  did not think the “student populace was that much more compelled to be careful” despite the high rates of attacks that quarter.¹

The next two voices featured were quite different. One student cited in the article expressed a feeling of frustration that she is forced to worry about her safety walking to her car from her night job on campus where the escort services are not offered. Another student, who’s quote is pictured above, reported a sense of disillusionment with the escort services.

She says, “I really don’t think there’s going to be a solution. How do you stop people from wanting  to hurt other people?”¹


Works Cited

  1. Bennett, Robin. “Despite Attacks, Students Still Walking Alone.” The Lantern[Columbus] 30 Jan. 1985: 8. Print.

2. Summers, Shawn. “Park Hall Begins Escort Service for Stradley.” The Lantern[Columbus] 3 Feb. 1982: 2. Print.