A Texas state law is set to allow the concealed carry of handguns on college campuses starting in August of 2016, and UT alumna Jessica Jin is opposing the law by asking students to pack a different kind of heat on campus: sex toys, to be exact. Jin's campaign calls on activists to protest the gun law by carrying dildos to class instead firearms. According to Jin’s Facebook page for the event, which is delightfully attached to the hashtag "#CocksNotGlocks," the thinking behind the protest is simple: "You're carrying a gun to class? Yeah well I'm carrying a HUGE DILDO."
Signed by Texas Governor Greg Abbott in June, Senate Bill 11 (aka the “campus carry law”) will allow concealed handguns into most buildings on college campuses. According to the Houston Chronicle, “The law also gives a certain amount of latitude to campus presidents, however, to designate so-called ‘gun-free zones.’” The law, which doesn’t apply to private schools, will go into effect on Texas campuses in next August. Community colleges will have to wait another year, until August of 2017, for campus carry to be allowed. Advocates of the law argue that concealed carry on college campuses will help students and employees defend themselves in the case of campus shootings, but others have argued that allowing concealed handguns at colleges and universities will only create more danger. Many UT students and faculty have protested the law, including an emeritus economics professor who announced that he was quitting last week, due to the “heightened risk” to which the campus carry law exposes the campus community.
So where do dildos come into it? In an interview with the Houston Chronicle, Jin explained that the #CocksNotGlocks campaign began as a response to the three deadly campus shootings — in Oregon, Arizona, and Texas — that have occurred this month. She said,
I felt a lot of frustration at those who were still trying to explain-away, or make excuses for this repeated pattern of violence and said to myself, "Man, these people are such dildos.” I couldn't believe that people could still sit there and defend their own personal gun ownership while watching families mourn the loss of their children.
On the #CocksNotGlocks Facebook page, Jin calls for students, alums, and anyone else who wants to participate to carry dildos to campus on August 24, 2016 (the first day of fall semester classes). Jin explained that the idea originally began as a joke, but gained steam as she delved into campus regulations and discovered that dildos in public would violate UT’s rules regarding obscenity. On Facebook, she points out the ridiculousness of the double standard to which our culture holds sex and violence, writing, “You would receive a citation for taking a DILDO to class before you would get in trouble for taking a gun to class. Heaven forbid the penis.”
Although Jin has received a lot of support since announcing the event — more than four thousand people have pledged to participate — she’s also received significant backlash, including threats of violence. She told the Houston Chronicle that she has had to contact the Austin Police Department and said,
It has been absolutely fascinating that some folks seemingly feel threatened or angered at the thought of people carrying dildos around with them. They're incredibly offended! So much outrage! They're calling for my head. People want me dead for a dildo.
A bunch of people carrying dildos around campus may look silly, but that’s entirely the point. Jin explained, “I need this proliferation of dildos to offer people a visual representation of what it would be like if we all carried guns. … If guns and bloodshed don't wake people up, a public celebration of sexuality may just do the trick.” She adds, “We're going to need a lot of dildos.”
Find out more about the #CocksNotGlocks campaign here.