Liberation in Progress, the University of Akron’s student feminist group, has been banned from holding its bake sales in the Polsky Building.
The offense? Selling chocolate candy in the shape of a woman’s vulva.
When the group set up shop on Wednesday, a member of the administrative staff at the Polsky Building told LIP members that their candy products were “disgusting, obscene and inappropriate,” according to LIP President Lindsay Newton. Then they were told to pack up their products and leave.
Later, LIP leaders were told they needed to obtain special permission from the dean of Summit College for their table promoting safe sex, permission they would get ONLY if the group assured administrators no graphic material would be part of the display.
The group also sold its products in Olin Hall without incident.
The bake sale was part of LIP’s No Woman Left Behind campaign, which asks supporters to pledge “to acknowledge that consent [to sex] cannot be given when intoxicated” and “to intervene if a woman is being taken advantage of at a bar, party or club . . . to assist any woman in need.”
LIP leaders took immediate action in protest of the Polsky ban. They started circulating a petition, formed a STOP CENSORSHIP committee and contacted editors at UA’s student newspaper, The Buchtelite.
As the group’s Facebook page noted, “Liberation In Progress exists to FIGHT against this kind of small minded discrimination! We are not going to sit quietly and allow this section of OUR campus to ban safe sex and positive body image awareness!
“Vulvas are NOT vulgar, disgusting, obscene or offensive! They are a part of the body, just like the face and toe nail! Keep in mind we are not displaying pornography, we are not displaying graphic images of REAL vaginas, we are selling chocolate that has been set in a mold that vaguely resembles a vulva.”