Demand University Repeal its Ban on Students Dressing in Drag

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Target: The Dutch-medium Brussels Institute of Higher Education University

Goal: Lift ban on students dressing in drag

A ban on dressing in drag has been implemented at the Dutch-medium Brussels Institute of Higher Education University (HUB) after a male student dressed as a woman was robbed and gang raped.

As with many universities even in the United States, HUB has a tradition of fraternity initiation rituals. One of the more popular rituals for new members is to have the male students dress as women.

On his way to an initiation evening, a male student dressed as a woman was attacked. He was dragged to a deserted parking lot, robbed of his cell phone and gang raped. A 15-year-old and a 17-year-old are currently in custody.

This is the second investigation in 2012 of a male rape incident at the university. In response to this brutal attack HUB advised students that certain groups perceive wearing drag as being provocative. Advising students not to wear drag implies that it is the victims fault; they were essentially asking to be raped by dressing that way.

There is no justifying rape. It is a brutal attack and the victims should not have to suffer anymore than they already do. It is the attacker that needs to be punished not the victim. Regardless of how the victim is dressed or what they look like, they are still the victim.

This ban also brings into question the effects this ban will have on the transgender community. Asking them to change the way they dress is a huge step backward in the fight for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender equality. Sign the petition to demand HUB repeal its ban on dressing in drag and focus on realistic ways to stop these rapes from occurring.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Dutch-medium Brussels Institute of Higher Education University,

The recent robbery and gang rape of a male student dressed as a woman at your university is heinous. Rape is an abominable crime. However, the way your administration chose to deal with this crime is absurd. Advising students that dressing in drag can be perceived as provocative lays blame on the rape victim and implies the attacker is not at fault.

Banning students from dressing in drag is not the solution for rape at your university. This case should serve to shed some light on how serious of a problem rape is at universities, even cases of male victims. Allowing rape victims to feel they are at fault for being raped is irresponsible and thoughtless. The focus of these investigations should be how to prevent rape campus wide, not how to conform students into looking “less provocative.” Please repeal your ban on students dressing in drag.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: Akbar Simonse via Flickr

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147 Signatures

  • Eric von Borstel
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