The dove. The olive branch. The white poppy. Who would’ve thought that the next symbol for peace would be a big ol’ dildo?
The #CocksNotGlocks movement at the University of Texas is to protest a campus carry law that allows students over 21 years of age and with proper permit to carry guns on campus. Jessica Jin organized fellow students to strap dildos to their book bags with zip ties as a way to protest. They’re technically breaking an obscenity law because, that’s right, guns are legal on campus, but displaying dildos is a misdemeanor in the state.
It’s not the first time that sex toys have been used to protest something or someone violent. American programmer and writer Matt Haughey created a Tumblr page of GOP politicians holding weapons, except the weapons have dildos photoshopped over them.
A butt plug designed to look like Russian President Vladimir Putin also became very popular. (Although it has been declared unsafe for actual use due to its coarse material. There’s a joke in there somewhere.) The protest here being about Putin himself and his outright war against the LGBTQ community. While not for public use, the result is still pretty terrifying.
These protests are done with the understanding that anything sexual has an inherent shock value. A sex scene in a movie is more taboo than skin melting off a corpse on a cable television show like Bones. Carrying a dildo is illegal on a campus that allows students to carry guns. Puritanical notions are deemed more important than the consequences of having campus carry for the age group with the highest rate of depression in an environment of high stress and copious alcohol and drug use.
Sex toys are being used as a force for good, a force for change even. Great. But we can’t deny that their use in activism is completely dependant on people’s revulsion towards sex toys. So after we’ve rid the world of gun violence (yeah, okay), maybe we can go after the sex vs. violence question. Why is sex more taboo than death? I, for one, would like to see sex toys outside of protest art. I’d love to see less of Temperance “Bones” Brennan’s fresh corpses and more of what she and Booth use in the bedroom. Let’s get that going.
Gem Blackthorn is QMT's Sex Columnist, and the author/curator of Lust Thrust Thursdays. Send her your submissions and questions at sexsexsex [at] queenmobs.com