When I first heard of the Georgetown University Grilling Society issue, I remained fairly objective about it. I didn’t care too much either way and thought the whole argument didn’t apply to me. But after reviewing the amount of support that is being garnered for each side, I see it is an issue on campus that perhaps warrants some reflection.The issue here is whether or not the members of GUGS are stifling gender relations on campus by using the title “Grills Gone Wild” for their event. Some of the opposition even attempts to say that GUGS is comparing women to meat.

I think that argument does not follow and is a little farfetched.

Gender issues may very well exist on this campus. I do not attempt to argue with that, but is protesting a barbecue event really the best vehicle to launch the discussion? It’s something miniscule that has been blown out of proportion. It seems to me to be a cheeky play on words. Now if the gentlemen were to parade scantily clad women during the event there might be an issue, but to use this to start a discussion about gender issue conflicts seems to cheapen the entire feminist campaign. That the feminist movement on campus picked this issue to protest seems to demonstrate that there are no other real gender issues on campus. Now, that may not be the case, but when I see people jumping all over this it makes me wonder.

There are other ways that we can start this discussion and make it more meaningful and productive. What is protesting a GUGS event going to solve? Little to nothing. I don’t think the gentlemen and ladies of GUGS mean to be anti-feminist, but there may be other things on campus that are intentionally anti-feminist, and perhaps we should focus our attention on those venues which will precipitate a more meaningful outcome.

Unfortunately, it appears that a week-long barbecue event is going to be the vehicle that launches this very serious debate, and it leaves me feeling dubious as to whether or not anything of value will be resolved. What’s really at issue here? The answer: nothing. Let’s face it. We’re Georgetown students. We’re highly motivated and highly involved students. We live in a town that goes into a fury if someone uses one wrong word in a speech. Everyone here is looking for an issue to rally around and stand for, and if people see something that looks just the least bit askew, they jump on it. That is what is happening here: GUGS has become the center of attention because it is providing the student population with something to protest and rally around.

Am I saying that GUGS is some sort of martyr in this scenario? Of course not. When you say something that is less than politically correct, it is usually the case that someone will find an issue with it. So is the debate here really over women’s rights on campus, or is the debate here whether or not people must have an issue to get behind? I find it to be the latter.

I cannot help but think of the discriminatory acts that occurred on campus earlier this year. In those instances injustice was truly committed and people were protesting because people were truly feeling discriminated against. I saw those instances as legitimate acts of discrimination and supported the protests that followed. No one went hunting for that issue. That issue came to us. The administration rightly saw a need to interject and start a discussion with the student body over the issue, and what has resulted seems, in the opinion of this student, to be positive. I hardly think that the administration will start a dialogue over this issue, nor will they be amending any of the rules to include the requirement of pronouncing GUGS with a hard G. If there really is some sort of anti-feminist discrimination occurring on campus, then I would be one of the first people to protest it, but I am not going to go hunting for an issue to debate. It’s frivolous, exhausting and will eventually get us nowhere, just as this “crisis” – as it is being made out – is doing right now.

Tim Swenson is a sophomore in the College.

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