The Fake Dicks Are Coming, at the University of Texas at Austin

Concealed carry of guns v. open carry of sex toys

Guns in backpacks? Dildos in the classroom.

Guns in backpacks? Dildos in the classroom. (Photo: Marshall Tidrick / Cocks Not Glocks)

One week from Wednesday, gun opponents predict the campus at the University of Texas (UT) at Austin will be covered with students hanging dildos from their backpacks for the first day of classes. The action comes in protest of a new right for gun owners in the state. On August 1, a law went into effect in Texas that made it legal to carry concealed firearms into public university campus buildings.

So, last October, UT alum Jessica Jin put out a call on Facebook for students to openly carry dildos in protest of the new right of members of the campus community to carry concealed weapons into their classes. Calling the campaign, “Cocks Not Glocks,” she was surprised by its virality. “It was just kind of a rude commentary on my part,” Jin told the Observer in a phone call, “but I realized it really resonated with a lot of people.”

Before the relevant legislation, Senate Bill 11, became law, Jin explained, opponents had pursued every normal channel to resist it, including petitions, testimony before the legislature and sign-on letters of campus faculty, but none of it worked. Jin was not involved in those efforts and had not previously been an activist. The recent graduate will return to campus for the first week of school to help undergrad colleagues to distribute the 4,000 dildos the campaign has managed to amass since announcing the demonstration last fall.

“It offers a visual representation of what it would look like if the gun lobby really got what it wanted,” Jin said, “which is the complete normalization of gun culture.”

SEE ALSO: Other political dildos.

What started as a joke has taken on a larger satirical elegance. “A lot of our American culture is still so puritanical, and we see that in the continual normalizing of gun culture, while shutting down sex culture, which is pretty harmless and happy,” she said. She added, “If the guns around you aren’t making you uncomfortable, then maybe this dildo protest will make you think twice about what it is that makes you feel uncomfortable, and why.”

The campus gun proponents have taken her dildo protest hard.

Cocks Not Glocks campus team, with some of their donated political paraphenalia.

Cocks Not Glocks supporters, with political paraphenalia. (Photo: Marshall Tidrick / Cocks Not Glocks)

While Jin was mostly just trying to make a joke about an unfortunate policy move in the state where she attended college, it took a dark turn. She was surprised by the level of anger she was met with as her campaign took off. Again and again, she said, male gun rights advocates appeared to feel threatened by women publicly expressing disagreement about their right to carry weapons onto campus.    One line she heard frequently she said, went like this, “If we were carrying a dildo around campus, we’d be inviting rape.” And that would inevitably lead to the assertion that “when someone does try to rape you, you’ll wish you had a gun.”

‘Hopefully students will leave dildos on their backpack as long as there are guns in students’ backpacks’

She believes that her political opponents have been trying to make their case by making people afraid and to define for women and non-gender binary people what it means to live in a safe environment. She found it especially unsettling that men could think, “we might not have lived our lives in this very real fear that women feel all the time, but we have a solution for you,” as Jin put it.

“This is a really, really thoughtless joke,” she said, “yet it has drummed up this surface level misogyny and racism that we didn’t realize was buried so shallowly.”

Spokesperson for Students for Concealed Carry, Zachary Zalneraitis, wrote the Observer in an email that his group supports everyone’s right to express their opinion, adding, “Furthermore, this demonstration serves as an example of how lawful concealed carry on campus does not pose a threat to the free exchange of ideas on college campuses.”

Turnout photo.

Driving turnout. (Photo: Marshall Tidrick / Cocks Not Glocks)

UT-Austin had 50,950 students enrolled in the fall of last year, according to its website. 10,000 people have RSVP’ed on the campaign’s event page on Facebook. It remains to be seen whether Jin and her colleagues can hand out 4,000 dildos before classes start. She has 3,000 non-phallic dildos from Smile Makers, a company in Singapore. Shane’s World (NSFW) sent 300 more dildos. A local sculptor gave over 100 handmade penises, plus she’s heard about amateur sculpture groups making more, as well as sex shops offering deals on dildos to students with a UT Austin ID.

Jin concluded, “Hopefully students will leave dildos on their backpack as long as there are guns in students’ backpacks.”

UPDATE: A previous version of this post made it sound as if Jin were still in school. She was already an alum when she announced the campaign. 8/15/16 5:57 PM.

The Fake Dicks Are Coming, at the University of Texas at Austin