Recently, members of the Harvard crew team erected a 9-foot phallus outside of Tercentenary Theater, which was destroyed within hours.
The creation of the snow penis sparked an intense debate on the Cambridge campus, especially among women’s groups.
According to The Harvard Crimson, “Even the Economist magazine weighed in on the discussion, offering the destruction of the sculpture as evidence of American prudishness on its usually staid pages.”
One female student commented, “It was offensive because it was pornographic. As a feminist, pornography is degrading to women and creates a violent atmosphere.”
Several students who were offended by the sculpture attempted to tear it down and claim to have been assaulted by some of the crew team members.
Many campus women’s organizations believe that the penis was a reminder of a woman’s vulnerability. Diane L. Rosenfeld, Women’s Studies lecturer at Harvard, remarked, “The ice sculpture was erected in a public space, one that should be free from menacing reminders of women’s sexual vulnerability.”
“Women do not need to be reminded of the power of the symbol of the male genitalia,” Rosenfeld said.
Rosenfeld said the snow penis follows a long line of public phallic symbols, including the Washingtoon Monument and missles.
Team members claim that the penis was created as a prank and never expected that their actions would draw national attention. “We built it for fun, instead of a snowman,” said one team member.
A student forum held before the Radcliffe Union of Students (RUS) generated a mixed response to the structure.
The Harvard Crimson