By now, everyone on campus is familiar with the band of demonstrators who station themselves on Middle Path, talking to students about their religious convictions regarding abortion, homosexuality, and womanhood. Their central location on campus ensures that their voice is heard by a majority of the Kenyon community. Today, students have been stopping to engage with them. Conversations have ranged from simple greetings to spirited discussions regarding the nature of the group’s assertions. One student, however, decided to engage the group in a different way.
SJL ’15 singlehandedly began a counter-demonstration. Carrying a sign reading “Kissin’ Booth! $1 to Whichever Charity Those Guys Hate,” SJ apologized to passers by for the group’s presence farther along Middle Path. SJ’s repeated chant of “pro-love, pro-life, pro anything except those guys” easily attracted attention. Within a few minutes of beginning the demonstration, the leader of the religious group came over to speak with SJ.
“He told me I shouldn’t be speaking because women are meant to be quiet,” SJ said. “He also said ‘God help her’ a few times.”
Despite having gained the group’s express disapproval, SJ continued to operate the “kissing booth”. Other students’ reactions ranged from quiet disapproval to enthusiastic participation.
If nothing else, SJ’s actions have begun a different sort of discourse between the student body and this group of demonstrators. In the spirit of personal expression, feel free to continue the conversation in the comments.
[This article has been edited per the wishes of the individual discussed.]