Clothesline Project Goes A Bit Too Far

I am big fan of the clothesline project. When the project would come to Towson University, it was always a moving event, one that could easily bring tears and contemplation from anyone in the audience. Hundreds of t-shirts, decorated by rape and sexual assault victims, are hung in a public area. I hope to upload some photos of an event that came to Towson a few years ago when I get home. It is truly a sight to behold.

But I can't agree with students who are protesting to be allowed to place the names of ALLEGED rapists on their t-shirts. The key here is "alleged". Convicted I have no real issue with, but the issue here is that these people who could be listed as sexual criminals have not been found guilty of anything. The correct course of action for the victims would be to go to the police (though I do understand the difficulty and often inefficacy of such a strategy).

Futhermore, the clothesline project is powerful not because of the names of potential rapists or abusers, but because of the collective outrage, disgust, and unity displayed by the hundreds of shirts created by anonymous victims. What would be a real shame is the clothesline project being shut down, or cast into a dark corner, due to a universities endorsement (at least in legal terms) of slanderous speech.

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