Writing on the Stall: Vol. 3

Level A, Rock

Level 2, Rock

This week, we are returning to the A floor of the Rock to the same stall we looked at last week.  From there, we’ll progress up two floors to Level 2.

Around a jotting that may look familiar from two weeks ago are two new additions. Both have a decidedly political leaning. “Industrial civilization is incompatible with a healthy planet” seems to be a comment on environmental issues, and “Don’t let the man hold you down. Keep writing!” is a rallying cry to potential graffiti-ists. It references the ongoing interactions between students and Facilities employees, where the stalls undergo a reoccurring cycle of graffiti-ing and whitewashing. The traces of this cycle remain around the starkly blue-penned slogan—faded, partially legible jottings emerging out of and fading into the white paint. This graffiti indicates the importance ascribed (literally) to this forum by some of Brown’s women, but it is significant that it is “the man” keeping us down. This is a common turn of phrase to be sure, but one that points to larger cultural structures where women remain in an inferior position is defined by their non-male status, despite a seeming equality because of our right to vote, laws to prevent employment discrimination, and so on. And maybe we should ask, who is the man? After all, he is not the female employees at Facilities who actually do the whitewashing. Continue Reading

Writing on the Stall: Vol. 2

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“Deeply in Love”

“the antelope and ant…eloped!”


“Guess what? I broke up with him. Turns out he was not as nice as I gave him credit for. I CAN’T WAIT FOR THE SINGLE LIFE AGAIN. Finally I can do things for myself and just be happy. I love my life & Brown”

“Start of a new relationship…nervous, curious, excited, scared to get worried that he likes me more than I…”

“…my hopeless idealism”

These snapshots of graffiti in the women’s bathroom on the A floor of the Rock provide an inside look into one of the many forums in which Brown women express themselves. The paint strokes and faded writing attest to the cycles of whitewashing that occur regularly to clean the graffitied wall. For a lot of people, the primary association of this practice is its unattractive history when it was used to suppress women’s communications of sexual assault details in protest of the University’s sexual assault policy during the early 1990s. The scrawled “resist”, although it doesn’t specify what to resist, references this student-institution tension.   Continue Reading

The Writing on the Stall: Vol. 1

We are all captivated by bathroom graffiti. Each one of us has spent minutes, even hours, reading anonymous phrases, words of wisdom, cries for help, or personal messages as we do our business around campus. But what exactly does bathroom graffiti say about us? In the same way that one can learn much about a culture through a local dialect, or local cuisine, we at BlogDailyHerald suggest that we learn equally as much about a community through its anonymous restroom scrawlings. This semester, Elise Nuding and Harrison Stark dig into the grimiest, smelliest, and most artistic spaces on campus – public restrooms – to show you the best graffiti, and reveal what it tells us about Brown, each other, and ourselves.

Every space on campus has its own atmosphere – – its own culture. Bathrooms are no exception. To kick off our series, we look at graffiti in the level A bathrooms of the Rockerfeller library.

Graffiti in the male bathrooms on Level A of the Rock tends to center around homosexual themes. For example, we see questions relating to wider gay culture on campus, such as the query: “where are all the straight acting gay men?” Underneath, we can glimpse a stick-figure doodle of three men engaged in oral and anal sex, accompanied by the caption “double-down”. Additionally, in two other stalls, there are messages soliciting (presumably homo)sexual favors; we can read in sharpie: “get sucked off here at 12 – free lunch for me” and “back early, looking for cock.” Continue Reading

What’s happenin’ on r/BrownU

In case you don’t already lurk all of the Brown social media websites religiously, here’s a quick summary of what’s currently going on on the Brown Reddit r/BrownU.  My ulterior motive in posting this is that I’m hoping everyone is like, “whoa, cool site, I’m gonna post on it all the time” and then I’ll have even more distracting Brown-related material to read during my classes.

The above screenshot was posted in response to this thread, probably the best thing I’ve read recently beginning with the words “i was pooping earlier”:

(But hasn’t this poster seen Writing on the Stall?)

Continue Reading