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

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