Feminist Union marches, calling students to ‘take back the night’

Tim Magaw

Students gathered outside of Bowman Hall and marched around campus as part of the Take Back the Night event. Take Back the Night aims to fight rape and violence through informing the public. DAVID ANTHONY RANUCCI | DAILY KENT STATER

Credit: Jason Hall

Riajo Loftin, Kent State’s Feminist Union’s vice president, led a group of about 15 protesters up the path near Blanket Hill.

She held up her sign and yelled, “Take back the night!” at one female passing by.

Near Koonce Hall, Nikki Hroncich, senior integrated language arts major, held up her sign and shouted, “Real men don’t rape!”

The protest was part of the Feminist Union’s Take Back the Night event. Feminist Union President Emily Costa said this is the second year doing the protest.

“The point of the march is to raise awareness and protest violence,” she said. “This year I’ve tried to primarily make it a Kent State event to show that violence is on campus whether it goes reported or not.”

The protest followed a speech by author Inga Muscio. Marching started near Bowman Hall, went through Front Campus, Centennial Court, Eastway and ended in Risman Plaza.

At the end of the march, Costa stood on the steps in Risman Plaza and asked the group, “Real men don’t, what?” The group responded, “Rape!”

Muscio, author of C—: A Declaration of Independence, said her mother was raped when she was 9 years old. Muscio said it was hard to think about coming from her mother’s womb because it was a place that was pillaged by a rapist.

“I think a lot of the fury and rage inside me manifested into this book,” she said.

Kate DeFrank, sophomore special education major, has a friend who was recently raped and was moved by Muscio’s speech.

“(Rape) is something you keep to yourself,” DeFrank said. “It really hit me on an emotional level.”

John Barham, senior applied conflict management major, was one of five males in the audience of about 25. He said Muscio’s message against rape was an important one.

He said that when most men hear about a female being raped, their initial reaction is to go out and beat the rapist.

“Men have to have a new role when it comes to rape,” Barham said, adding that violence can’t be used to combat violence such as rape.

Contact ethnic affairs reporter Tim Magaw at [email protected].