Students Film Feminist Protest Porno Inside Columbia University Library

by Julianne Stanford - University of Arizona on February 4, 2014

Columbia University’s Butler Library served as the backdrop for a pornographic feminist protest film released Sunday that supposedly aimed to “repulse” viewers, and included topless women kissing, smearing eggs on each other, smacking each other with riding crops, and licking chocolate off each other’s backs.

The film, titled INITIATIØN, aimed to explore “the rituals of American Ivy League secret societies, to the point of hysteria, highlighting our culture’s perception of female desire,” according to the caption on Purple TV, the website that premiered the video.

The three-minute film is intended to be “a feminist statement, meant to ‘showcase the ultimate hysteria state,’ and speak to the stigmatization and fetishization of women,” according to IvyGate’s Alexandra Svokos, who interviewed one of the film’s stars, Coco Young, a former model turned Columbia University student double majoring in art history and English literature.

Young explained the reason behind using the library as the scene for the video, saying: “Butler Library is particularly emblematic of the male-centricity at Columbia; there are, for example, only male authors’ names on the facade of the building, a historic point of protest.”

The film has an eerie sort of vibe. The young women writhe around surrounded by bookstacks in imagery that almost emulates some sort of ritual, and at one point it looks like they have a fake dead chicken inside their circle. The film jumps from scene to scene as the women pose in weird, yoga-inspired positions, kiss, and drag each other down long hallways. All the while, what sounds like gothic Latin choir music sung by children plays in the background.

The video included Columbia and Barnard College students and was filmed last November guerilla-style on “iPhones and a GoPro camera set up as a surveillance camera,” reported the New York Observer.

Young also told the New York Observer their intent in the pornographic nature of the video is to “repulse” viewers, not arouse them.

“Men get hooked because they want to see naked girls, but then we do gross things and are not attractive at all,” Young said.

The video has drawn mixed reactions, as demonstrated by comments posted on Columbia’s Bwog, an independent student-run website for campus news.

One commenter wrote: “Dude. Can I join? I’ll bring some more eggs. Organic AND cage free.”

Another comment criticized the film, stating, “… it’s a terrible film. Poorly shot, poorly executed, poorly edited. Being stuck at the library at some ungodly hour is depressing enough, this just makes it worse.”

College Fix contributor Julianne Stanford is a student at the University of Arizona.

IMAGE: Internet screenshot of film

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