Our university has apparently picked up a new trend. Most schools are facing the rise of overzealous football fans and the unfortunate emergence of UGGs and bucket hats. USF, however, has developed a new, rather unsettling craze: indecent exposure.
Over the past week, three different men have exposed themselves to students on campus. While University Police (UP) don’t believe the incidences are related, they theorize they may be copycats. That’s right. Apparently, people are finding the reports of these twisted men exposing themselves to unwilling women inspiring.
The first incident was last Wednesday, when a black male in his 20s drove up to a female student on her way to work in a light grey vehicle. The man, completely naked and masturbating, motioned for the girl to get into his car. She pulled her phone out and he quickly drove away.
Police searched the area but failed to find anyone matching that description. Then, two days later, a white male, also in his 20s, exposed himself to a female walking by the parking lot north of the CWY building. Once again, the police immediately responded but were unable to locate the suspect.
Unfortunately, the incidences were not the last to occur. Two days later, a white male in his late 30s stood outside of a residence hall. He wore no pants and exposed himself to a female through the window of her dorm. She immediately called the police but they were unable to find the suspect.
The fact that the police have been entirely unsuccessful is both exasperating and disconcerting. Students should not have to fear walking around campus. While the police cannot prevent depraved lunatics from committing such acts, they should be able to apprehend them so others are not encouraged to replicate the offense.
Hopefully, this will be the last indecent exposure incident USF sees, but odds are this trend is only just beginning. If someone knows they will not be punished, they are more likely to commit the crime. While part of this blame lies with the police, the majority of it falls to the men who have performed these offenses.
What would drive someone to perform lewd acts in public? How depraved do you have to be to get off on scaring random women? Rest assured, no woman will swoon at the sight of you in all of your glory. If this is some warped version of a pickup line, I highly suggest you seek some intense therapy.
Men, it is time you realize that just because you want something does not mean it is yours for the taking. For those men who are equally appalled by these incidences, this rant is obviously not directed toward you.
To every man who cat calls, makes sexual innuendos and obscene gestures, or exposes himself to women, let me make one thing abundantly clear: Women are tired of your objectification. Keep your lewd comments to yourself and treat women like actual human beings. Who knows? If you stop acting like women are yours to possess, one may actually give you the time of day.
Breanne Williams is a junior majoring in mass communications.