Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Independent Student Newspaper Since 1969

The Badger Herald

Advertisements
Advertisements

Sexism battle over bathroom scale nears conclusion

After about a month of negotiation, the battle over an antique bathroom scale ended Tuesday evening with the Memorial Union agreeing to return the scale to the Campus Women’s Center.

Wisconsin Union President John Barnhardt and Union Director Mark Guthier informed the CWC in an e-mail the Union would be giving the scale to the group on a permanent loan, saying “Campus Women’s Center will maintain complete possession from this date forward.”

The CWC originally stole the scale from the fourth floor women’s bathroom of Memorial Union in fall 2005, believing it to be a symbol of sexism and displayed it in their office down the hall, according to UW sophomore and CWC Support Services Coordinator Chynna Haas.

Advertisements

According to Barnhardt, the scale was taken back about a month ago by the facilities department of the Union because it was Union property. He added the Union assured the CWC that the scale would not be put back in the bathroom, and they tossed around different ideas of what to do with it.

The CWC contacted Paul Broadhead, assistant director for facilities, saying they would like to have it back, and he directed them to the Union Council Facilities Subcommittee.

“It was really unclear why we were going through them because it wasn’t a policy issue,” Haas said.

Barnhardt said there were issues with simply giving the scale back to the group because a student organization cannot legally own state property.

Haas said she then received a letter from Barnhardt stating the Union wanted to return it to the CWC, and they were embarrassed by the situation.

According to Barnhardt, the Union had previously considered giving the scale to the Associated Students of Madison, the only student organization allowed to own state property, which could then give it to the CWC.

Haas said the CWC has received feedback from several women who were glad the scale is no longer in the bathroom.

“Having to see that scale was something that they remembered, and they would avoid that bathroom,” Haas said.

While the scale was in the CWC office, the organization used the scale as a symbol for women to discuss body image, including allowing women to put Post-Its on it saying what they liked about their bodies.

“They liked having it in there because it’s a safe place for women to see the scale,” Barnhardt said. “To talk about what it means, some of the thoughts it provokes.”

Advertisements
Leave a Comment
Donate to The Badger Herald

Your donation will support the student journalists of University of Wisconsin-Madison. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Badger Herald

Comments (0)

All The Badger Herald Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *