Ruined Snow Penis Stimulates Debate

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“The ice sculpture was erected in a public space, one that should be free from menacing reminders of women’s sexual vulnerability,” Rosenfeld wrote in an e-mail yesterday.

She said the snow penis follows a long line of public phallic symbols, including the Washington Monument and missiles.

“Women do not need to be reminded of the power of the symbol of the male genitalia,” Rosenfeld said. “My guess is that they are constantly reminded of it in daily messages.”

A discussion about feminist perspectives on the statue, sponsored by the Radcliffe Union of Students, will take place Tuesday night in the Adams House small dining room.

But the makers of the statue said they intended to build the snow penis as a simple joke.

Skey said he came up with the idea to allow a few members of the team to “hang out together” outside of practice.

“We built it for fun, instead of building a snowman,” he said. “We built it specifically as a junior high prank.”

Skey said he never expected such national attention—or such heated opposition.

“Once it turned around into a huge sexism debate, it was like a giant keg of gunpowder waiting for a spark,” Skey said.

In spite of Skey’s intentions, Keel said she was offended by the joke.

“I have a right to speak out against the joke,” Keel said. “I criticize the motives of putting it up, but since they did, it is within my rights to put it down. It goes both ways.”

Skey said he agreed Keel did not do anything wrong by knocking down the statue.

“If people found it obscene, they had a right to rip it down,” he said. “That’s perfectly true.”

But Skey said he thinks that at a school like Harvard, jokes can be blown out of proportion.

“Smart kids overanalyze things,” he said.

—Staff writer Hana R. Alberts can be reached at alberts@fas.harvard.edu.