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IF TAKE BACK THE NIGHT were really just about the things the staff says, then we would agree. But it isn't.
No one can say for sure what bedazzlement and illumination await onlookers this year, but if we Take Back the Night veterans refuse to learn from history, we will be condemned to watch it, played out on the MAC Quad for all to see.
Far from just a rally condemning violence against women, Take Back the Night has always, in the words of one now-departed campus commentator, amounted to "a militant feminist yahoo festival." And, despite claims of ideological neutrality this year, Take Back the Night has offered for all comers a fortnight of feminist reeducation. (1992's keynote speaker and slideshow performer was National Endowment for the Arts poster-womyn Karen Finley, perhaps best known for adorning herself with chocolate and alfalfa sprouts, as well as "...yams ...candies...tinsel...")
Whatever its organizers say, Take Back the Night always seems to degenerate into a wacko-Left ideology-fest: shrill feminists equating the paucity of women faculty with rape; opportunistic professional victims fusing affirmative action and campus safety; monotonous chant-mongerers exhorting marchers to "--the patriarchy."
So by all means stand up against violent crime. Work for safer streets. Strive to stop violence against women. Even goad the administration to increase escort service.
But if Take Back the Night '92 is anything like Take Back the Night '91 (and '90, and '89...), don't allow yourself to be co-opted by people who would undermine these worthy goals to try to legitimize their own bizarre political agenda.
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