Why UC Santa Barbara students are protesting ‘rape culture’ at bookstores
UC Santa Cruz students are using the hashtag #UCSantaBrasos #BookstoreActions to protest against a proposed UC Santa Rosa bookstore that they believe is biased against women.
The students say the bookstore, called Kaleido, is promoting “rape culture” and is targeting women of color.
The student union at the university has been on lockdown for nearly a week, and students are calling for a boycott of the store, which they say has “sexist and homophobic language, and is promoting white supremacy and patriarchy.”
The protest comes after several women at the bookstore were harassed and assaulted by a customer last month, prompting the bookstore to temporarily shut down operations.
The union has been calling on the university to divest from Kaleidos bookstores, and it is expected to take legal action.
“We know that there are women who are working on campus and on the bookshelves and on campus community and we feel like they are not being supported,” student Erica Kornfield told Fox News.
“We feel like there is a lack of understanding, of the issues of people of color in the bookstores and also how the university is not addressing issues that we see.
We also feel like people are taking advantage of it.”
The union says it has filed complaints with the California Labor Commission, the California Department of Consumer Affairs, and the state’s attorney general.
The protests are not the first time the union has protested the bookstore.
In August, students gathered at the campus bookstore to protest a controversial book titled “Women’s Studies,” which was written by white author and activist Linda Sarsour.
Sarsour said in a statement after the protest that the book promoted “white supremacy, patriarchy, and cissexism,” and was a “discriminatory book.”
“It was not about the authors or their ideology but about the racism, sexism, heterosexism, ableism, and anti-blackness that are at the heart of the ideology,” Sarsor said.
“It is deeply offensive that these books have been read and viewed by people who should know better and are so comfortable with the idea that they can read and watch, as many of these books do, that these ideas are valid.”
The store has not responded to requests for comment.