Protesters will gather from 4:30 – 5 p.m. on Friday, August 29 on the top level of the Marriott Coralville Hotel parking ramp. The march begins at 5 p.m. RSVP on Facebook
In 1979, University of Iowa football coach Hayden Fry had the visiting team’s locker room walls painted pink. Fry said he did it because “pink is often found in girls’ bedrooms, and because of that some consider it a sissy color.” In 2005, UI doubled down by adding pink urinals, showers, floors and lockers. Many Hawkeye fans find it funny, while others see it as a leftover from a time when coaches motivated players by calling them “homo,” “girl” and in Fry’s own words, “sissy.”
Amazingly, top administrators still defend this move; it’s as if the university has sided with the jocks who used to beat up the “queers” in high school. Does a pink locker room directly lead to violence against women and gay people? No. But it does reinforce the repeated narratives about being a man that kids are exposed to from a very young age—which creates subtle and harmful ripple effect.
UI Chief Diversity Officer Georgina Dodge recently defended this archaic tradition, vehemently denying that it has anything to do with pushing masculine buttons. She claimed Fry was merely a “psychology buff” who believed pink was a “calming color.” Even though UI’s justifications are laughable, this is no laughing matter because homophobic and sexist insults are deeply ingrained in locker room culture. In the face of this institutional stubbornness, RoboProfessor has called for a Million* Robot March to delete Kinnick Stadium’s pink locker room forever.
*robots may vary from one to one million, humans also welcome
Illustration by Ben Mackey
Our robot-human coalition seeks to (a) change the color of the visiting team’s locker room to another “calming color”—such as yellow—or (b) paint the Hawkeye locker room pink.
Our broader goal is to erase the forms of bro culture that work against UI’s efforts to reduce the epidemic of sexual assaults on and off campus.
We will use humor and satire to shame the school into ending this stupid, outmoded football tradition.
About the Million Robot March
Protesters will gather from 4:30 – 5 p.m. on Friday, August 29 on the top level of the Marriott Coralville Hotel parking ramp. The march begins at 5 p.m. RSVP on Facebook.
We call on all robots—and humans dressed as robots—to make our voices and/or voice boxes heard!
How to Join the Robots
Robot costumes are not required for the protest, but if you choose to dress up, here are some DIY tips for materials: bicycle helmets, wraparound sunglasses, spray-painted cardboard boxes, silver fabric, thrift store vinyl records and old CDs, silver air duct tubing, other random parts from hardware stores, metallic face paint and aluminum foil.
It doesn’t need to be metallic because we are an inclusive movement, and we realize that robots come in all colors, shapes, sizes and genders.
Some quick tips for materials: Bicycle helmets, wraparound sunglasses, spray-painted cardboard boxes, silver fabric, thrift store vinyl records and old CDs, air duct tubing, other random parts from hardware stores, face paint and aluminum foil.