In the aftermath of Brock to the Rock, I’ve gotten a number of questions why I didn’t run this year. For those of you who are unfamiliar with Brock to the Rock, it is a tradition of Brock Hall of Cedarville University. Once a semester, the men of Brock surprise the rest of campus by running from Brock (at the north end of campus) to the Spirit rock (in the center of campus by our student center) in their underwear just before curfew.
While I have done Brock to the Rock before, I find issue with it now for two reasons:
1. The double standard–women would never be allowed to do a similar event.
2. The lust issue–are we unknowingly causing issues for our sisters in Christ?
Let me address the double standard. Women at Cedarville would never be allowed to do something similar to Brock to the Rock (think “Printy Sprinty,” or “Willetts to the Water Tower”). However, men are not technically allowed to do this either, but the administration largely turns a blind eye in the name of tradition. The implicit reason why a female version of Brock to the Rock is out of the question is because of the conception of the female body as ‘dangerous,’ as a ‘stumbling block’ for the male eyes, which brings me to my second point.
Largely, men are viewed are visual while women are perceived as emotional or relational. However, I would argue that this is a very false dichotomy. Speaking from a male perspective, I am certainly a visual person, but that does not disqualify me from being emotional or relational. Frankly, I want to feel loved; my acceptance is something that I worry about frequently. Likewise, women are not just emotional/relational; they are visual as well. Statistics show that 1 in 3 visitors of pornographic websites are women. Magic Mike, a movie about male strippers, made nearly $40,000,000 in it’s opening weekend in July of 2012, falling just behind 2011 blockbuster Sherlock Holmes: Game of Shadows and ahead of fellow 2012 blockbuster The Bourne Legacy. Perhaps as a broad generalization you could say that less women struggle with lust than men, but that does not mean that we should not accommodate for those who do.*
Though I have a personal conviction with Brock to the Rock for these reasons, I am not condemning anyone who participates. As I stated, I’ve done Brock to the Rock, and it’s fun! It became a tradition for a reason. If people want to participate, that’s fair. But until a double standard is rectified, I can’t participate in good conscious.
*Actually, I admittedly find some tension with my own point. I would actually argue that it is not the responsibility of the observee to be modest, but of the observer to maintain a pure thought life. Perhaps as Christians we have a higher calling to dress with modesty as to represent Christ well and build up our male/female counterparts in Christ. I don’t know exactly where this tension breaks. If you want to know more about my personal thoughts on modesty, see my blog on Christian Liberty and Misconceptions in Modesty.