I loved the April Fool's Day column entitled, "Police Beat-off." I still laugh every time I think about it. Men certainly do have a different reaction to female masturbation than women do to male masturbation.

Unfortunately, when men masturbate publicly, it is often an act of hostility. They get sexual enjoyment from shocking and frightening women. They often target young women who they believe are naive and easily intimidated.

Several years ago, while I was attending a midwestern junior college, I witnessed a masturbation incident. I was walking in the parking lot when a middle-aged man pulled up beside me in his car, driving slowly enough to match my pace. He had a look of absolute rage on his face. I had never seen this man before, so I couldn't imagine why he was looking at me with such hatred. I noticed that he was masturbating. I began screaming, as loud as I possibly could, "Pervert! He's jacking off. Can you believe that? Pervert!" The car's tires squealed and the man was gone. He couldn't get out of there fast enough. I'm afraid my reaction was not what he hoped for.

The men who masturbate in the library rely on the young women they accost to be polite, to not want to make a scene. The reaction they hope for is shock and fear. If their intended victims jumped up and began pointing and yelling at them, if all the other library patrons stared and laughed, I'll bet masturbation at the UA library would come to a screeching halt.

Cindy Harmon-Jones

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