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  • Joanne Tong

Crime Fighting, Penn-Style

Updated: Aug 2, 2020

Crime Fighting, Penn-Style

Crime Fighting, Penn-Style. Pen and ink. Originally published in the Daily Pennsylvanian on February 22, 2007.

The crime rate at Penn served as fodder for a lot of my cartoons. OK, compared to the rest of West Philadelphia’s, it was pretty low — kudos to the administration’s efforts to beef up security. Still, relative to other campuses across the nation, well… to put it in the words of a friend: “We’re number one! We’re number one!”

In addition to coverage of cases such as the Screwdriver Mugger, Underwear Burglar, and the Exhibitionist Security Guard, the DP (our college newspaper) had a daily crime log for incidents from bike theft to armed assault. “Man held up at 40th and Spruce,” the report would read. I lived at 39th and Spruce.

As you can imagine, this was all not very comforting, particularly not to female students such as myself. I enrolled in the free RAD (Rape Aggression Defense System) classes offered by the Division of Public Safety to learn practical self-defense techniques for women (e.g., how to break someone’s grip without causing a scene if he grabbed you in a bar). I left the last session feeling extremely empowered, especially after throwing a male cop in padded gear over my shoulder for the final training exercise.

This cartoon was my thank you note to Officer Stacy and rest of the women of the Penn Police Department who ran the RAD classes. What if every girl had the power to defend herself in the most unexpected, practical ways? Funny when framed as a cartoon, but less fun for the felons that attempted to cross those girls.

This is a scan of the original drawing prior to publication. More about my stint at the DP here.

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