Content warning: This article contains language from a source that some readers may find inappropriate.
Standing above a crowd of more than 100 people gathered near Library Mall Tuesday afternoon, Cindy Smock, the evangelical street preacher better known as “Sister Cindy,” spouted profane and offensive language that raised concerns among multiple student groups.
A large crowd of more than 100 people gathered near Library Mall Tuesday afternoon to catch a glimpse of Smock.
“Jesus Christ bled and died on the cross for you hoes and spiritual hoes,” Smock said to the crowd and was met with some cheers and whistles. “There’s some hoes in this house,” Smock said later on, referencing Cardi B’s hit song, “WAP.”
Smock rose to fame on TikTok and is popular among Generation Z users on the app. Smock told The Daily Cardinal that Gen Z has been “more open to God and the claims of Jesus Christ” than millennials she has spoken to.
“I like to say that TikTok did not make Sister Cindy, Sister Cindy made TikTok,” Smock said.
Smock decided to add UW-Madison as a stop on her “Ho No Mo Revolution” tour after getting a lot of invitations to come to campus over Instagram. During her demonstration, Smock said she was “in the right place,” calling the people gathered a “needy bunch of individuals” as members of the crowd shouted profane comments and personal questions at her.
“I’m concerned about the way students are living. It’s not intelligent behavior,” Smock told the Cardinal.
While Smock has gained a lot of attention on social media from younger generations, many students did not welcome the visit.
Mia Warren, chair of UW-Madison sex-positivity group Sex Out Loud, said Smock’s anti-sex campaign “further marginalizes” confident, sex-positive students.
“Sex positivity is absolutely negatively impacted by individuals like Sister Cindy who use stigma, shame tactics and patriarchal ideals to encourage abstinence,” Warren said.
To Warren, Smock’s rhetoric makes young adults comfortable with their sexuality less likely to engage in meaningful conversations about sex and sexual health.
Even beyond sexual identity and activity, Warren said Smock is harmful to students engaging in “standard college behavior” like football games, partying and drinking.
Smock’s visit to Madison fanned flames of the ongoing conversations on free speech issues at UW-Madison, ASM Equity and Inclusion Committee Chair Emmett Lockwood said. He said the event attacks students’ “ability to exist on this campus” and might be the “first perception of dialogue and speech” at UW-Madison for incoming students.
Lockwood highlighted the importance of ASM funding and supporting organizations like PAVE and Sex Out Loud, saying that they provide “valuable student services” — especially when sexual assaults continue to threaten student safety on college campuses across the nation.
Following multiple controversial speakers last academic year, Lockwood said the campus climate has students unsure about what they can report through the Dean of Students Office’s hate and bias report form and “if campus will do anything about human bias incidents.”
“This goes to show it was just another question to UW administration of how they will keep students safe,” Lockwood added.
Editor's note: Sex Out Loud hosts a podcast under The Daily Cardinal Media Corporation. Mia Warren is a co-host of the show.
Anna Kleiber is an arts editor for The Daily Cardinal. She also reports on state politics and campus news. Follow her on Twitter at @annakleiber03.
Ian Wilder is a current features writer and former state politics reporter for The Daily Cardinal. Follow him on Twitter at @IanWWilder.