In this week’s issue Finn unwittingly got caught up in apocalypse, and was forced to sustain himself on a few items of dubious (at best) canned food for a weekend. Brodie discusses the intricacies and realities of being diagnosed with IBS, a common illness that messes with people’s access to food, and one that many of us don’t know enough about. We had a look at food on campus, within the wider context of healthy food, obesity, and whose responsibility it is to care about any of this. In the news this week, Kate and Jayne interviewed the Vice Chancellor, Grant Guilford, about his take on the university’s efforts to become a more diverse environment. As always, there is a stack of great columns and reviews. We hope you have a great time reading. And to kick it all off, we restaged the famous scene in Lady and the Tramp where they share a noodle, just for you—sweet reader.
But, before we go further (or you go further) we wanted to address the matters of last week.
All week we felt a sense of disappointment and baffled disbelief at Massive’s recent cover choice. Why does the woman look like she is in pain? Why is the face of whoever is behind her obscured, why is it completely in the dark? Did it occur to the editor that a woman can in fact engage in sex work, willingly, happily, and be totally in control of this work? Not to mention that the connection between the image and the (lacklustre) article it relates to is tenuous at best. The image denotes pain and anguish, a hostile patron, and an overwhelming sense of discomfort from the subject. In short, sickening and inexcusable.
Has the editor ever experienced sexual violence, does he care that people who have will be looking at this image? Is he also aware that this issue is a pervasive one in the sex-work industry, one which needs to be constructively dealt with, and not stereotypically portrayed to increase their pick-up rate. There are so many different ways to represent student sex-workers, why pick the low-hanging fruit? Dehumanising images of women, and sex-workers in general, abound—why was the editor eager to add to this?
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As student magazines are editorially independent, the editor has the final say. There have been calls for Massey University and its students’ association to step in and monitor the content of the magazine before it is published. It’s a shame that not only does this seem like a logical precaution, but it also sets a concerning precedent of censorship. The University and students’ association were well within their rights to condemn and oppose the material once it had been published, but more importantly, perhaps they made a massive mistake in their appointment of editorial power.
As an editor of a student magazine, you should be aware of the impact of your decisions. You should be sensitive to your readership. You should make your utmost attempt to uphold decent values and refrain from being racist, homophobic, misogynist, one would expect.
At this stage, apologies are futile, and the damage has been done. The current editor needs to step THE FUCK up and provide a better example to a society that is already plagued with sexual violence and misogyny. We expect a MASSIVE donation to either Wellington Rape Crisis or Women’s Refuge, who are on the frontlines of dealing with the fallout of our patriarchal culture.
xoxo Emma & Jayne