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March 23, 2015 | by  | in News |
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Canta’s Golden Age of Offensiveness

TRIGGER WARNING: This article contains violent sexual language that may be triggering to some people.

The terminally offensive shitrag Canta has struck again, with all copies of its latest misogynist trashboy rantings removed and burnt (hopefully) by the maliciously ineffectual Canterbury students’ association, UCSA.

All copies of the latest issue of Canta have been removed by the UCSA after the magazine published a story about “virtual rape”.

The article, written by a student using the pseudonym Queen B, criticised female gamers who complained about encountering sexual harassment online.

“Queen B” (although there is no reason to think the student is a woman) made a number of suggestions to people who felt that rape had no place in online gaming:

  • “Maybe dense bitches just shouldn’t game, huh?”

  • “I’m going to refrain from making any let’s show her what rape really is comments because I know that’s taking it too far and what I just said doesn’t count because I prefaced it by saying I wasn’t gonna do it because it would be taking it too far. So there.”

  • “One might liken you to the stereotypical drunk sorority girl whose whorey tendancies gets her in stupid situations – you were aware of the risks, you were asking for it.”

  • “If there was a way to virtually backhand a bitch, this is where I’d do it.”

  • “Get the fuck back in the kitchen, bitch, since you are obviously not mentally equipped to be allowed to go anywhere else.”

The writer was paid $100 for the article.

The issue was released as the University of Canterbury celebrated Diversity Week. Diversity Week came about following last year’s heavily criticised RoUndie 500, at which racist and misogynist costumes abounded.

Canta “editor” Greg Stubbings said he just printed what students wrote, and it was “clearly meant to be satirical”.

“If it’s legal and not defamatory, it’s difficult to morally argue that I shouldn’t run it. It’s not my place to censor students… It was either run [the story] or a white page.”

Stubbings has held the role of editor since mid-2014. It’s unclear what he has done over that period, if his editorial choices are dictated solely by whether content is defamatory or not.

Student response to the “article” was immediate, with many taking to the UCSA Facebook page to criticise Stubbings and UCSA president Sarah Platt.

Some students sought to defend Canta, dubbing complainants “social justice hyenas” and claiming “there is literally no pleasing these people”.

Overwhelmingly, however, students were appalled at the magazine’s content and called for a more diverse editing staff and USCA executive, a withdrawal of student levies to Canta, and even Stubbings’ resignation as editor.

One described the article as “disgusting and heartless” and said Canta “should be shut down”. Another took issue with Stubbings’ defence of the article, saying “there is no way in hell this piece was intended satirically, and UCSA and Canta are just scrambling for the best defence they have on hand.”

Academic Ekant Veer, who last year returned his lecturer of the year award from the University of Canterbury in protest against the “underbelly of hate” on campus, also slammed the piece. “Canta, I know you’re trying to get a rise out of people—but to publish this during Diversity Week is pretty poor taste,” Veer said.

A fellow lecturer at the University, Erin Harrington, also expressed her disappointment at the content. “This kind of ‘edgy’ baiting is irresponsible and poor form at any time—let alone during diversity week.”

Sarah Platt, President of UCSA, sent out a press release late last Wednesday, following a story about the Canta piece that was published by Stuff. The release apologised for UCSA’s failure to ensure student wellbeing, and said there would be a public forum held on 24 March where student feedback would be used to “guide UCSA executive as we modify the editorial policy.”

Canta/UCSA’S Greatest Hits

  • October 2007: Canta runs a feature outlining “The Top Five Most attractive girls worth going to prison for”, written under the auspice of being “tongue-in-cheek”

  • May 2009: “Don’t Breed, Writer urges Mental Health Victims”—a column that criticised television campaigns at reducing the stigmas surrounding mental health and claimed those with antisocial behaviours did not deserve respect.

  • May 2014: Ensoc forced to apologise after using blackface in a promotional video. Ensoc was not sanctioned by UCSA for their racist video, as UCSA received legal advice that the video had not breached its constitution.

  • September 2014: Sponsors and students criticise the RoUndie 500 event at which participants were encouraged to choose themes “the more inappropriate the better”, leading to cars and costumes that poked fun at women, Islam, the Malaysia Airlines crash and the Ebola crisis. UCSA promises better.

  • October 2014: Academic Ekant Veer returns his lecturer of the year award in protest against what he called an “underbelly of hate”, racism and sexism on campus.

  • March 2015: UCSA recalls copies of Canta after it publishes an article which tells women who play video games they deserve to be raped and threatens violence against women with opinions.

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Salient is a magazine. Salient is a website. Salient is an institution founded in 1938 to cater to the whim and fancy of students of Victoria University. We are partly funded by VUWSA and partly by gold bullion that was discovered under a pile of old Salients from the 40's. Salient welcomes your participation in debate on all the issues that we present to you, and if you're a student of Victoria University then you're more than welcome to drop in and have tea and scones with the contributors of this little rag in our little hideaway that overlooks Wellington.

Comments (2)

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  1. Susanna Denim says:

    Hey Salient, if you would like to summarise the collective thoughts of UC students in the future, then please attempt to get some kind of distribution of opinions rather than just picking and choosing comments from social media.

    P.S. Obviously the writer ‘Queen B’ is a male – only males can be misogynistic.

  2. Caleb says:

    One detail you may have missed from Wellington: while the UCSA eventually withdrew the magazine and apologized, their first response to complaints (or at least the first response of whoever administers their Facebook account) was to delete complaining comments from Facebook, and issue a status update saying something like “New Canta is out. People are pissed. Check it out.”

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