Spoof jokes encourage rape, hate

Tuesday, April 7th, 2009

To the Editor:
As a member of Western’s student body, I’m writing to let you know I’m disgusted by The Gazette’s Friday, March 30 “satirical” issue. The issue presents a series of articles making light of date rape, violence against women and homosexuality. These jokes are used every day to justify violence against women and queer people.

How many jokes like these has someone read, heard, laughed at or told before they’re able to overcome their conscience enough to rape or assault someone? With a continued lack of responsibility for its role as a campus media outlet, The Gazette continues lending a hand to this cycle of violence.

The difficulty is The Gazette isn’t beholden to Western’s administration, which might be capable of enforcing some level of common decency. Instead, The Gazette is owned and operated by the University Students’ Council, making The Gazette beholden to nobody but Western’s students and their elected representatives. It’s the students who are beholden to change it.

Undergraduate students pay for The Gazette with their student fees, thereby involving administration, who collects these fees. Does this mean The Gazette has tacit support? Only if those who believe sexist and homophobic jokes are disgusting and The Gazette has turned a blind eye to its responsibility as a media outlet remain silent. Write to the paper and let it know " even one sentence expressing your opinion.

I’m ashamed to be enrolled at a university which lets publications like The Gazette’s “satirical” issue continue.
"Corey Katz
MA program, Theory & Criticism

Ed note: Admin doesn’t collect Gazette fees. The USC does.

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