A mistake and an apology

By Lawrence Bailey

(ed note: Originally posted September 11, 2003)

I would like to offer my sincerest apologies to our readers for an unfortunate oversight. Each of our past two issues (Sept. 4 and Sept. 11) included an ad for the Whiskey nightclub. This ad had an element we missed, an element we should have never allowed to reach print.

Many advertisements take the clich├ęd approach of objectifying women to sell their product or establishment, and that is their prerogative. However the ad in question took it too far-whether they meant to or not.

In this particular Whiskey ad (page 19 on Sept. 4 and page 18 on Sept. 11), the voluptuous, scantily clad woman is sporting a button on her lapel, a button reading: "Get me drunk and then see what happens."

This is a problem.

It is not a problem isolated to the Whiskey, nor is it a problem isolated to the bar industry. It is a problem we face as a society.

The expression "get me drunk and then see what happens" does not directly promote date rape or taking advantage of incapacitated women, however the idea is strongly implied. This is disgusting. It is disgusting it was considered fit for an advertisement and it is disgusting that I, as Editor-in-Chief, missed it not once, but twice.

Date rape-the idea it is alright to incapacitate someone for the sake of exploiting and/or violating them-is an extremely serious matter, especially within our age group and within the campus community. In the past month, and over the next half year, countless students at the University of Calgary will go out with friends and many of them will get inebriated beyond the point of reason. It may not be pretty, but it is often fun and it is a fact of life.

Propagating the belief it is open season on people no longer able to take care of themselves, even turning a blind eye to that belief, makes us just as guilty as any sexual predator out there. It is easy to dismiss, it is easy to ignore, but it is not something to be taken lightly.

Combating this sickening social plague is not as simple as watching your drink to ensure it doesn’t get drugged. Date rape drugs, such as GHB, ketamine, rohypnol and the like, may be better known, however the one drug responsible for the majority of date rapes is the one drug we will all likely take in the next week or two-alcohol.

Constant vigilance is the only weapon. Look out for your friends if they’re unable to look out for themselves. Drink responsibly and know your limits. Look out for people who may be preying on someone unable to take care of themselves. Do everything you can to dispel the belief it’s okay to take advantage of people, the belief "it doesn’t matter if she’s drunk."

I have failed on the last point. It is my responsibility to catch these things and I dropped the ball.

Please accept my sincerest apologies and never hesitate in the future to voice your concern, displeasure or disgust. After all, we are human at the Gauntlet and we are prone to mistakes. Please keep us honest.

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