A change in society

By Danielle Fostey

Editor, the Gauntlet,

[Re: “Sexism Sells, but not on my campus,” Feature article, December 1, 2005]

Thank you to Christine East for her article “Sexism Sells, but not on My Campus.” I too witnessed that poster and was outraged by it. I give her my admiration for going so deeply into the subject and stating the case. Being a first year student, I expected university to be an open, non-oppressive environment. I was wrong. At orientation I was given a presentation by the Students’ Union stating that they were there to help students, and make university a better place for us. Just a question, when do our rights as women come into play with our rights as students? Christine gave us the evidence that this oppressive advertisement would not be permitted on other campuses, so why is the University of Calgary permitting this? Why is our SU not representing the female population? Are we once again forgotten?

I know that the SU is now changing policies and admits to their mistake in publishing this sexist poster, but if not for Christine, would change have taken place? The issue is not in fixing the poster now–its been up for weeks. The issue is that this discriminatory, objectification of women should never have been published. University is after all, a place for open minded, educated people is it not? We are supposed to be future professionals who will be responsible for society within 5-10 years; doctors, engineers, lawyers, business personnel, and yet our student government deemed this sexist, chauvinistic poster okay for publication? Perhaps patriarchy runs deep at the university as well. Just recently taking a women’s studies course, I have been educated on the oppression females face everyday. This was a valuable learning experience that broadened my way of thinking. I challenge those who work at the SU and all those who thought the poster was harmless to take the course, or attend a class. Society will not change overnight, but if this generation of U of C students can go out into the world with a further understanding of sexism, and oppression found in society; a change will occur with them. Thank you again Christine for your article, I applaud you.