Letter: editorial gone too far

By Austin Thompson

[Re: “We need feminism, not ‘the D’, ” Mar. 14, 2013] 

The Gauntlet’s editorial story on March 28 titled “We need feminism, not ‘the D’, ” paints the feminist movement on campus with extremism. This article should have been two separate articles — one about the rape in Steubenville, Ohio and another about the political correctness of the “She wants the D” slogan. By writing about these two very different topics in a single editorial, the paper not only limited its condemnation of rape, but unduly harassed a fellow University of Calgary student. The comparison of Amar Deshwar’s campaign slogan to these rapes was irresponsible. “She wants the D” in no way condones rape or sexual assault. While the use of this slogan lacks respect and political correctness, it is wrong to imply that it incites physical violence against women. This article makes the feminist movement on campus appear less palatable by repurposing a story about the horrific events in Ohio in order to go on a witch hunt at home. The extreme comparisons made by this article drown out the more moderate calls for equality. It is easy to condemn the crimes that happened in Ohio, it is almost impossible to extrapolate a “culture of rape” at U of C because of silly posts on the U of C Confessions Facebook page.

The U of C is a place of free exchange. The comparison of this relatively harmless slogan to a horrific crime creates an atmosphere where students become afraid to articulate their opinions or to make harmless jokes for fear of being blamed for inciting rape and misogyny. “She wants the D” or “He wants the V” point out the silliness of legitimate sexism more than they hurt gender relations. Our ability to joke is a measure of progress, not a sign of regression. 

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