Two tribes gone to war

By on

SSB committee accused of racism for choosing tribal theme

The SSB’s theme has come under fire from a group of students who claim it is racist.

The legendary charity ball, which aims to promote a greater awareness of safer sex, will have a ‘tribal’ theme this year.

But new campaign group Exeter Students for Social Justice hit out at the dress code, demanding an apology and mandatory ‘Privilege Awareness Training’ for the organizing committee.

The group, which has just 40 likes on Facebook, argues the theme is “racist and needs to go”. They define tribal as “a colonialist and racist term used by the white West in the past and present to oppress People of Colour throughout the world.”

Haley McNally sent a message of support, writing: “This is actually so blatantly racist it both makes [me] angry because an educational institution is holding an event like this and not following international human rights (particularly UNDRIP, among many others), and it makes me laugh because it is so outrageously stupid that people would even think this isn’t offensive.”

The Guild and RAG declined to comment but in February the Guild released a statement entitled “A Response to Banter – the appearance of prejudice”, in which it addresses potential issues of “blacking up” and “cross dressing”.

The message says the Guild: “Do express disapproval of unthinking and insulting appearances against minority student groups. Please think before you act and be considerate of others around you.”

The facebook group accusing the SSB committee of racism

Exeter Students for Social Justice has so far declined to comment.

Last year’s SSB – whose theme was Fantasia – raised £40,000 for HIV and AIDS charities.

Read Tab editor Matt McDonald’s views on the debate here.

The Tab can reveal that, at the time of writing this article, no official complaints have been registered with The Guild.

  • anon

    this is pathetic, clearly tribal is not racist – get over yourselves and look at the bigger cause here… the chance to get naked UNAY

  • Julian New

    Favorite sex position… "oh mine is called the virgin, you stand there with your legs close shut waiting for the next right person to come along" ..this kind of attitude should be our main concern!

  • joe

    the issue isn't about 'blacking up' – it's about the appropriation of cultures that have been oppressed and eliminated throughout history by white people. it's about the largely white and heavily privileged student mass that take these symbols and images of huge cultural importance and trivialise them into barely-concealing costumes for a glorified fancy-dress party. it's about having the sensitivity to realise that this is an offensive stealing of cultures that we have slaved and slaughtered throughout history, regardless of intent.

    • jack

      how on earth do you "steal" a culture? minority groups would surely find more offensive the fact you think you can steal their culture than imitate it

    • Damian Jeffries

      I still call Istanbul, Constantinople and Mumbai, Bombay.

    • Ollie Norman

      Where do you draw the line thoug? Am I not allowed to play U.S. hip hop because that's appropriation of black American culture?

    • jerome

      See this is the problem with people that want to be culture crusaders. While you claim white people are racist against tribes, you are actually being racist one. By grouping all light colored peoples into one group you are essentially saying that ALL of them are responsible for what a few individuals may have done years ago. That would be like saying that because black people on average commit more anti-white hate crimes than white people inflict on themselves, therefore no black person should be allowed to dress up dress up as a cowboy, or royal because those are elements of "white culture." This is upsurd! You are discriminating against an indefinable group, white people while you claim that you fight against discrimination. Additionally you are being pompous and arrogant claiming to represent the wishes of tribal people? Who are these tribal people anyway, the only tribes I can think of off the top of my head are the Nordic tribes. What you are also doing to denying Exeter students the rights to self-determination and the freedom of expression. If a student feels they want to dress up in a manner that reflects who they desire to look who are you to deny them that right? That would be like a homophobe, denying a transsexual the right to dress in a manner that they wish. Such views expressed by this anti SSB group are veiled attempts at totalitarianism and fascism.

      • Tom Cooke

        Could not agree more.

      • Rob

        "You are discriminating against an indefinable group [ie: whites]" + "Who are these tribal people anyway[?]"
        – I think you can see your problem here…

        "the rights to self-determination and the freedom of expression" – which are totally more important than freedom from racism and apropriation.

      • bobo (grammar nazi)

        poor grammar

  • anon

    This group is ridiculous. It's only racism if you're using it in a derogatory way which it is not. It's a theme for a uni event, they should get over themselves.

  • anon

    How do you connect the word 'Tribal' to ONLY people of colour? That seems a bit racist in itself. Are you not counting the numerous (mainly white skinned) tribes that used to exist throughout England, Wales, Scotland, not to mention the rest of Europe?

    • Anon. Y. Mous

      But wait! Look at the imagery that is developed by the safer sex ball: do you see anything that is not associated with racialised cultures?
      Of course, tribal in the "proper" or "dictionary" sense of the word doesn't apply only to folks of colour. On the other hand, the dominant imagery linked with the idea of "tribal" is that of "other", racialised cultures.

  • anon

    Celtic tribes. Your argument is invalid.

  • Ron Burgundy

    Well, that escalated quickly!

  • Hector Chamberlain

    I can completely understand this cause, I saw a Chinese person wearing a barbour and felt deeply offended

  • Rob

    This comment thread: a bunch of white people explaining what they think is and isn't racist.

  • Fernando Poo

    I just had a DNA test and am 3% Neanderthal. I suspect that another human species is just about as tribal as it can get.

    Still, on behalf of my fellow Neanderthals and I, I give you permission to use our underpants in your tribal-themed celebrations.

    Have a great time!

  • Pingback: ‘Tribal’ theme for Exeter’s Safer Sex Ball is racist, scream right-on killjoys. But ‘racism awareness’ has run out of steam at universities – Telegraph Blogs « Innerstanding Isness()

  • Anon.

    When do I sign the petition to ban Cosmo?

  • Adam

    “I’m not suggesting that the person that attacked me had read The Sun but it has contributed towards the normalisation of rape culture.”

    And our SU actually fell for this cr*p?

  • Annoyed

    This is wrong on so many levels. Everyone at the university of leicester is educated enough to be able to make their own decisions. Those who don’t agree, don’t buy it. If we ban the sun due to it’s demeaning representation of women, then why on earth is there no discussion to ban any female magazine that influences the increasing number of eating disorders in the uk. Many fashion magazines, as we know, create unrealistic representations of women with incessant photoshopping. Or gossip magazines such as heat that constantly pick at women’s bodies and insecurities, also a demeaning and sexist act (do you ever see a man being mocked for his weight gain of six pounds?) So many forms of media have a vast influence on today’s society. Yet it is insulting that we are being treated as though we are somehow unable to make our own decisions in life. University is a place for young adults to learn, grow and 100% make their own decisions. Censorship is not ok. Everyone has the right the personal choice, and quite frankly leicester union council, and the university that you represent, what you have done is wrong.

    • Harry Wells

      You’re right, you are educated enough to make your own decisions- so maybe you should’ve made a decision to vote in the Council elections, and then if a bunch of the pro-Page 3/pro-rape culture faction had done that, you’d have a Council full of people who agree with you, and we wouldn’t currently be boycotting The Sun.

      Nobody’s fault that your representatives don’t represent you other than your own. Sorry!

      • Feminazisarecrazy

        Pro rape is one of the most ridiculous terms I’ve heard. Who the fuck is pro rape?! people don’t become rapists because of some soft porn in a newspaper, some people are rapists because some people are arseholes, the same way people who commit murder don’t do it because they saw a bit of violence in a horror movie they do it because some people are fucked up. Get off your high horse and stop pretending everyone who reads the Sun is a susceptible, brainwashed moron.

        • David

          Don’t forget, the main reason people are on the council is to write something extra down in crayon on their CVs.

      • Annoyed

        I sadly do not have the time on my hands to be involved in the union parliament myself.I have to work to be able to fund myself at university, as well as completing my degree.
        But I did vote in the council elections. so, guess you’re wrong there!

        The fact that the entire proposal of a ban, (regardless of it being the sun, I couldn’t really care less what publication it actually is) was ever put forward in parliament and accepted as possibly becoming a reality, is ludicrous. Censorship is not ok.

        The way you have managed to spin my own line about being ‘educated enough to make decisions’ onto me seems clever. Well done Harry Wells. However you have therefore contradicted yourself, and your belief in the boycott. Evidently not able to make my own decisions!

        The fact that you have even used the phrase ‘pro-rape’ is downright disgusting and distasteful, and the fact that you appear to affiliate me into such a group is horrific. If you read into what people have said, no one cares about The Sun. I am sure very few people will miss it. It is the fact that our choice has been taken away leaving us with little say, and also sparked potential fear of what could be next within the union.

  • Mikeh

    Who the hell do these authoritarian cunts think they are?

    • Well informed.

      the union council is a democratic body. You voted in the representatives and you could have come to the debate to argue your case. Cunts or not, they are certainly not authoritarian.

      • ‘Well informed’- arrogant name

        The councillor with the most votes was Alistair who recieved 77 after having a load discounted because people hadn’t properly logged out of their uni IT account whilst voting on his pc.

        Most were voted onto council after recieving 30-50 votes. How is Union Council representative at all?

      • slightly better informed

        How can you say that Union Council is democratic when they vote against creating a referendum on the matter?

        Actually only just over 1200 people voted for these people to represent us. There are 23,000 people at this university.

        It certainly seems like they wanted to force their will on Monday night. The people at Council on Monday certainly didn’t seem to care about letting people have their say. That doesn’t sound democratic to me….

  • DK

    Great to know all council members can put forward there ideas in person without being personally attacked….. What sort of council is this!

    • Shocked

      When you’ve got outspoken cunts like Harry Wells prepared to organise smear campaigns against opponents (i.e. Jay), it’s no wonder people steer clear.

      • Harry Wells

        Please you charmer, stop :) I know I’m recently single but I don’t go for guys when they’re that forward.

      • Don’t

        Right then.

        If any cunt shite says that Harry Wells was anything to do with the awareness raising campaign to do with Jay’s blacking up at someone’s 40th bday party, one more time… I’ll find out who you are and personally take a lead pipe to your head. Or if I don’t find out who, I’ll just guess at who the most likely person is.

        Got it?

        • lead pipes are so 2011

          Definitely a beta keyboard warrior. Anyone who makes murder threats behind a screen is a pretty pathetic individual. Do you even lift bro?

          Or alternatively could be Harry Wells commenting anonymously, desperately trying to convince people that not everyone thinks he was behind the smear campaign.

  • Sam

    Why was a referendum not held? A secret ballot is undemocratic and doesn’t represent the views of all on campus.

    • Harry Wells

      Pretty sure holding a vote is about as democratic as you can get… the proposal was on a publicly visible agenda for a week. If someone wanted to submit an amendment, saying there needs to be a referendum, ANYONE could’ve done that.

      Reality is you were all too apathetic (emphasis on the “pathetic”) to get involved and now a decision has been made that you don’t agree with and you’re sad because your own laziness stopped you taking the actions you could’ve done on plenty of opportunities. If you don’t want things like this to happen, pay attention.

    • AC

      I proposed the secret ballot as a member of Steering Committee in an attempt to limit the personal harassment of UC members on both sides of the debate. A secret ballot allows members to cast their vote how they want without worrying about harassment afterwards, as such it is more representative of UCs views.

      Ample time was given in which an amendment to the proposal suggesting a referendum could have submitted; it was not. However The Sun will not be boycotted until it is approved by Trustee Board, within that time any member of the union can submit another proposal to repeal this decision or call a referendum. Alternatively a referendum can be called in accordance with Referenda 1.3 of the Union Bye Laws. If this is really the will of the student body, UCs decision can be overturned.

  • Georgio Sabbattico

    What utter bollocks. Do they even listen to themselves spouting this crap?! How does a picture of some (usually very nice) boobies contribute to rape culture?! I don’t see a pair of knockers and suddenly decide to go on a raping spree.


  • sam

    Speaking as a woman, if I get up in the morning and decide I fancy baring my boobs in a national newspaper I can because THAT’S MY CHOICE. If I wander into the Students Union tomorrow and choose to buy a copy of The Sun to read I can because THAT’S MY CHOICE. What people like Rachel Holland don’t seem to realise is that their constant need to ban things is an affront to rationality: they can’t argue with reason and logic so they fight back with banning things. They don’t speak for me, or the vast majority of women. I don’t think people fully understand how wrong and worrying this ban is. Choosing to control media is a hallmark of a repressive society, and I hate to think that is what my Student Union has become.

  • Robin Cook

    I don’t see a line of feminists queuing up to ban the Diet Coke advert, with a half-naked man being ogled by creepy women.

    Or a ban on the advert of David Beckham in his underpants. Or the shirtless, ‘fit’ men in women’s gossip magazines.

    I will only respect feminists when they support equalising this ban to all genders. Anything else is blatant hypocrisy and should not be tolerated.

  • Balderdash

    Someone needs to name and shame everyone that voted for this van and hold them to account.

    Let’s hound these authoritarians out of their protective bubble of ‘secret ballots’ and get them facing students in public.

    I’m sick of a small clique of Union morons passing ban after ban with zero consultation.

    • Twathater

      Agreed, I think public flogging is required for such stupidity.

      First up for a whipping – Rachel Holland. That’ll soon wipe away some of her smugness and ineptitude.

      • Harry Wells

        Threatening violence against women? Yeah, you’re really convincing us to let you guys access soft porn all day ‘erry day…

        • Crabby Clive

          You’re also on the whipping list Harry. Bet you can’t wait love

          • Harry Wells

            Generally if I’m gonna let a man whip me he needs to be attractive, intelligent, understanding and well-endowed. I strongly suspect you are none of the above

    • AC

      *That* is exactly why the vote was conducted by secret ballot. No one — not even Steering Committee who counted the votes — know who voted which way. Secret ballots are there to protect UC members from harassment; in this case it has done its job perfectly.

    • Louise

      You seem to be forgetting that these “authoritarians” who you want to “hound” are actual people and some of the comments on here are absolutely disgusting. If you don’t agree with the union decision then there are constructive ways to voice your opposition which you should look into. Personal attacks on individuals are completely unacceptable and I am politely asking you to stop.

      • Juice wayne

        Actual people? I’m 100% certain most of the union council are secretly reptilian shape shifters in league with the illuminati.

      • Illy

        If Union Council members behave like dicks, don’t complain when the students they represent call them out for being dicks.

  • Honesty = Truth

    “I’m not suggesting that the person that attacked me had read The Sun but it has contributed towards the normalisation of rape culture.”

    Christ, with a dumb mindset like that, it’s no wonder she was too stupid to say no to casual sex.

    • Abi Joiner

      A girl was attacked. Show some respect. No need for this comment.

    • Adam

      wow, you’ve certainly made yourself sound a whole lot smarter than the girl who was raped. Congrats. Asshole.

    • Your Honesty = Ignorance

      Your mindset is literally ridiculous.. who would be ‘too stupid’ to refuse sex from a complete stranger who attacks them in the street or holds a knife to them? You cannot equate rape to ‘casual sex’ – open your eyes to the real world, your ignorance is disgusting.

    • Harry Wells

      hahahahaha kill yourself you vile piece of shit, I genuinely hope your parents never realise what a disgrace they’ve managed to spawn

      • Gurj Chahal

        Telling another commenter to kill themselves? Really? A bit over the top I think, regardless of how disgusting the first comment was. Also why does the username now say guest? Pretty sure it read Harry Wells last night. Maybe you realised telling another student to kill themselves isn’t exactly how our councils distance learning officer should speak. Probably should have deleted your comment instead of just hiding the identity mate. When members of union council speak to students this aggressively online, it’s no wonder most students feel so disconnected from the council and it’s members who are meant to be representing us.

    • Guest

      I don’t even know where to begin with this. As someone who has also been the victim of sexual assault at University (and there are shamefully many more, let me assure you), to see someone perpetuating the idea that anyone deserves to be assaulted – sexually or otherwise – sickens me. Your comment is rape culture in a nutshell, and what’s even more worrying is people have actually ‘liked’ your comment. ANYONE has the right to say ‘no’ to sex. That is their right. And that does not make them stupid. You vile piece of shit.

  • Because fuck you.

    Well congratulations, feminists and co. for banning the Sun. I suppose you all feel pretty good about yourselves, however it soon becomes apparent this witch-hunt against evil has been manufactured by yourselves. This isn’t a problem and you damn well know it. University students are as liberal as they come, so instead of embracing our bodies, in a magazine which few people actually read in the union, you have deceptively created a public enemy in which people can attach their own personal resentment towards society on. As a result, everyone is jumping on the mysogny bandwagon, especially the victim of a sexual attack. You are the ones who are old fashioned, while youre at it, ban skirt, make burqas compulsary.
    In summary, it is obvious that not only are your claims completely unfounded, ludicrous, and personally motivated which together combine to make a semi-functioning argument based on some common theme loosely related to mysogny, but you are also restricting liberalism, the very thing you are apparently trying to achieve. How very British, The Conservative Party is fully functioning in this university union I see.

    • Slack

      Actually, those behind the ban are largely moronic socialists or New Labour careerists.

    • commenter

      A true feminist supports equality entirely. They believe that a women has a choice to do what ever she wants with the way she dresses and all aspects of her life and should not have those choices determined because she is female. Wearing a burka is a feminist idea in the truest Islamic sense of it as many find it empowering, the same way many find being a glamour model empowering. I am both a feminist and have been a victim of sexual assault, but do I want to ban the Sun? No that’s a ridiculous thing to do in response. I personally don’t think that it is a useful paper, is extremely biased and in some ways misogynistic but people have a choice to do and read what they want. If one of my friends wanted to pose for page 3 I wouldn’t think any different of her, and I certainly wouldn’t expect her to be blamed for someone experiencing sexual assault like the SU is. This ban is astonishing, and it’s funny how the first people have heard of it is after it’s been put through.

      • Adam

        Many women find it ’empowering’ to pose for page 3 and become strippers whilst they are young and men find them attractive. These women soon admit to feeling rejected, mistreated and objectified once their looks disappear. Men only want these women for one thing, and in the long run this has a staggeringly negative effect on females in many spheres of social life. Men still have the choice to buy magazines such as FHM and Nuts. However, The Sun is pitched as a family newspaper- something which should not be containing photographs of naked women who are only there to be objectified.

  • John Stuart Mills

    The censoring of a newspaper merely for the fact that you don’t agree with it is a direct affront to a liberal democracy. Due you not regard us as both individuals and adults the freedom to choose what we can and cannot read? Just because something offends you, it does not give you the right to censor or ban it for everyone else. The simplest way to avoid such supposed offence is to not buy the newspaper, not deprive other people the liberty of buying it. This is a slippery slope and I suppose any sense of pluralism has gone with it in union politics, setting a dangerous precedent. When a select few have the power to choose what we can and cannot view.

  • GDM

    If you don’t like page 3 don’t buy it, stop nausing the rest of us with your boring chat, focus on saving The world if you crave attention

  • Where is the democracy

    Why did they reject a referendum?

    • AC

      Because no such motion was submitted. Any student could have submitted an amendment to the proposal to call for a referendum (within the deadline) and no one did. The only time a referendum was mentioned was during the meeting, which is too late as notice is required before council can consider an amendment. A referendum could still be called on the issue, if that is what the student body wants, irrespective of UCs decision. If no such referendum is called, we will consider that the will of the students has been done by boycotting The Sun.

  • Honest Question

    How many commentators here (and in other places) would be willing to start a counter campaign by selling The Sun in the square or bringing a proposal to the next Union Council?

    Turn your anger against these feminazis into change.

    • Harry Wells

      Kind word of advice- none. People don’t like to actually work to effect change, they just enjoy moaning and threatening violence against those who disagree. Boo hoo.

  • Slightly baffled

    I find it pretty amazing that someone is prepared to make a connection between page 3 and sexual assaults just to get it banned. Is there any evidence linking the two?

  • Robstermd

    This is as ridiculous as claiming that violent video games cause perfectly normal people to actually kill each other. Heaven forbid we assume that the Students and Staff of the university can’t tell the difference between a model who is willingly flaunting their sexuality and a woman in the street. Is this a university or a kindergarten?

  • Nippleless Cage

    People who i know voted in favour;:
    Harry Wells
    Rachael Holland
    Sean Kelly-Walsh
    Micheal Rubin
    A friend of mine is in the union council and abstained/tried to stop them. The labour careerist and pro authoritarian’s out number the sane and sensible though.
    I would strongly suggest you email and harass these people as much as possible so that they learn that this is not acceptable. Otherwise they’ll just keep pushing.

    • Ed Palmer

      I especially like how Harry Wells agreed with this, when he’s the one who admitted on national television that he lies to girls to get them into bed, really believing in the cause there

      • Harry Wells

        Don’t worry honey, I lie to guys too, you’re still in with a shot xx

    • Harry Wells

      No need to email me pal, I’m right here! What would you like to say? Make sure you’ve stopped crying uncontrollably because the meanies in Union Council took away your soft porn before you start.

      • A

        It’s ironic you’re trying to belittle the commenter by implying they are a crybaby when this whole fucking thing started because crybabies like yourself started whining about something that didn’t actually harm them in any way. Just because you’re offended doesn’t make you right. If only your parents had told you ‘no’ more as a child, maybe then you wouldn’t have this weird entitlement issue.

        • Harry Wells

          We could debate for a long and beautiful summer about how patriarchy does harm me, as a bisexual man who enjoys wearing “womens'” clothes and occasionally painting his nails, but that’s a different argument altogether.

          I can accept your point that specifically, the existence of Page 3 doesn’t particularly cause me much harm- however, it _does_ cause harm to many of the women who I campaigned alongside and many women besides that. Young relatives of mine have had breakdowns in front of me specifically because of confidence issues and questions about their role in the world and their value which were brought on by seeing Page 3 in a family environment.

          So I can’t agree with the idea that his boycott is in response to “nothing”. The risks posed are very much real.

          As for the comment about my parents, well done, you can make cheap personal jibes that do nothing but undermine any semblance of an intelligent argument you may have.

          • A

            But simply banning things is a slippery slope. If you feel page 3 of the sun is so negative and damaging to females you should try and teach people why this is the case. The moment you start banning things you butcher your whole argument through hypocrisy. How can you combat a supposedly oppressive patriarchy if you respond by trying to oppress other things?

            As much as I feel page 3 has no place in a family newspaper, I don’t think banning the sun is the way to get page 3 removed. Say our government simply banned the newspaper nationwide without fully consulting the general public, that would be a gross affront to democracy. That is basically what is going on here but on a smaller scale. Campaigning and attempting to teach students why you believe page 3 is so wrong, so that they then have the choice to boycott it if they so choose, would be a much better approach. Right now you just have a bunch of pissed off students who feel as if you’ve pushed your beliefs upon them like your part of some special elite, intellectual enough to see what they can’t.

            In short: don’t tell people what to think, try and teach them how to think.

    • Monica

      How dare you post my name on the tab and encourage people to ‘harass’ me via email? It’s not like I don’t know who you are, so how about you come and talk to me in person and stop being a wiener.

  • Robstermd

    I would also like to see an actual scientific report that links the kind of images found in the Sun to rape in later life.

    Anecdotal evidence is NOT scientific, random conjecture SHOULD NOT be held as a valid argument in a Political debate, “I don’t know anything but here is a statement I’m making as objective”. If these are the kind of people running for political jobs in the future I’ll emigrate before I vote for them.

    • Harry Wells

      The Home Office commissioned a study from Dr Linda Papadopoulos in 2010- “Sexualisation in young people”, or something to that effect. It draws the exact correlations you’ve described. Google it.

  • HappyFeminist!

    People who have a problem with this should have cared enough to go to union council and get their voices heard! Union council were elected by students – dont like it then do something about it! people at union council cared enough about this to do something to vote and have their opinion!
    The bottom line Page 3 has no place being in the sun and being sold at a university! If you care that much go to the numerous corner shops that still stock it so you can read the bull!!

    • Idec

      Oh go back to smelling your own farts you smug Cretin.

      • :P

        someone is a bit bitter…..
        This article is very misleading about what has actually happening. Its just the union that has taken a stance not the University. That will be happening next!

  • Anon

    41% of the suns readers are women

  • Harry Wells

    I almost feel sorry for all the meatheads on here. They probably haven’t been able to leave their house all day, they’ve been so busy focussing on being angry.

    You wanna watch porn, watch porn. You wanna read a newspaper, read a newspaper. Not hard. xo

    • Bill

      Bet you wouldn’t say that to my face, you smug bourgeois twat.

      • Harry Wells

        Do you not see the irony in making that comment with no picture and half a name when I’m making myself plainly visible to anyone who wants to clock me in my insufferably left-wing face?

        • Amvrosios Panagasidis

          Bet you wouldn’t say that to my face, you smug bourgeois twat.

    • Solid Snake

      You really are a troubled soul, you strike me as one of those people that enjoy being disliked as it’s the only way you can gain the attention you much desire.

      The tone with which you address people is despicable, and I’m glad you didn’t get into your desired position of power.You still sound very, very bitter over your loss .

      I originally thought you’d make a decent politician as you’re abit of an arse, but upon reflection it’s pretty clear you won’t. They all have one quality you don’t, they can be appear likeable and make good first impressions. You on the otherhand are a smug and pompous individual so up your own arse you probably smell like it too. And guess what? It took me only a few minutes to come to that conclusion too, at least politicians wait to get into power before being arseholes!

  • Pingu


  • Alexandra Scott-Heyes

    These comments are so disappointing to read. There has been so much aggression and intolerance from both sides of the debate. People are throwing around the idea that we are an institution of educated adults so that we either a) should not be supporting the Sun or b) should be able to make decisions for ourselves. Despite this, a number of people on both sides are doing the exact opposite of behaving like educated adults.

    Be true to your values and beliefs, yes, but try and open your mind to the opinions of others.

    I personally am not particularly happy with the outcome because I do believe it is taking choice away from adults who have the right to make their own decisions. I personally boycott The Sun and have done my whole life by never buying it. I believe in voting with my wallet. That being said, I think the sentiment behind the campaign was great and it has encouraged people to think about women’s issues and the potential influence that mainstream media can have on society.

    For me, encouraging individuals to boycott The Sun by not buying it would have been a better approach. The message and discussion is still out there and if sales dropped enough it may have stopped being sold but in a more organic manner.

    That’s just my opinion. Not everyone will agree with me and that is fine! You cannot expect everyone to have exactly the same opinion as you and these personal attacks are just baffling.

  • Z S Gould-Wilson

    The motion employed in the Semi-Finals of the Law Society Debating Competition was “The Sun should remove the publication of Page 3”. I must admit that we chose this motion partly because it was a topical issue on campus, but we did not go as far as to suggest banning it entirely! Having had the great pleasure of sitting as a Debating Chairman on several of these debates, I heard some very legititmate arguments on both sides. The argument that ‘the presence of page 3 encourages a pro-rape culture’ was not advanced, and even if it were, there is simply no empirical evidence of this.
    It should be noted that our ‘freedom of choice’ in this regard is not unreasonably restricted, because, at the end of the day, we may purchase our daily issue of The Sun from retailers outside the University. And, at the same price that it was sold on campus!

  • Peter


    • Chesney Hawkes

      Get a life and quit trolling, everyone else moved on from Hillsborough 2 decades ago.

      • Steve

        To be fair it was a disgrace went the Sun did. But people should chose to boycott not have it forced upon them.

      • Dan

        The north remembers!

  • JJ

    I agree that the Sun and page 3 does objectify women, but I don’t think this is the right step. This halfway move only opens up the Union for criticism imo. There were only two main choices – both of which should have been open to a campus wide referendum.

    1) don’t just ban the sun – yes page 3 is not the high point of society. I’m not going to get into whether they’re willing models or whatever. What I would say is the argument that if I or anyone chooses to read the Sun, they are buying into or are pro-rape culture is hugely offensive to me. I don’t think anyone with a sense of morality is pro-rape, but just cos someone wants to look at “soft-porn” as its been described here, they are pro-rape, I don’t see it, hell I’m not gonna lie, I’ve seen a page 3 before, but rape didn’t even cross my mind, and if someone just cast me as pro-rape, we’d have a serious problem.

    The point about objectifying women is a much better argument imo, but would it not be better to ban all forms of objectification. First of all it comes in many forms, not just glamour models, but fashion mags, gossip mags, fitness mags whatever. The same argument could be used for heat, cosmo, fhm, nuts. It would be better to take a stand, list a few publications and the reasoning and ban them all. Secondly, objectification happens towards both genders, so banning one newspaper is never the right solution. There are male models, top 100 lists for both genders etc. One of our students is hosting a Mr University competition – the motivation behind this move i think is well intentioned but incomplete, some recognition of this would go a long way.

    2) don’t ban it at all – If you’re not gonna ban numerous newspapers, then don’t ban any, and highlight the problems you have with the paper, and other publications that objectify women/men. Inform or educate the potential consumers why you think that this is wrong, and let them make up their own minds. Taking the choice away from students is a very bold step, and again implies that the Union knows better than you, or you cannot make up your own mind, especially without a referendum.

    That being said some of the comments on here are outrageous, and few actually mention page 3. The assertion that those who do not agree with you are “meatheads” or are lesser people is shameful, and I despise those who look down their nose at you cos they have a different opinion. Get off your high horse and let’s have a reasonable debate. That works both ways though, a decision was made, and people calling out individuals to get abuse or saying they are feminazis are equally repugnant.

  • male no.2

    I’d love to know what the boys she lives with have to say about this.

  • Kate

    i live with boys, they are fantastic. I also live with girls, 3 of each. both are fantastic. I talk girl problems with my male housemates, if im feeling shit he helps me out. My other male housemate introduces me to all his friends, no expectations. They compliment me on how I look when im wearing old jumpers and leggings. The same is true of my female housemates. I’m not reliant on them to help me out or compliment me, but they do because we’re friends.

  • male (3)

    I don’t know why some people are taking this so seriously. It clearly isn’t sexism, just a fun article about how some girls may percive living with guys, I think this needs to be taken with a pinch of salt.

  • Male 3

    Agreed male 1 I also dislike sexism against women, stating this as fact means it’s ok for men to behave like the dicks they are portrayed in this story, I’m sure some men are shit to live with, but not all of them. don’t give us that “god guys it’s just a joke” rubbish, because it justifies all prejudice behavior against people all the time. This makes me sad.

  • A Uni of Student

    Shame you couldn’t spell University. No wonder you went to Trent.

  • Another Uni of Student

    ‘By far and away the most definitive reason? It’s the students of Trent. A universituy full of incredibly attractive, down to earth men and women that all get along because we’re all well alright like that.’

    If you cant spell uni go to Trent……

  • Chris P. Bacon

    Everybody chill.

  • Another Male

    In fairness, it’s only sexism when it’s about women.

  • Truth speaker

    Probably not very PC but somebody had to say it.

    People need to take more personal responsibility instead of blaming an inanimate newspaper for all their problems.

  • Abi Joiner

    Somebody had to say it was her stupidity that caused her attack? That’s not ‘not being PC’ that’s being a prick mate

  • Mr Blobby

    I still fail to see what evidence feminists have to suggest the Sun actually makes men go out and rape.

    It’s nasty generalisation – they cannot demand rights for women on one hand, but say horrible and sexist remarks about men on the other. Pure hypocrisy.

  • Ed Palmer

    couple of things.

    1. The Sun is not just going to get rid of page 3 because a bunch of universities are boycotting it.
    2. The women who are modelling on page 3 are doing it through their own consent.
    3. You can’t just get rid of a newspaper because a minority find it insensitive and offensive to women.
    4. If you don’t like it, don’t buy it, simple.
    5. I’m not sexist, I’m liberal, people can do what they want with their lives, if they want to show themselves off in this way that’s fine, if they want to buy a copy of it, even if I didn’t approve of it I’d still tolerate it and let them buy it if they wanted to.

  • Annoyed

    The problems with fashion and glamour magazines is not beside the main point. If you eradicate one newspaper because of one view and opinion, then as a university we are portraying an isolated view. Being against sexism, and the all too often demeaning view of women, then surely you would also be against other forms that do this?
    The exploitation of the female body is not portrayed by a glamour model. She chooses to do so. The burlesque society frequently strips off, so are they the next to boycott? They CHOOSE to do so, just as a glamour model does. But I can guarentee that you all see this as a form of empowerment, something done in a more ‘tasteful way’ with the use of feathers and vintage lingerie. I would love to hear your opinion of this.

    On another note, most people posting comments do not have a problem with the fact that they won’t be reading The Sun in the union anymore. Most people are livid with the fact that the CHOICE has been taken away from us, by our peers. Feminism represents equality, in every sense of the word. Campaign against page three. Spam social media. Put posters up everywhere. But don’t take away choice.

  • Guest

    1. There’s a chance the Sun might get rid of it if all the universities stand together in protest of it (as 29 before us have) and better yet – if other professional bodies get hold of the idea and agree as well. Equally, the fact that something is going to be difficult is not a reason to not attempt it, or all of us would be very apathetic.
    2. No one is saying that the glamour models who post for the Sun are in the wrong – what they do is great and fine for them. The issue is with it being in the Sun in the first place – which is a famlily newspaper. Tits aren’t news. And the biggest image of a woman in a newspaper should not be one in which she is being objectified.
    3. At one point or another, newspapers would have printed racist images, and it would only have been a minority who were upset but it. Does that mean that we shouldn’t have banned racist articles? Because at one point the majority would have been fine and only the minority upset.
    4. I will. And if you do like it – buy it. Buy it from a shop around the corner and we will happily embrace you reading it to your heart’s content in the SU. We’re removing it to send a political message, not to stop people from reading it if they really want to (although I doubt you do, because everyone knows it’s a rag.
    5. As far as I’m concerned, discriminating against someone is more important than allowing someone their right to choice. Page 3 IS sexist and I will assume that you know that – if not there will be many people happy to explain why. So allowing a newspaper to be openly sexist (discriminatory) and thereby giving society an excuse to be sexist (discriminatory) is a bigger issue than giving some people the choice to look at tits in a newspaper, when they can look at tits whenever they want to in lads mags or on the internet.
    If you’d come to the union council debate and voiced your opinion there, you would have heard all these arguments, and could have had a say in the ban.


    nobody is saying this at all you mug, stop deliberately misinterpreting peoples points and listen to them

  • Ed Palmer

    “As far as I’m concerned, discriminating against someone is more important than allowing someone their right to choice”. wow.

  • Alan

    Your authoritarian views are extreme and put you in the same bracket as Stalin, Hitler and Pol Pot.

    Who the hell do you think you are to impose your opinion on other people? Who the hell are you to remove someone else’s choice?

    You are a fascist with views like that, so you need to get off your moral high horse pronto.

  • student

    yes. One thing at a time.

  • guest

    Why is that so outrageous? If there was a newspaper in the union that had a hugely derogatory picture towards a BAME group I doubt you’d have that reaction.

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