Are you offended by a t-shirt which tells you to ‘feel a little fresher’?
Your opinion matters
Much has been made in the media recently about the evils of Lad Culture and slobbering pervs groping women at Freshers’ events.
Now some members of the Leeds Uni Feminist Society are wound up about this t-shirt spotted at a Freshers’ Fair, which admittedly has a touch of the Yewtree about it:
The top is presumably promoting a club night – there’s one called “Feel a Little Fresher” at Digital, a venue in Newcastle.
Some Femsoc members are angry because they say it encourages sexual assault and “unwanted touching”.
Maths tutor Raphael Tennenhaus helpfully explained the dilemma for right-thinking undergraduates in the Facebook group: “The speech act on the t-shirt has two interpretations.
“Feel can mean ‘have the sensation of’ or ‘examine by touch’. Fresher can mean ‘more recent’, or the slang for ‘freshmen’, that is, newly arriving students for example.
“This t-shirt commands the reader to ‘have the sensation of being (presumably) healthier or more awake’, or, to ‘examine by touch a small new student’.
“The second interpretation is the one that is offensive; however it will not be surprising if the author (or a supporter) pleads ignorance to this interpretation, and denies any responsibility for their speech act.”
So, is it genuinely offensive, or – as one group member put it – just a bit of harmless pun?